Adriano Gets After It

About a year and a half ago I found myself heading to Indonesia once again, however this trip was a bit different. Usually when I go to Indo it is aboard the Pelagic, on trips that I have put together. This time, though, I was heading out on a Red Bull trip aboard the Indies IV, the luxery surf yacht of all luxery surf yachts. I was pretty stoked for the trip, while I was there mainly to get images of the two Nike team riders aboard, Kolohe Andino and Evan Geisleman, there were a bunch of Red Bull’s premier guys on the trip that I hadn’t had a chance to work with. One of which was Adriano De Souza. I knew Adriano just from him being such a big part of surfing for the last few years, but had never had a chance to shoot with him outside of contest areas. To make a long story short, I walked away amazed by the guys surfing.

This particular day was one for the books; I literally shot on the dingy from sun up to sun down, having the crew run food, water, and fresh batteries, back and forth for me: it was was pumping, there was no other option. HT’s was as good as it gets, a bit over head, slack wind, and sunny as could be. We had the lineup practically to ourselves and the guys were on fire: Adriano especially. He was sitting as deep as anyone, rushing solid waves and standing tall in the tube through the inside section. As the tide filled in, and the barrels were as great as an option, Adriano adapted as well as anyone, punting ridiculously tweaked out air reverses and stylish straight airs. As I said, impressive.

His ripping wasn’t what really got me though; what really set him apart was how thoroughly stoked Adriano was. After every wave the guy was kicking out all smiles, hooting for himself, hooting for the guy on the wave behind him, arms raised in pure stoke. It was cool to see a pro surfer really not care about what others were thinking but rather acknowledge how fortunate he was and just be amped to be able to go out and surf perfect waves. A few days after this session I asked Adriano about the claiming, his answer was that he just loves surfing. That a good wave gets him excited and makes him happy and he’s not afraid to show it.

Ian Walsh is a Madman

Walshy has been a friend of mine for quite some time. From the early days putting me up in his parents house in Maui for months on end, to more recently spending two weeks in Indonesia, we’ve had some good times and scored some unreal waves. When you spend that much time with Walshy, one thing becomes clear, whether its 5 foot or 50 feet, Ian Walsh is a madman. Just a few weeks ago, Waslh played a key role in the big wave paddle session that went down at “Jaws” in Maui. The level these guys are taking big wave surfing to is unreal, and was unfathomable just a few short years ago.

Unfortunately I was not able to make the jump over to Maui for that swell. I was, however, able to jump on a trip to the Mentawais with Ian a couple years ago; and while it may not have been 50 feet, the waves were fun and Walshy was ripping. It was pretty impressive seeing a guy that paddles into the biggest waves on earth go out and punt airs and lay it on rail with the best of them.

Mentawai Miscommunication

While on location last year in the Mentawais we decided to take advantage of a flat day and trek into the jungle to photograph the indigenous Mentawai people. Although these people have had plenty of contact with the outside world for years, they still manage to live a fairly unchanged life: bamboo huts in the jungle, livestock roaming underfoot, no roads, no electricity, no fancy possesions, a simple life in the jungle. A big part of their culture is the intricate tattooing that both the men and women have covering their bodies. When we met the woman pictured I immediately noticed and wanted to photograph her hands: worn and hardened from years of living and working in the jungle, and completely tattooed. I tried to ask her, in a serious of gestures and words lost in translation, if I could shoot her hands. Her face lit up in agreement as she stepped back, and simply removed her top waiting to be photographed. Apparently hands and boobs are easily mistaken in Indonesian. After a brief moment of shock I began shooting, and with the help of our guide, got the photo of her HANDS that I was after.

Coco Ho: Indo Cover

We spent two years putting together the Nike girls film “Leave a Message” (watch it here and went on some really fun and memorable trips. This shot of Coco is from a boat trip to the Mentawai Islands. I’ve been doing trips with Coco since she was just a little grom, and she is always fun to have along. I’ve always liked this shot and recently it was used as the cover of Freesurf Magazine in Hawaii.