Published November 30, 2013
photography , Surf
Tags: Los Angeles, topanga, van life
This isn’t the Los Angeles I signed up for, but I’m not complaining. I was heavier than usual following Thanksgiving with the in-laws as we drove across the Valley through the canyon ending up at a perfectly mellow right point break.
It sprinkled on and off throughout the morning, but a steady rain began to fall as I put my wetsuit on. We parked in the lot. It cost $8. All the locals park along the Pacific Coast Highway and pay nothing. You surf and you learn.
Two guys my parents age smoked pot inside their red van, which had multiple “FTW” stickers along its side. They were waiting out the rain before they could give the surf a proper check. In Los Angeles this can often times mean smoking 2 cigarettes in a pair of Uggs while the perfectly formed little waves continue to break while you finish smoking 2 cigarettes.
Point breaks are the best and the worst. There’s no real paddle out, but the crowd just hangs in one spot.
The crowd that day was great. Fat dudes with earnings on longboards and decent hipsters with long hair and mustaches who more than likely have blogs and spend their time drinking IPA or Mexican beer as they blog about surf related things.
I hung on the edge and caught the smaller waves inside before gradually drifting my way into the pack. It would have been better without my kelp harvesting leash on. The kelp cost me 3 waves that day, but it’s better than losing my board and it hitting a fat dude with earnings who would yell at me for bringing such reckless abandon to his mellow beach. And he’d be right, of course.
♪ ♫ You take your car to work, I’ll take my board ♪ ♫
Published November 18, 2013
photography , san francisco , Surf
Tags: ryan struck
Ryan Struck is a surf photographer based in New Jersey. I’m not exactly sure when I was first introduced to his work, but having grown up surfing in New York I dug the fact that his photography tends to put a spotlight on east coast surfing. Although his shots of the water are my favorite, his portfolio is much more than just surfing. Struck was recently out on the west coast and spent some time in San Francisco. Luckily for us, he had his camera with him.
Below are just a few of the photos from his visit to San Francisco. You can see the entire shoot on his blog or check out his full portfolio of work over at Ryan Struck Photography.
[Photo: Ryan Struck]
[Photo: Ryan Struck]
[Photo: Ryan Struck]
I took this photo in Montauk last weekend. Summertime establishments photographed during the offseason make for a cool shot. This snack shack has likely only been closed for a several weeks, although cloud cover and a photo filter do a good enough job making it feel colder than the 75 °F if was on that day. Also, “Beach Snacks” is a great name for a band or DJ.
Here are a few disposable camera photographs from a knee-high session in Maui. We rented a beat up longboard from a surf lesson truck in the parking lot and took turns riding waves. It was Ciji’s first time really surfing.
On a Saturday in July I drove down to Santa Barbara with my wife. She was attending a wedding shower and I was along for the ride. We had one packed bag for an overnight stay with friends, a 5-foot surfboard, wetsuit, and a handplane. We stopped at a lovely little Mexican bakery on the way down CA-101 and loaded up on sugary bread and watered down coffee. Our car pulled in to Santa Barbara early in the afternoon. We met up with friends, bought a disposable camera and made some memories.
There is something nice about the quality of photos developed from a disposable. They achieve the filters we desire so much on our digital photos just by doing nothing. But most importantly they provide us with the highly unusual feeling of delayed gratification as we wait to see if the photo was in deed a good one or if we had placed our finger over the lens while shooting (although I’ll argue that the finger in front of the lens produce more raw of a photo..)
Anyway, here are some moments captured with a disposable in Santa Barbara, California:
Can a photo make a surf spot look better then it really is?
Ever since my brother moved to San Francisco I’ve wanted to surf Fort Point. With the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop, every picture looks unreal to me. You’ve got a wave that breaks in the bay, essentially, and hoards of tourists gathering around along the parking lot and above you on the bridge looking down. It makes me wish that Fort Point would break during every trip I made out west…
Doug has surfed Fort Point and tells me it’s not really worth it. It can be a pain to get out, when it’s good it’s crowded (duh), and the crowd isn’t necessarily all that friendly. He also says it only really breaks when there’s a huge swell pounding the coast.
I’ve seen it break once, and it was waste high with what looked like one of the easiest paddle outs. The photos and the spot both seem good and worth it to me.
This photo was taken from the middle seat of a northbound plane somewhere over San Diego and the Pacific Ocean.