AS the Hawiian season draws to a close we have a second, from the water, perpective on a classic February Pipe swell by North Shore photog Mana who takes us on a tour of his back yard.
My name is Jeff Walthall, but most of my friends call me Mana because of my company. It means "supernatural or divine power" in Hawaiian. I've been a professional surf photog for over 10 years in Hawaii but I also have another job installing solar systems to supplement my income. I really love being a surf photographer. The circle of friends that I have is just incredible, it is truly an honour to be known and I hope respected by so many of the world's best surfers. Pictured above. Jesse Merle Jones taking a dramatic drop during the trials of the Pipemasters. The rest of the sequence has Jesse almost falling falling, then recovering in time to get a sick pit with him coming out in a super heavy spit.
On the morning of Feb. 11, 2009, I showed up early at Pipe to see some awesome surf coming in. I was scheduled to shoot video from the water at Pipe for a commercial, but was replaced at the last minute for reasons unknown. It was actually fine with me because the waves were so good, I wanted to shoot for myself anyway... so off I went. I have not been getting much photo time in the water, so I was pretty pumped when I swam out and while still on the shoulder, saw Randall Paulson grab this nice one.
Conditions in the morning were really clean. This was a pretty classic Pipe swell in the 6 to 8 ft Hawaiian range with some 10 footers thrown in for good measure. Rochelle Ballard is still ripping hard as ever... here she is putting in work for a commercial.
This season has been kind of slow for me, not very many really good days of shooting, fortunately I started another job just before the winter season... so please contact me for all your solar needs in Hawaii. I missed a couple of the only Pipe swells the previous weeks due to work. Brian Pacheco is one of my favorite surfers to work with, I have had more published shots of him than any other surfer. Here's Brian doing some freelance commercial work on a borrowed board from Ikaika.
Flynn Novak is another one of my favorite surfers to work with, this guy can do it all, from big airs to sick pits. You can see that Flynn's attention is on the photog who is about to go under him. The winds switched around noon and conditions started to deteriate along with the crowd.
This day was very crowded, so Matt Gorman was taking advantage of the nice inside ones that others would let go.
The Stand Up Paddle thing has really been taking off for the last few years and Ikaika Kalama has been taking SUP to the extreme. Check out the Go Pro camera on the nose of his board.
Jeff Hubbard about to get shacked...this yellow helmet is begining to get too familiar.
I usually only get like one good shot like this when the sun is starting to go down.
Conditions got pretty all time in the evening and I watched it from a party at the Oakley house that was hosted for some women's PGA or something, all I know is thanks for the free shades.
Lifestyle shots are a big part of my photography...here's the boys at the Volcom house watching the waves on the very same day.
I ended the day by listening to Kelley James live from the Oakley house on the beautiful North Shore of Oahu....thanks for viewing.