Brazilians love to surf; and, as the rest of the world has come to learn, Brazil has some damn good surf. However, it isn’t all about the waves. A huge country with a population as diverse as they come, Brazil is a giant melting pot of culture, art, music, color and life. With towering high-rises and crumbling favelas providing a paradoxical background to the picturesque beaches, it is a country that demands you take the time to explore what lies beyond the beaches. When in Rio last year covering the Billibong Pro I fortunate enough to be able to take some time and photograph the Favela’s along with some of the surfer’s I was traveling with. It was pretty amazing to see the beauty tucked away in such a poverty stricken area. The people we met were amazing and full of life, offering some incredible photo opportunities.
Sure Kelly may have won the Quiksilver Pro yesterday, but ask anyone who was watching the comp and they’ll tell ya, it was Michel Bourez standing out heat after heat. With a combination of pure, raw, strength and technical rail work, Michel was able to constituently drop high scores through a contest that saw more varied conditions than his home country of Tahiti has on its coast. His heat with Alejo was hands down the most entertaining heat of the comp, with both guys absolutely blowing up. It’s good to see Michel back in top form after last season left him with less than desirable results. After Snapper it’s clear that every guy on tour is going to be fearing the Spartan because tricks may be for kids, but Michel knows its pure power that wins titles.
This image of Dusty was taken at DBah beach a couple years back. It was a super windy day that resembled the conditions that Maui surfers are so accustomed to. Not many people were out but Dusty went out and put on a clinic. Yes he pulled this. I am really looking forward to what a healthy Dusty does on tour this year. He is a legitimate threat in all conditions and thrives when it gets heavy.
This image is from Fernando de Noronha from a few years back. This is Monyca Byrne-Wicky and Koa Smith when they just groms, psyching to be on a surf trip in such a beautiful place. I have really been wanting to go back but for one reason or another have been unable to make the journey. Noronha is in my opinion one of the best places on earth.
This past summer I headed south with a handful of the Nike team riders to chase down a massive south swell. Among the group was young Kauai-an Koa Smith, a surfer known as much for his funny antics as is penchant for charging frighteningly large waves. Coming into the trip Koa had recently teamed up with soft top board company Catch Surf as a way to have fun and mess around on some different equipment. Looking for a chance to get a few tubes on the soft boards Koa brought a couple on our trip: no one was expecting what he would pull off. We showed up to an already pumping swell, and it was still building. By the peak of the swell the boys had all had their share of absolutely insane barrels, fearlessly charging through 15ft beach break bombs. I was shooting off a jet ski when all of a sudden I saw Koa appear out the back on one of the other skis holding his 8ft softie. It was the peak of the swell and the surf was massive, I wasn’t too sure what Koa was getting himself into, but next thing I knew the kid was stepping off into one of the biggest waves of the entire trip. He faded this thing backhand and manhandled the soft board into this beast of a pit. He didn’t make it out, and took one hell of a beating, but the kid charged and solidified himself as hellman and future legend. Good on ya Koa boy!
… and what a great one it is. If you feel that I have been neglecting you on here, well its because I have: but for good reason. I’ve been hanging with the family, taking my kids skating and surfing, enjoying the food weather and fun waves, and really just bringing in 2013 in style: and I hope you have as well. To top it off Gary, from Brownfish Handplanes was kind enough to send up two new planes for me to enjoy, and enjoy I have. The clean little afternoon days have been epic for getting in the water and going for a swim. On that note, enjoy these shots, go surf, and I hope 2013 brings nothing but good times and good waves.
Well, it’c coming up on the end of the year (and as of this moment not the end of the world), and with the year end comes things such as Transworld Surf’s cover of the year conetest: and thankfully I snagged the first cover of this year for them. Head over to their site, http://surf.transworld.net/ and show my Julian Wilson cover a bit of love. For you efforts, here is the cover as well as the original photo.
Indonesia is always a productive place for us. The waves, the light, the backgrounds, all make for some pretty amazing images. This year was no different, as I’m sure you’ve noticed from our multiple posts on this trip alone. We’ve had multiple photos popping up in Ads, mags, and online, but the topper (as it is for any trip) is scoring the cover. So we were obviously pretty psyched when Junji from Surfing Life Japan sent over their new cover featuring a flawless backside carve from Julian and Macaronis. The surfing during these days at Maccas was some of the best I have ever seen, and I promise you can look forward to more and more of the images from them popping up in the near future.
To anyone who knows the guy, or to any one who has seen him surf for that matter, it comes as no suprise; but Nat Young has officially made the World Tour for 2013 and we couldn’t be more stoked for him! There isn’t a guy who has put in more work, or deserves this more than Natty, and let me tell you, big things are to come from this kid. For one, Nat hates to loose. Let me repeat that, Nat freakin hates to loose. You want to play a friendly game of backgammon in Indo with Nat, he’s giving you the death stare the whole time. Looking to shoot hoops on the North Shore, Natty’s throwin bows and looking to swat every shot you attempt. The guy is a fierce competitor and it shows in his Junior and WQS Careers, earning multiple titles and event wins as he’s climbed the rankings. If that isn’t enough to convince you to save a spot on your fantasy team for him, the kid’s backhand is some of the tightest, best surfing you are going to see on tour: mixed with a new school arial approach that holds its own with his peers. The kid from Santa Cruz has a fire burning in him, a fire to do proud by his town, a fire to prove that his name deserves to be up there with the best, a fire to go out and dominate guys on tour. My bet, rookie of the year, and a major force on tour for years to come.