Pictured is Joss Ash and it was shot back in January on our month long “avoid the frozen British winter” trip to Indo. It was a real Groundhog Day trip - wake up at 6am, go to the restaurant for six cups of tea and poached eggs on toast whilst waiting for the tide, get in the water 8ish, swim the lagoon, shoot for three hours, swim the lagoon back, banana pancake, nap, lunch, another shoot, nap, dinner, sleep. And repeat x 25. I was shooting a lot of long lens from the water as it’s a technique I’ve not used in years and felt things were getting a bit stale with the fisheye. It opens up angles you can’t get with the fishy like this one. Shooting from behind is really tricky - you can’t see the surfer (especially looking into the sun) until they boost - so composition is hard, then getting a focus lock is a mission, if there’s too much spray it ruins the shot, etc. A million things to go wrong, so when it comes together you’re pretty stoked. I love the clouds in this shot and the position of the sun actually works well, gives it an Icarus kind of vibe.
I was rung up by an editor of a surf mag “I need a front cover for the next issue, I need something different” he said “oh and I need it in a day or two”. Luckily there was a good head high swell running and a bit onshore, good for airs. I rang up a few good aerialists and asked them to meet me at a certain spot at sunset. I had already pictured an air silhouetted by a golden sunset. But would I be able to get it. The word had got round and every pro in the vicinity was there and it turned out to be an air fest. Danny Wells the surfer in the photo came through for me that day, doing a huge front side aerial rail grab creating an extra large arching spray. Job done! It made the front cover.
Boosting here is Jackson Kyne busting off the backwash. The shot was taken at Makaha and yes he made it. The swell was 3 to 5 foot, Hawaiian scale and super fun with perfect lighting.
Dayne Reynolds shot in September 2008 during the French WCT contest in Hossegor. There was a lot of buzz on the beach about whether or not Kelly could wrap up his 9th world title here. Only very few people could still stand in his way and after Mick Fanning bowed out early due to an injury, all eyes turned to Taj Burrows who needed to win his heat against Dane Reynolds to remain in the title race. This is how Dane dealt with the pressure and the thousands of eyes on the beach. He simply surfed as if nobody had told him that it was a contest. His surfing was truly impressive and although it was flowing naturally, nobody knew what to expect next. It was like an instinctive free-form jazz improvisation - it really felt like almost anything could have happened in any direction. Even spectators that knew absolutely nothing about surfing were mesmerised by Dane and watched his every moves as if he was a drunk trying to cross a busy highway. Needless to say, Taj never made it to the next round.
The rider is Jamie Moran and the photo was taken during then morning of October 20th 2007. It wasn’t a real big day, but Jamie doesn’t need much to start flying. Mornings here on the East Coast of the US (I’m in Atlantic City, New Jersey) mean shooting into the sun at a lot of beaches. Shooting into the sun used to make me mad, but I now see it as an opportunity to work with silhouettes.
It was a pretty fun day in Durban with some lefts running off the pier and Jordy Smith and Antonio Bortoletto were trading aerials with each of them boosting higher each wave. Some they landed and on some they came unstuck. I liked this one of Antonio because of the sun catching the arc of water trailing his board.
Mike van Heerden, Durban, South Africa
This is Dean Harrington, a hyperactive talented lad who lives in Perth with one of the best bodyboarders in the world - Mitch Rawlins. They both love hectic slabs or punting airs like this, and clearly its a match made in heaven as they both get paid to do it together. Bless.
Taken in March 2008 at Ponce Inlet (New Smyrna Beach Florida, South side). I was using my Canon 40D with a fixed Canon 400MM @1200/Sec, ISO 100 at F8. New Smyrna is also known as “the shark bite capital of the world” and you may have seen my famous jumping shark photos taken last summer at the Inlet, but we don’t worry about the sharks too much. They’re just part of surfing here. The waves this day were running about 3 to 4 ft and fairly juicy down close to the jetty. The Surfer is JT(Jeff Thomas) a local firefighter who surfs really well. He is riding a Coda surfboard shaped by Steve Forstall. All Steve’s boards have a great outline that you notice right away. New Smyrna has a really great crop of super hot surfers. Aaron Cormican, Eric and Evan Geiselmans, Nils Schweitzer, just to name a few. When they’re all in the water the level of the surfing goes up a couple of notches and everyone starts ripping. I think the racing boat in the background adds a little more drama to the shot. I think I am really lucky be have been surfing New Smyrna for the past 44 years and have such a great bunch of surfers to shoot on a daily basis. It makes taking good surf photos a lot easier.
This was a spring day in Hossegor 2008, the swell was around 4ft, a small day in La Gravière but with the low tide waves began better and the light was very nice that’s why I decided to make a few pictures. The rider is Augustin “Yeti” Voisin, a great surfer coming from Northern France and now living in Anglet, a few pro French riders were also around but the best shot come with “Yeti” who made this bs aerial look relaxed and styled. This photo was also used as an advertising for the crazy brand Psykopit.com, for which “Yeti” used to be a team-rider.
Jake Jalufka launching a big, no grab air on the Southside of Bob Hall pier. This was taken on a day in early May when a lot of the locals were out at Bob Hall. I jumped out of the water around midday and shot my share of photos from on top of the pier. A lot of the guys were ripping, but the Jalufka brothers were the standouts of the day. It was stomach to head high with light offshore winds. This was Jake’s first surf back in Corpus after a month long trip to Pascuales. I guess he knows when to come back home because it was a fun, rippable day. I really enjoy this photo, as it sheds light on the fact that Corpus Christi, TX gets quality surf and has a deep talent pool of surfers that reside there. That place has one of the best surf scenes I have experienced. Even though I lived there for only a year, I had countless positive experiences with the local surfers and surf shops, as well as many days of epic waves. The locals are all super friendly and keep the surf stoke alive and well.
It all started with a call from Gavin Beschen, who is a very well known pro surfer. He called me because one of his sponsors were doing ads with a back-lit theme. It was the first time I ever photographed in such low light. When the surfer is riding the wave in this type of lighting, you can barely even see him against the dark wave and it is not a very photographic scene at all. But whenever Gavin would do an aerial like this one, that’s when you could really see the magic. The swell was rather small, which is perfect for doing aerials and I used a 600mm Cannon lens to capture this image. Oh yeah, he landed this aerial too.
This aerial of Teiki Balian was shot on an average day of swell right on the Kuta beach break. Pictured is Teiki, a young lad who has living on a boat in the Metawaiis for the last 12 years and he was really confident in the crowded conditions of the Padma break. Respecting others surfers and never dropping on anyone, he was quick enough to catch lots of waves despite the many hot locals in the water. He was pumping hard down the line searching for the right lip to pop and fly. He launched this one with full speed hitting the lip straight and travelling wide landing in full control right on the crushing white foam.
Every day at Lakey peak we would in the morning get the boat to taxi us out to the reef to avoid the biting trigger fish then I would shoot from the channel which is a great angle. However when the waves come though the boat rocks around so the image stabiliser comes in handy Joss loves to play to the camera. Unfortunately for me the Lakey dream is over the locals have been corrupted by tourism and the friendly vibe has been replaced by aggro - a real shame.
Pictured is Ben Skinner at a really secret spot in Cornwall, England. Ben Skinner could surf a bathroom door and make it look good, he’s a git like that! We were after a shot for a Japanese surf magazine of all things, they wanted a twin fin in a sunset. Bingo. Skindog’s ability to make shots with twins, mals, thrusters, quads, long boards or tow-ins means his style is always changing and he makes a mean coffee.
Typhoon Neoguri provides some chunky swell to Taiwan
How did one town in Oz produce more champs than anywhere else in the world? It starts with a ripple.
Tom heads to Puerto Escondido, Mexico for what has become one of the swells of the year
What is swell without surfers? Throwing light on a personality synonymous with oversized sandy Mexican caverns.