A nice swell just hit southern California. I have some photos posted. For afternoon in-water shots see August 4th #1 and August 4th #2, and for beach shots see August 5th #1 and August 5th #2. Sorry, but some of the beach shots on August 5th are backlit, I asked the sun to move around to a different position but it would not oblige.
My wife and I took the kids up to NB for an afternoon in the sun. I had a good time in the water and got a better workout than I do in my usual pool swim, but after 3 hours of watching Dad trying to figure out how to photograph the waves without getting pummeled my kids were pretty bored so we took them to El Ranchito for dinner.
Tonight the little waves at Ponto were glassed off and the water was warm. A fun several hours in the water.
More Ponto photos.
The Mavericks Surf Contest 2006 photos are now online. I shot the 2006 running of the Mavericks Surf Contest, held February 7, 2006 at Half Moon Bay, California. The event went off very well, with great organization, beautiful weather and near perfect waves. The Mavericks Surf Contest is about big wave paddle-in surfing, in which contestants are required to paddle in to huge, thick waves under their own power (jetskies are on hand only for safety purposes, no tow-in surfing is allowed during the contest). 24 of the world’s most skilled big wave experts were invited to compete, and surfed four heats, two semifinals and one final from 8am until 2pm. South African Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker, who had a nearly flawless day winning his heat, his semifinal and the finals, was crowned champion and took home $30,000 and a gold watch. Tyler Smith of Santa Cruz took second and Brock Little of Hawaii third. Thousands watched the event from the shore, many scrambling up the cliffs of Pillar Point, while hundreds boated and jetskied out to the break to watch from the water. Mavericks Surf Ventures presented the contest live over the internet on streaming video, and NBC was on hand to capture the contest for broadcast on May 13 at 2pm EST. We selected 71 photos of the contest to place among our stock photos, here are just a few, click any one to see it larger:
I got a few fun photos in South Carlsbad recently, it was glassy and sunny, did not feel like winter:
Here are more from the session.
Big Wednesday : December 21 2005. All of Southern California and Baja gets bombed with good surf, some of the best we’ve seen in 20+ years. Most excellent. I got away for a few hours and saw some guys tackle what is probably an 18 foot La Jolla Cove left. In the photo below, Kyle Blase is on the left, I spoke with him by phone later, he caught five that day and was pretty stoked about it all.
Pipes below Swami’s, noon. It was enormously crowded in the water and on the cliffs, like I have never seen before. I liked the look of the walls to the south of the point, pretty awesome but would be tough to surf without getting throttled:
Oceanside Pier, sunset, spongers getting foamy brown room tubes to the delight of the hundreds lined up just above them, cheering in unison as each guy would get barreled.
Comments from 12/14/2005, about my first Delmar housing: I just purchased a Delmar Surf Housing and it is a lot of fun. Erik Hjermstad makes Delmar housings for still and video cameras. I didn’t know squat about shooting surf and starting asking questions about what gear surf shooters use to photograph in the water. Eventually I came across Erik’s website upon recommendation from one of his customers in Hawaii. When I discovered that his shop is only about 10 miles south of me, in the Del Mar area, it was a nobrainer to go meet him and check out his work. Erik’s an easy-going guy and eager to get people into the water shooting images with his custom housings. For him it’s all about sharing the stoke. His housings are so popular worldwide that he’s got more orders than he can fill, and he’s taking steps to expand his manufacturing. The latest generation of digital cameras, such as the Canon 20D, are perfectly suited for this sort of photography. They have great auto-exposure and auto-focus, are small enough that a camera and housing weigh only a few pounds, offer high enough frame rates to make action photography possible, and they don’t break the bank. Since he creates each housing himself, it is a simple matter for Erik to add custom controls upon request — I had him add a switch to control manual/autofocus on my Canon 10-22 lens. Here are a few photos I shot on the very first time out in the water with Erik’s housing:
These were shot about 2 minutes from where I live, north of the Ponto jetties in South Carlsbad, on a glassy and sunny winter morning. I was pleased, not bad for a beginner. It’s a little project of mine to accumulate nice photos of waves (with perhaps a few shots of surfers thrown in). So as I gather them, they will go here.
The Wedge in Newport Beach is one of the world’s most notorious and exciting bodysurfing spots. Locals in the 70’s and 80’s developed a reputation for getting barreled in the bruising, thick wave while risking being pile-driven onto the sand if they got sucked over. Growing up in Newport in the 60s and 70s, I remember many times sirens would sound down Newport Boulevard as an ambulance raced to the Wedge to attend to some poor soul who had gone over the falls trying to impress his buds or the (quite fine) local girls, crunching bones as he returned to the beach. The old-school still bodysurfs the Wedge by virtue of a local ordinance that forbids any boards in the water between 10am and 5pm. However, these days boards rule the Wedge, working the place with bodyboards and standup. The Wedge is best on a south swell. Incoming waves reflecting off the adjacent jetty combine with the next wave to form a doubled-up triangular mutant mountain wave that pitches over thick and fast in surprisingly shallow water. The result is a big, sucking, foam-filled donut. Don’t get caught inside during a closeout set.
See more photos of the Wedge taken recently.