Our weather has been fantastic the last few weeks. Shit, the last few months have been great for the SF Bay area. So of course when the swell and the talent showed up, we’d get some haze in the air and crappy light for the morning location I had scouted. But after editing the photos and changing most of the surfing shots to black and white, they sort of fit the bill. Mavericks is cold and shitty most of the time. The for horn blows a consistent rhythm that neither ebbs nor floods with the tide. And even when it’s pumping, it’s a hazardous, grind you down, “I don’t give a fuck about you” place. It’s killed people, and will continue to do so as long waterman challenge it. I think there were at least two two-wave hold downs, even as the guys were equipped with on-demand inflatable vests. There’s so much power and water moving out there, the concept is hard to grasp until you see it in action. A pretty good example, if you’re a non-surfer, is to look at the 2nd wave shot. Look at that barrel! That’s a 40ft face pitching out over a shallow reef. Tons and tons of water.
When I quipped on Facebook to Peter Taras, the photo editor at Surfing Magazine about getting me on a boat, he fired back, “Get some photo-journalism stuff before the main event, and I’ll run it.” Cool and ’nuff said. The dock was pensive at O’dark thirty. All the big names of big wave surfing were prepping their gear, selecting boards, slugging coffee, and getting in the zone. No one could see how big it was, but everyone knew the swell was pumping. Just how pumping was the question. Be your own judge.
See you out there.
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