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.
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.
Last year we did a boat trip to the Mentawai islands with a group of watermen for the first ever Stand Up Paddle indo trip. The trip was amazing: great waves, great people. On board was legendary surfer, paddler, human Dave Kalama. For those of you not familiar with who Dave is, he was one of the pioneers of tow surfing at Peahi, one of the first to jump on a SUP and push the boundries both in distance paddling and wave riding, and is plain and simply one of the most influential figures in surf history. Needless to say it was pretty neat having him on board, talking story with him and shooting him surfing. One of the coolest things for me personally though, was the fact that I was reading Susan Casey’s The Wave, a book that heavily features Kalama as it explores big wave surfing’s history. I would be reading the book upstairs and then come down and pick Dave’s brain to see if things actually went as written and delve even deeper into what Casey was writing about. It’s experiences like this that make what I do so rewarding.
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.
We spent two years putting together the Nike girls film “Leave a Message” (watch it here https://vimeo.com/24900605) 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.
This image was taken on a recent trip to Indonesia. The waves got small for a few days and we had to find some ways to get creative, the crystal clear water and shallow reefs make for some unique photos of the world below. We were fortunate enough to have a beautiful custom wood board, shaped by our friend Kevin Cunningham, on board: really setting this photo apart. For more on Kevin’s board check out his company at www.SpirareSurfboards.com
Indonesia is an amazing place, but being that it is on the entire opposite side of the world, it makes for quite the trek getting there. This trip we had a day to kill in Hong Kong while waiting for our connecting flight. Wandering the city was an eye opening experience to say the least, look for some pretty neat video and imagery from our wanderings coming shortly.