Groundswells, Proximity and Movie Nights by craig levers

This Is Not Today

Last week we had one of the most stacked ground swells I've seen push into the west coast.

It was too big to paddle around these parts, but there would have been places and surfers revelling in the power. It was one of those swells where it could have been crazy good around here but it was just a foot or two too strong. Nevertheless it was amazing to watch and document at the peak of its power. 

Will Bailey  and I teamed up, geeked out and had a Piha Camera Club morning. Will was armed with a Hasselblad and an IQ280 Phase back, I stuck with DSLRs...but regretting not busting out the 617 Pano. 

Goosing and geeking out, watching the Tasman alive with energy is not a shabby way to spend a morning... content, I'm creating content... it is work related right? Truth be told there were images gained that are going to used in the book projects being worked on currently. There was a certain amount of professionalism, amongst the 'Holey shit did you see THAT one spit its guts out!' and 'farrrrk that was definitely rideable' calls.

There were absolutely very very ridable waves. You just had to be able to get to them and then get on them.

Swell lines stacked and dwarfing houses

There were places for sure... ^^^

Dave Wood and Jamie Piggins reckon they had their best step off session on the ski yet.

Proximity  
 

The premier of Taylor Steele's new movie Proximity was on Monday night, didn't hear about it? I'm not surprised, it wasn't pushed much through the local surf network at all. Taylor Steele was in attendance and after the showing held a Q&A session. I have to say it was really good, and great to see the man that created The Momentum generation, that changed the way surf movies were made is still a very grounded, humble person. I fan boyed out, I got to meet him after. Here's the trailer

Is it good? Is it the next Momentum, Slipping Jetsreams or Good Times...no way. It is quite a departure from the formula we all grew up on. Taylor, yeah we're on first name terms [not!] stated during the Q&A that it was an evolution from his last projects. And that makes total sense, if you sat down and omnibused his movies from start to finish you'd see a clear maturing and development of style. I accept that creative forces like Taylor Steele can't keep rolling out the same formula decade after decade.

Proximity isn't really a surf movie, although Steph Gilmore's surfing shines out. But it isn't a documentary either, the narratives that are there are small sound bites alluding to bigger insights, I was left wanting more surfing and more insight. There's quite a few soft focus and water dropped shots; this surprised me. I'm roasting it, I don't mean to roast it. It's a great movie, and you're going to be watching it at some stage. 

 

The Aotearoa Surf Film Festival

 

The ASFF is winding up for this year, the fellas have been on the road showing the selection for the last 3 months. Friday Night is the final showing- the Grand Finale. And what better place than the classic Crystal Palace in Mount Eden. The movie theatre that was THE place to go see new surf movies in the '70's, 80's and 90's. Come join us all. Come see Russell Ord's new Feature One Shot and meet the man himself. It's going to be a fun night. 

Get your tickets HERE

 

From The Galleries

Summer sucked, but Autumn... what an Autumn! Man we got waves. This image is fast becoming the new star on the website. You can check it out larger, LIKE it [pleeeease] and of course buy it by clicking through on the image to it's web page. 

When A Plan Comes Together by craig levers


...or sometimes it just lands on your lap. Who would ever have thought there'd be a PhotoCPL photo of a wave on a New Zealand stamp? Not me! But here we are, it has happened. Pre-orders are now on sale for the first ever New Zealand Surf Breaks stamp issue. It has been so hard keeping hush about this project, it is a big honour.

The collab with NZ Post expanded, it was kind of like, 'Yessss another email from NZ Post- more work!' The job expanded to writing the text and all stamp descriptions, then supplying the extra images for the Presentation Pack.  

There are five stamps in the collection, I got bragging rites with the $1.00 one [which is the most commonly used denomination] Jwan Milek got his Raglan shot on the $2.20. Daisy Day  the $230, Wazza Hawke the $2.70 and ol Sea Lice... Silas Hansen rounded out the set with the $3.30. 

Pre orders have just gone live on the NZ Post website, you can view all the stamps and presentation options HERE



The OLA Giveaway Won!

Wow, best ever comp on Photo CPL ! But still only 120 entires, so every one of those 120 had a real good odds of winning compared to Lotto ... Madi Haydon won. All the new subscribers and existing subscribers that entered the draw were tallied up, that 120 being put into Random.org's random number generator...Madi's number came up! 

From The Galleries

Here is one of the images that NZ Post chose as the background shot. It has actually been a bit of a good undercover seller on the website too. You can check it out larger, LIKE it [pleeeease] and of course buy it by clicking through on the image to it's web page. 

Big OLA Give Away, Big Installations and Big Fails by craig levers

Milky Way Fails 


Over the last few months the PhotoCpl web log and mail has become really surf centric. That's ok, it is that time of the year, and anyway who are we kidding- it's what I love to do! But there's also a huge other side of photography, the beach-scapes and pano's. There's a real passion for panoramic photography, the 1 to 3 ratio of a pano, of shooting in a format that matches most people's peripheral view.

The Fotoman 617 Pano Camera- you sexy beast

The Fotoman 617 Pano Camera- you sexy beast

There's not been much done lately, except for a couple of exciting commercial commissions. They were technically demanding jobs and in a way they kicked in the Pano passion again. I reckon just after a book release, you're in a bit of a creative flux, besides which, it is is the time to present the finished works. The latest book The Big Little Beach Book featured panos taken with the Fotoman heavily like this one...

And it's the Pano work which has landed all the international awards like this one above, again a film shot, taken on Kodak T-Max 100- love that film stock! 

So how do you get proficient at something? Easy, make mistakes. I make lots of mistakes, in fact I make more mistakes than getting it right. To be brutally honest when I start getting it right I get bored and wanna move onto the next thing. I'm thinking this is not a great trait to be writing about in an post huh? But making mistakes and then debriefing and learning from them is good. Here's this week's clanger of a pano...

Yep that there is a WTF moment for sure. How to make a Milky Way digital pano resemble a map of Oz. It should look like this a bit more...

The shooting star is cool, the balance of moon light on the Lion is about right, but to correct the 'Oz map' factor the file had too be pushed waaaay too far. The goal is always to get it right in camera at the time of shooting, any post work is should be minor. Debrief, wait for the next clear sky night for another play. I did like this shot from the same night though...

The Big Install

One of the key reasons for shooting film panos is this right here. MASSIVE installations. The confidence that a client can get an image as big as they dare go. You couldn't shoot this as a digital stitch pano because there are waves moving through the scene. Gareth from Blank Canvas Sign Co and Shane from Upfront Graphics managed this installation for Ola Products- it's a whopping 4.65 metres wide.

And there's that sexy beast 617 camera in place on the session the above pano was taken

And there's that sexy beast 617 camera in place on the session the above pano was taken

The OLA Giveaway

OLA Products are the proud Kiwi distributors of premium products such as Sex Wax, Phix Doctor ding repair kits and the exceptional Otis Eyewear ... glass lenses, not plastic. OLA have given me this $300.00 pack of goodies to give to YOU. 

It's that easy. Non subscribers will have to subscribe HERE to be eligible. Only one entry counts, draw will be done using random.org's randomiser at 5pm 10 May 2017. ... that's next Wednesday.

I'll give you a heads up too, you'd be surprised how few subscribers enter Giveaway Draws- it's $300.00 of essentials you NEED!  

From The Galleries

By Popular Demand.. over 600 people [across social media] liked this image. So keeping instep with that, it is now available via the Wave Gallery.  If you wanna see it larger, or BUY IT, Or LIKE it, just click on the image

Forget Summer, How Good Is Autumn!!! by craig levers

How Good Have The Last Four Weeks Been! 

Seriously. What a run of waves on all coasts. This past week the East has continued to have swell while the West has been consistent too. There's some surfed out school holidayers that is for sure. I stayed home, battling rips, mistiming tides and generally freaking out that I was going to snap the brand new board without actually standing on the deck.

6'1" Jam Model by Hayden Chamberlain ... Need a new board of world class quality, that's made for YOU? Go see Hayden at HC HERE


Surf Photog's Curse was in full effect this week too. What's that? Well it is a very real documented anomaly. The gist of it is, if you have the camera ready, guaranteed it will cloud over, a sea breeze will kick in, or everyone will randomly paddle in. Fact; tripods are actually cloud diviners, set them up and sure enough the only cloud in the sky will zoom over to you. Need rain? Organise a photoshoot. Just ask any veteran Surf Photog about it and you'll see them physically twist and twitch, then mutter, 'we do not talk of such things'.  

There was a little beating of the curse though... 

Love this swim out

Love this swim out

So close to the shoot talked about in the Photo CPL blog HERE

So close to the shoot talked about in the Photo CPL blog HERE

Variation #73... again close, but not quite

Variation #73... again close, but not quite

Molten glass wall

Molten glass wall

Green lit goodness

Green lit goodness

Evening glass off

Evening glass off

You can see the theme huh? 

You can see the theme huh? 

Beautiful autumn evenings and the best place to end the day

Beautiful autumn evenings and the best place to end the day

Didn't better it this week. This freshly framed print is now for sale at The West Coast Gallery, Piha. The archival print is 900mm wide, then matted and in wood box framing so it's about 1300mm wide... fill that big wall. Click on the image for more details. 


ASFF Up The Ante

click on the image to check out the teaser

click on the image to check out the teaser

The Aotearoa Surf Film Festival is hitting new highs this year with the addition of Russell Ord's feature film. The W.A. charger has moved to Auckland, he's married to a Kiwi. He'll be introducing the film as part of the ASFF at the legendary Crystal Palace on May 19th. Book your tickets HERE
 

From The Galleries

Got a cool story to share with you about this pano next week. If you wanna see it larger, or BUY IT, Or LIKE it, just click on the image

The W...no wait... East Coast has been on the Cook by craig levers

Last week was all about what Cyclone Cook did on the west coast, this week we have the eastern froth

The weather savvy will point out that actually the East coast had two different swells this week. Cyclone Cook stirred things up and then as the cyclone abated a new squash zone swell kicked in. It meant the East coast had 8 days on constant waves. There's a lot of happy campers out there.

I didn't chase too much. Happy with the waves the week before. 

Chasing Rainbows

Sneaky, cheeky east coast fun on Wednesday

Still more than reasonable size

Paddle!

Paddle! And the aforementioned chasing of rainbows

The lines kept coming


There were others that did a far better job of chasing Cook

And if you aren't already following them on Insty, each image links though to their pages

Brent scored big time over Easter, he's my partner in crime in the South Seas Book as well as being the creative and graphic designer for all the

Giles is pretty new to Instagram, but he's been shooting hard around Northland for years. He went gnarly over the week, shooting every single day in different spots. He gets the MVP award for most hours put in  

Well, biased beyond belief because Dan's been a good mate for over 25 years. He scored crazy over Easter...day after day, this right only got better and better, he hasn't even posted the gold yet

You're probably already following Jerry, but he scored big time over easter too. He always keeps the gold under wraps until after the next issue of DGZ comes out

More East Swell Next Week, The Naki Is Going Nuts Right Now, West Looks Ok For The Weekend ... Get Out There

From The Galleries

This place was on the hiss over the swells too, clearly this was not from Easter, well not clearly, but it's not. And it does have a rainbow too. If you wanna see it larger, or BUY IT, Or LIKE it, just click on the image

The West Coast has been on the Cook by craig levers

It is a terrible pun of course. With Cyclone Cook bearing down on us today, there will be a lot of damage to properties. Poor Edgecumbe will probably get nailed again. But before Cook touched down with full force, the cyclone provided nearly a full week of clean waves on the west coast. Pun aside the coast has actually been cooking for days. 

Sunday was the day for the chargers. There were corners that held the size, here's a tease of what happened. 

Expectant father James Laery on one of the very very round ones. Any day now James!!!  

If there's a bit of size or roundness you can be assured Nat Barron will be sniffing around

James McAlpine put in the hours, this is one of his smaller ones [didn't get his big ones, I was going over the falls by that time in the session.]

 

In Print

Damaged Goods Zine number 19 has just hit the bookstands. You can get a sneak peak by clicking on the cover above. There's a couple of CPL's in there, it is always stoke to get your images published... by someone other than yourself! These ones were from my best session of the summer, a couple of false starts with sea breezes, a couple of dud runs in the rips a lot of treading water and it would all be done again in a heartbeat.

Outro for the issue is the piece you maybe read a few emails back about Bob's passing. I found a shot in the archive that Mike Spence had made in the early Nineties. It's Bob with Wayne Lowen, I'm pretty sure they are in Bob's garden just opposite his shaping bays. Stoked the fellas at DGZ went for this one. Go buy the mag, enjoy some well crafted reading about our NZ surfing culture and by doing so support the two creatives [Jerry and Skip] that are doing good things.  

From The Galleries

It's Easter! You just be bloody careful on those roads this weekend aye. This image of Graveyards is from Easter 5 years ago, It was a pretty epic long weekend of waves. It was used as the opening spread for the Taranaki chapter of The South Seas book. It was also featured in the English surf mag Carve as a double page spread.  To view it larger just click on the image.

Te Bar by craig levers

Te Piha Bar can be a fickle mistress. Consistently inconsistent and moody. 

It is easy to have a hate hate relationship with her and many do. Me? Well I have a love hate relationship, hate the crowds she attracts whenever there's a couple of sections connecting and it being called All Time Bar. Love the memories and past glories. Personal moments and accomplishments...Seeing Hawaiian Dane Kealoha smash a heavy section, whoa THAT's what power surfing is! Being totally and intentionally dominated by the older locals, as a Grom getting made well aware there is a real pecking order. And then from getting scraps to getting set waves. 

Currently the bank on Te Bar is far from classic. But it has its moments. Even with the remnants of Cyclone Debbie baring down on us, there were good waves out west. 

Local Sam Beere on a pearler

Wouldn't you be stoked to draw some lines on that canvas! 

Pretty sure this is Addison Course in the driver's seat

Pretty sections!

 A good keen man

On the other hand...

A better option than Te Bar?

Options a plenty this week
 

The Col McNeil Memorial Comp 

The 2017 Champ, Mikey Phillips. Photo Norrie Montgomery, check out more of Norrie's work from the day Here

539871_769882853175064_4049803117569938319_n.jpg

Big Bay

As part of the Auction at the prize giving this PhotoCPL image was created by Simon [that's him looking all serious] from Icon Print. Well! The auction raised $4500 for Make A Wish. You bloody legends Maori Bay Boardriders for keeping the comp running, and running so well

From The Galleries

contours.jpg

Another session from Te Bar, a moment definitely sought after, I feel real lucky to have captured what I was after with this one. When water follows land. To view it larger just click HERE

Copious Island Time by craig levers

I love what I do, which is taking photos, still mainly surf related.  Then applying them to uses, whether it is making books, selling the images via the Galleries, working for a contest organiser or the more obvious; direct contracting to a brand. Over the last few years Copious has become one of my best clients, we do a shoot a season. The founding owner of Copious, Cale, is a good mate. We've known each other for 20 years. Sometimes it is hard to figure out which part of the shoot is work and what is play. We make sure the shoots are fun, and because Copious is based in board culture what we are shooting is what we love anyway. 

We have been trying to work a season shoot around the concept of an Island mission, an old school Island day. The walk along the beach, hanging in the dunes between surfs, surfs, the trudge home. Spring didn't work out- alternate shoot, Summer, well we all know how bad summer was for waves... but Autumn...now we are getting east groundswells.. So with a nice wee swell running Saturday was the day. Team riders, Lee Ririnui, Shaun Boucher and Harper Mcbride organised, Phil Josephs very kindly providing the boat. 5am alarm set. 

Here's a visual account of the day, minus the clothing shoots, you'll have to go over to Copious.co.nz to see those. 

From L to R - Shaun, Cale, Lee and Harper pre dawn

From L to R - Shaun, Cale, Lee and Harper pre dawn

Using a speedlite flash and rear shutter sync to create a feeling of movement with Harper

Using a speedlite flash and rear shutter sync to create a feeling of movement with Harper

Same technique with Harper, Lee and Cale

Same technique with Harper, Lee and Cale

Hard to beat that dawn flare, check the boats already anchored up

Hard to beat that dawn flare, check the boats already anchored up

Fun in the sun!

Fun in the sun!

Rueben Woods framed up in pine

Rueben Woods framed up in pine

Harper showing the old boys some spray

Harper showing the old boys some spray

Probably the set wave of the day

Probably the set wave of the day

Lee

Lee

Harper

Harper

Cale showing the lads some rail work

Cale showing the lads some rail work

Lee has spent the last three years at The Raglan Surf Academy; backhand sorted

Lee has spent the last three years at The Raglan Surf Academy; backhand sorted

And forehand looking very much like Uncle Bennett's

And forehand looking very much like Uncle Bennett's

For an old bugger with a rooted back Cale probably shouldn't be putting his board there

For an old bugger with a rooted back Cale probably shouldn't be putting his board there

Not a sequence, just consistently good aye Cale

Not a sequence, just consistently good aye Cale

Terrible way to spend a Saturday working huh? 

Terrible way to spend a Saturday working huh? 

And still the sets pour in

And still the sets pour in

The long trudge home- a Kiwi surfing tradition

The long trudge home- a Kiwi surfing tradition

Check out more about Copious HERE

Check out more about Copious HERE

On The Telly

Just being a complete nerd... and squealling like a little girl- here's 800 Words take 2... The loosely Piha based TV hit airs both here and in Aussie. Last night's episode [season 2, ep 11] featured this scene, and yep that would be the CP print again. The conversation kind of went like this 'Hey we're shooting on location and we love your print on the wall, are you ok with it being in shot?" - 'Farrrk yes I AM! Go for it that would be cool as! '

Just click on the image if you want to see more detail...and of course- purchasing options

This image from another Island session was added to the waves Gallery last year... big things are happening with it, but I can't tell you until June. And yes that happens to be Cale in the foreground. Simply click on the image to view it larger and of course purchasing options 

A Real Deal Roady by craig levers

Back in the early 2000's, when I was the Editorial Director for the surf mag, it was really obvious the mag needed to get back to the roots of surfing. Reflect what Kiwi surfers do in their time off, what they daydream about doing. No prizes for guessing; it was, it still is and will always be road tripping, going on surf adventures with your mates.
I created the Primo Roady regular feature, we got Primo Milk on board as the naming sponsor.  Well, the bloody thing took off, readers loved it, it became a corner stone feature of every issue. The idea was always to keep it pretty loose, but at the very least be a genuine Roady. We'd get letters and emails with readers' own Primo Roadys. I'd have readers come up asking if we were on the Primo Roady. We had made a hit. 

The real deal, and one of my all time favourite Primo Road Trips with Skip James, Ben Young, Eli Smith, Glen and Phil Sheaf. We went trippin' round the East Cape, shot real guns, blasted punk rock and scored great waves in random places. Circa 2006 ish

The real deal, and one of my all time favourite Primo Road Trips with Skip James, Ben Young, Eli Smith, Glen and Phil Sheaf. We went trippin' round the East Cape, shot real guns, blasted punk rock and scored great waves in random places. Circa 2006 ish

The relationship with Primo lasted nearly a decade, that's a staggeringly long champaign in the fickle world of marketing. Somewhere along the way the feature got corrupted and barely paid lip service to the concept of a real deal roady, brands put the pressure on for their team riders to be on board. Highly orchestrated team photoshoots were presented as Roadys. I loathe it, each has their place, but I don't think there's a need to dress one as the other. The readers know, they aren't stupid. 

This Saturday one of my best mates gets married, Luke Darby and I have been mates since 1993. We actually met through working for the surf mag, he was our graphic designer. Oh don't worry, I've warned poor Jane, but she's determined to make the mistake anyway. I'm going to be a groomsman, I'm deeply honoured, actually even typing that out I'm grinning with happiness for the couple. 

The three stooges, the NZ Surf Mag Team 1993; L to R Luke Darby, Editor Chris Berge and some dodgey hair farmer down the back...me

The three stooges, the NZ Surf Mag Team 1993; L to R Luke Darby, Editor Chris Berge and some dodgey hair farmer down the back...me

What did Luke want for his Stag weekend? Get f@cked up and dragged through Auckland's seedier strip bars wearing a kids superman costume ...YESSSSS!!!! 

No. We are all over that crap. Been there, done that , and it was great at the time. We are wiser now [yep older ], Luke just wanted to go on a Primo Roady with his groomsmen. Get good waves, enjoy camp vibes; surf, eat, surf, drink, eat, sleep repeat... so that's what we did. 

Tomas Oki, Matt Sheales, Luke and some dodgey ex hair farmer... posing for the ironic

Tomas Oki, Matt Sheales, Luke and some dodgey ex hair farmer... posing for the ironic

Day One; four hours of this, 3 foot glassy lefts, gracious locals and mellow vibes.. 8 of us out sharing sets. Thank you guys!

Day One; four hours of this, 3 foot glassy lefts, gracious locals and mellow vibes.. 8 of us out sharing sets. Thank you guys!

The nightlife! Shit got crazy, drugs, strippers..running from the bouncers..oh wait... bed by 11 more like

The nightlife! Shit got crazy, drugs, strippers..running from the bouncers..oh wait... bed by 11 more like

The camp set up under the Milky Way

The camp set up under the Milky Way

Luke at the helm, Day two

Luke at the helm, Day two

Best public highway in NZ

Best public highway in NZ

Bluffing it

Bluffing it

Best $2.00 ever spent

Best $2.00 ever spent

Day Two's venue, another four hours of uncrowded fun

Day Two's venue, another four hours of uncrowded fun

All to ourselves

All to ourselves

We got hailed down by a retired couple in a big motorhome. My first thought was we were going to help them change a tire, do the good samavrtain thing- no worries- happy to help. I was wrong, they had just caught 10 5kg+ Snappers, did we want a couple? Are you kidding me! Wow, can this roady get any better?  Kiwi hospitality

We got hailed down by a retired couple in a big motorhome. My first thought was we were going to help them change a tire, do the good samavrtain thing- no worries- happy to help. I was wrong, they had just caught 10 5kg+ Snappers, did we want a couple? Are you kidding me! Wow, can this roady get any better?  Kiwi hospitality

Food comma, stag do participants in bed by 10.15pm on the saturday night

Food comma, stag do participants in bed by 10.15pm on the saturday night

Day Three's venue... the roady just got better

Day Three's venue... the roady just got better

Another few hours of uncrowded riding before hitting the road back to reality

Another few hours of uncrowded riding before hitting the road back to reality

On The Telly

Go on, admit it, you watch 800 Words on Tv One. The loosely Piha based TV hit airs both here and in Aussie. Last night's episode [season 2, ep 9] featured this little scene, and yep that would be a CP print. The conversation kind of went like this 'Hey we're shooting on location and we love your print on the wall, are you ok with it being in shot?" - 'Farrrk yes I AM! Go for it that would be cool as! '

Go on, admit it, you watch 800 Words on Tv One. The loosely Piha based TV hit airs both here and in Aussie. Last night's episode [season 2, ep 9] featured this little scene, and yep that would be a CP print. The conversation kind of went like this 'Hey we're shooting on location and we love your print on the wall, are you ok with it being in shot?" - 'Farrrk yes I AM! Go for it that would be cool as! '

Just click on the image if you want to see more detail...and of course- purchasing options

Just click on the image if you want to see more detail...and of course- purchasing options

Bad, To Good, To Exceptional by craig levers

Us surfers are a fickle bunch. Quite literally our moods will change with the wind. We can go from being grumpy malcontents to the most de-stressed happy chaps in a single surf. This summer the West coast has been terrible for surf. I've posted about this and why HERE . Things have changed. The coast has gone from bad, to ahhhh that's pretty good, to holey shit that's fricken PUMPING! 

It has been heavy, solid waves and full on rips. There has been carnage, on Monday evening Sam 'Sanga' Willis pulled into a barrel on Piha's Bar; sweet...no... He got axed, 6 broken ribs and a punctured lung. A very fast trip to ED, he's currently in Auckland Hospital on his way to recovery. There have been moments of greatness, I think I've had some of my best water photo sessions ever. Here is a sample of what has been going down.

Bevan 'Napes' Wiig has been on it every right tide, he's paid the price though; 2 snapped boards this week

Local Lad Braedyn Louie has had some serious time in the shade this week 

Whanga born'n'bred AJ Matthews pulling on his Bar training

AJ

Foamy beast with a hell of a lot of literage in its lip

Toby Dobson-Smith scratching over

Toby on a drainer

Nick Holmes, charged super hard and probably won the award for the most sea lice bites to boot

One of the most perfect waves I've ever seen

James McAlpine 

Another James, this time it's Mr. Laery 

so, so good this week 

Napes bowling it

Napes weaving hands free 

 

Bob Davie passed away last Tuesday. Aged 75 his passing has rocked the surfing community. The Surfer/Shaper was the first to do large scale production in the 60's and 70's. Allan Byrne, Rod Dahlberg and a host of top shapers were taught their craft by Bob. The term legend is bandied around too loosely, Bob was literally and actually a deadset legend. We've had a long running joke about a board he shaped me, it's a beautiful log, triple stringer, wood tail block, gloss coat. Bob has been horrified that I haven't surfed it- he made the board to be surfed, I can't bare the thought of waxing it. Bob's joke was always 'You ridden that board yet!' first thing he'd say; in fact that's how phone calls would start. Then if other people were around, he'd go for the shock line 'ahhh you're still waiting for me to die so you can put it on Trademe aren't ya!" I'd reply 'hurry up an get on with it', we'd both crack up, knowing Bob was quite chuffed he'd shocked some randoms. And that's our Bob, legend, but not invested in it, a wealth of knowledge, craftsman, prankster, father, grandfather... the man.

Bob Davie passed away last Tuesday. Aged 75 his passing has rocked the surfing community. The Surfer/Shaper was the first to do large scale production in the 60's and 70's. Allan Byrne, Rod Dahlberg and a host of top shapers were taught their craft by Bob. The term legend is bandied around too loosely, Bob was literally and actually a deadset legend.

We've had a long running joke about a board he shaped me, it's a beautiful log, triple stringer, wood tail block, gloss coat. Bob has been horrified that I haven't surfed it- he made the board to be surfed, I can't bare the thought of waxing it. Bob's joke was always 'You ridden that board yet!' first thing he'd say; in fact that's how phone calls would start. Then if other people were around, he'd go for the shock line 'ahhh you're still waiting for me to die so you can put it on Trademe aren't ya!" I'd reply 'hurry up an get on with it', we'd both crack up, knowing Bob was quite chuffed he'd shocked some randoms. And that's our Bob, legend, but not invested in it, a wealth of knowledge, craftsman, prankster, father, grandfather... the man.

The Bar And The Quest To Do Better by craig levers

The Piha Bar had waves this week. It's by no means the best the bank can be, but it's there. There have been moments of glory. There's also been entire South American soccer teams on rental boards going over the falls. 

Whenever the Bar comes alive I get excited, I've been on a mission for years to get the perfect Bar Barrel shot. 

click on the image if you want to see it larger...or even have it on your wall

click on the image if you want to see it larger...or even have it on your wall

This one has come the closest to what I've always visualised as the perfect Bar Barrel shot. It's been the most popular image on the website for sure and a lot of Piha locals have it on their walls; that's a big stoke, they are going- Yeah CP' you've nailed the Bar. The taper of the wave is perfect, you can see the exit. You can tell it's not just a one off peeler, from the white wash line of the preceding wave, this also shows this wave the biggest in the set. It was also shot when the Bar was in vintage form in the Autumn of 2014. But I want better, I know I can.

As a side note, I'm well aware that I owe a lot to The Piha Bar. Even though we all cuss and curse her fickle ways, images of the Bar have always been the most popular on PhotoCPL.co.nz

 click on the image if you want to see it larger...

 click on the image if you want to see it larger...

In 2010 the Bar did this. And the bank stayed around for months. This image took hours to make, hours of waiting, set up with the 617 Panoramic camera. Waiting for the perfect set and low evening light. It wasn't a chore waiting at all, it was fun being in the zone, just waiting for those moments of the elements coming together. This image is still running neck to neck with the Piha Bar Barrel in the popularity stakes. 

Then there is ol' faithful. 

Just click on the image for a better view

Just click on the image for a better view

Shot in 2000, this one's been in magazines, books, used by Quiksilver as a mural, by the ISA as a signature event image and of course adorns the living rooms of quite a few patrons. The Bar was in epic form, the whole beach was in fact. Long lefts off Taitomo Island to in front of the Surf Club connecting with the hollow rights breaking in front of the Lion. The beach was seriously a fun park.... 17 years ago!

So this week was really good, maybe not vintage, but I'm sure there's crew that got classic Bar rides that will be burnt into their memories. Here's some of my shots from the week that was. 

The Keyhole paddle...into the light

The Keyhole paddle...into the light

Bar Perfection? 

Bar Perfection? 

Orr Mate, so close! 

Orr Mate, so close! 

Taylor Louie setting it

Taylor Louie setting it

James Leary cutting it

James Leary cutting it

Close to the elusive perfect shot

Close to the elusive perfect shot

One of the aforementioned Bar locals with the Piha Bar Barrel image on her living room wall; team Te Ahu Boardrider Stephanie

One of the aforementioned Bar locals with the Piha Bar Barrel image on her living room wall; team Te Ahu Boardrider Stephanie

... and meanwhile elsewhere on the west coast .... 

... and meanwhile elsewhere on the west coast .... 

Napes hooking it while Jamie Piggins does the safety boat

Napes hooking it while Jamie Piggins does the safety boat

Nape's rail work on point

Nape's rail work on point

Taylor Louie chucking buckets

Taylor Louie chucking buckets

Over to the north...

Over to the north...

defo not in the happy place!

defo not in the happy place!

Tony Fletcher screaming around the base of a bomb

Tony Fletcher screaming around the base of a bomb

Dave Woods found some good shade this week

Dave Woods found some good shade this week

see... shady Woodsy

see... shady Woodsy

Book It

The Big Little Beach Book features Piha on the cover and in the text. In fact the Piha Bar Barrel image. How could it not. Did you know that every beach in the book featured has a QR code. You can scan the code and it will open up in Google Maps. With every publication there's an attempt to provide an interactive element- go that little bit further. But you knew that 'cos you already have your copy aye? What you don't and you realise you need this book in your life- just click on the images for more info.

On the Coro And Off The Grid by craig levers

Even with this summer being pretty average it's still been about getting on the road and camping. The Cambulance is getting a work out. The latest trip was swell chasing on the east, back to the top of the Coromandel - Waikawau Bay. 

Waikawau Bay hosts one of New Zealand's most idyllic DOC camping grounds. You can stay for as little as $13.00 a night, yep $13.00. The amenities are basic, long drops, cold showers, byo drinking water. But that's all part of the charm. Back to basics, plan ahead, be prepared.

Of course camping in the Cambulance ain't really that basic. Let's be honest, it's pretty much all about the creature comforts. My brother Kent has just gone the same way; camping, but camping in style. This trip was the maiden voyage of his new toys. A new two room inflatable tent and all the fixings; new camp kitchen, sun chairs, USB LED light system. Heaps of cool stuff! 

We got skunked for surf. The whole idea of the four day escape was to go to where the waves would be good. Eat, surf, sleep- repeat. The swell was too straight. Perfect 2-3 foot groomed lines would march in, peak up and then straighten out. Perfect head high closeouts. 

The weather played ball though. Four days of camplife, walks, surfs, swims, photos, food, cards, laughs, lots of laughs. 

Sunset drinks for Lucinda and Ange

Sunset drinks for Lucinda and Ange

Observing the sea change

Observing the sea change

Watching the light show

Watching the light show

Summer tones

Summer tones

Clouds race

Clouds race

Country road...that ironically, the Cambulance is too heavy to travel down; there's a 3000 kg gross weight bridge on it. The Cambo is 4000kg

Country road...that ironically, the Cambulance is too heavy to travel down; there's a 3000 kg gross weight bridge on it. The Cambo is 4000kg

Waitakaruru, home turf for the Levers clan. The community centre and it's ramp roof has always fascinated me

Waitakaruru, home turf for the Levers clan. The community centre and it's ramp roof has always fascinated me

The Aotearoa Surf Film Festival 2017
 

The ASFF is now in it's fith year. It has been an honour and privilege to be one of the founding judges on the screening panel since 2012.  We have to watch A LOT of crap, some years over 40 hours of it. But in amongst the rubbish there's always the lil nuggets. Those short or feature films that amp you to get wet, to travel, to be aware of your footprint.  

This year's selection is nice and tight. The roadshow dates are locked in. Here's the shedule

Gisborne - Dome Cinema

Sat, Mar 4, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Napier - Globe Theatrette

Mon, Mar 6, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Raglan - Old School Arts Centre

Thu, Mar 9, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Wellington - Lighthouse Cuba

Thu, Mar 9, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Whitianga - Monkey House Theatre

Fri, Mar 10, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

New Plymouth - 4th Wall Theatre

Sat, Mar 11, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Takapuna - Free Outdoor Screening

Sat, Mar 18, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Christchurch - The Gym, Christchurch Arts Centre

Thu, Mar 23, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Mount Maunganui - Free Outdoor Screening

Sat, Mar 25, 2017 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Nelson - NMIT

Sat, Apr 8, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Whangarei - Butter Factory

Thu, May 4, 2017 6:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Auckland - Crystal Palace - Grand Finale

Fri, May 5, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

You can book tickets straight from The ASFF website HERE

Book It

The Big Little Beach Book features Waikawau Bay. How could it not. Did you know that every beach in the book featured has a QR code. You can scan the code and it will open up in Google Maps. With every publication there's an attempt to provide an interactive element- go that little bit further. But you knew that 'cos you already have your copy aye? What you don't and you realise you need this book in your life- just click on the images for more info. 

At Logger Heads with the Bowl Jammed by craig levers

It was  a wonderful Waitangi Weekend of opposites. Diverse fun in the sun covering two board sports at opposing ends of the spectrum. 

The events' soundtracks pretty much sum up the polarities. The Logger Heads Longboard comp on Saturday had a gentle mix of easy listening ranging from '80's, Hall n' Oats style to current day Kiwi Reggae. Sunday, at the Mangawhai Bowl Jam, was all hardcore. From the '80's too; Black Flag, Minor Threat... then pretty much the Tony Hawk 2 soundtrack, through to Lamb Of God. Sunday's was my favourite. 

I'm in struggle street trying to write anything massively insightful about either event. Both grass roots events were very very good. Both delivered good vibes and excitement. So rather than continue down struggle street any further here's an edit of the images.  

The Logger Heads 2017... not even all of them either

Perfect log waves on the Bar first thing 

Eventual open winner, Sydney-sider Kai Ellice-Flint was leading from the start

Rock baking the judges and photogs

Trent Lillis contemplating how to get out the back 

The aforementioned, after dealing with the treacherous shore pound, well and truly over the nose

Moon Bob was styling as ever making both the final of the open and dunger division

Nicky Wellington surfs better than you. She won

Orewa Boardriders stalwart Mark Hoyle trimmed some bombs- now there's a caption that wouldn't make sense out of surfing 

The best image of Saturday? Cody Mant in the Juniors - his dad Paul watching on. Cody took this photo to school on Tuesday for show and tell

Kai matching Trent on the front foot 

A cleverer caption writer would figure out how to string jammed packed and Bowl together here

yep, that would be 8 year old Liam Hayes schooling us all

At the other end of the spectrum, Uncle Mozza quick plant... actually an actual living legend

The Mangawhai bowl creator Jason Parkes... as in, the man who designed and constructed the beast

Christchurch's Dan Kelcher rocking '80's stez all the way to third

Dan... Daune...'80's ...US Bombs.. crazy

Taupo's Bowman Hansen returned from Melbourne to regain his 2015 title

Bowman...

Squeak in the masters

Defending champ Shaun Boucher was hot on Bowman's heels in the Open. He didn't back up his 2016 win, but he did take out the biggest air with an 8ft+ method

Soul Kropelnicki won the juniors

Josh Wilson

Always the crowd favourite, Mikey Bancroft styling ridiculously smoothly as ever

Welly street skating legend Dallis Marshall

The ol boys; Ramon Thackwell, Morri and Steve Crump

Bowman back for the win

I'd like to thank Tony Baker, the organiser of the Logger Heads, and Jesse Peters, the organiser of the Mangawhai Bowl Jam for having me on the team as the events' photog. These guys spend countless hours behind the scenes grappling with council, wrangling slack surfers and skaters, trying to even find oil for a thread bourne rag so there's a sniff. They grind it out for months so we are entertained for a day. Youse fellas did bang up jobs.    

From The Galleries

It's the Mangawhai post! Have a closer look, how big do you reckon- 3- 4 -5?

It's the Mangawhai post! Have a closer look, how big do you reckon- 3- 4 -5?

The Death Of Surfing by craig levers

Surfing Magazine is dead. It's a big one, the biggest one to date. Started just four years after Surfer magazine in 1964, the two titles went head to head for decades. There were often fierce and vindictive battles. In the 70's and 80's staff members of the opposing titles would actively sabotage each other, these acts became folklore amongst surf journo’s.

Surfer would self proclaim itself as the Bible of surf, deadly serious and verbose stuff. Surfing Magazine set its sights more on the youth, its tone lighter and less earnest. As a Kiwi grommet of the 80's I lapped up both when I could find them. Tracks and Surfing World ruled the roost in the Antipodes though. Tracks was brilliantly irreverent, while being informative and current. Surfing World was pure surf photo porn.

In 1999 this sequence of Kerin Perrow at Backdoor Pipe was used in an advert in Surfing by T&C- I was stoked, straight after it T&C also ran A full page advert of Jason Shibata boosting a backhand air at Rocky Lefts. The original transparency was sadly lost- But I was stoked to get some shots, even if it was in adverts in Surfing. The spread above is out of the book PhotoCPL

In 1999 this sequence of Kerin Perrow at Backdoor Pipe was used in an advert in Surfing by T&C- I was stoked, straight after it T&C also ran A full page advert of Jason Shibata boosting a backhand air at Rocky Lefts. The original transparency was sadly lost- But I was stoked to get some shots, even if it was in adverts in Surfing. The spread above is out of the book PhotoCPL

There's an irony to lamenting the death of Surfing via an email and  blog. The general catch cry is that the interweb slowly strangled the life out of it. It could be argued Surfing's death warrant was signed years before.  Both Surfer and Surfing have been owned by the same publisher for the last two decades. Eventually one would have to go. 

The official line is that Surfing will be fallowed into Surfer. The staff blended in. But the contributing photographers and writers will be the ones that lose out. Yet another outlet for their creative endeavours has closed. 

There is a general gnashing of teeth and calls of more evidence of death of surf print media. I'm not sure I agree. Yes, the interweb has changed how we source our stoke. Yes, we garner surf information in different, more immediate formats. And yes, most sadly, an unfortunate side effect of the interweb is that an opinion is presented as fact. Stories are not robustly back checked. We are fed press releases as though they are creditably sourced news. Most of the surf websites suffer some pretty shitty and shoddy writing masquerading as actual journalism.

In 2003 this shot of Mikey Phillips also graced the editorial pages of Surfing magazine, again the stoke of seeing your work in an institution was never lost. Naturally it had to run in the PhotoCPL Book too

In 2003 this shot of Mikey Phillips also graced the editorial pages of Surfing magazine, again the stoke of seeing your work in an institution was never lost. Naturally it had to run in the PhotoCPL Book too

It's easy to forget that in the late 90's and early 00's there was a massive explosion of surf magazine titles. And with that there was a corresponding bloom of would-be surf journo's and photogs. Perhaps what Surfing's demise reflects is more a consolidation of surf print media. Not another nail in print's coffin. 

There's another thing that doesn't fit the 'interweb is killing surf print' argument. SURF BOOKS. Now before you scoff, and go, 'Ha! Saw that one coming. Bloody Ceepee pushing his own barrow aye!' I'm not, well maybe I am. But it's substantiated. The absolute fact is that never before have there been more surf books created annually. More biographies, more coffee table books. Surf print isn't dying, it's just moving with the demands of the surf culture. 


We, hopefully, will see Surf websites grow up and become conveyers of both opinion and creditably researched fact. We'll see surf magazines survive. The ones that go a bit deeper and celebrate the exponents and diversity of surf culture. And we'll definitely see more big, beautiful surf books published.  

There has indeed been a big death in the family. A senior member, an elder. But to be fair, it has been a long time coming, we had been preparing for years. But fore knowing doesn't make the departure of a dear old friend any the less painful. Farewell old stoke bringer.

From The Galleries

Ohhhh the kind of antipodean curves the old photo editors of Surfing would froth over. Just click on the image to see it larger...and purchasing options of course!  

 

Summer, What Summer? by craig levers

Lots of this going on... 2017 Champ Ella Williams finding a reform in turbulent, junky westie conditions

Lots of this going on... 2017 Champ Ella Williams finding a reform in turbulent, junky westie conditions

For 'Summer' so far, this has been the primary starter of conversations amongst my mates. While the general population do talk about the weather, Surfers TALK about the weather. We have to know a lot about patterns and weather systems, our source of enjoyment and wellbeing stems from wind and swell aka- WEATHER. 

And this Summer has been exceptionally crap. 

Here's what NIWA say:

Overview

The tropical Pacific continues to exhibit mainly ENSO-neutral conditions. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the central Equatorial Pacific Ocean remain marginally below average. In the sub-surface ocean, the pockets of cooler than average temperatures that were present in November 2016 have contracted and warmed. Thus, it appears that any La Niña-like oceanic signal has peaked and is subsiding back toward neutral.

The atmospheric setup is mixed as stronger easterly trade winds in the central Pacific along with enhanced convection over parts of the Maritime Continent are consistent with La Niña conditions. The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is weakly positive and is consistent with ENSO-neutral conditions. 

International guidance now strongly favours ENSO-neutral conditions (77% chance) over the next three month period (January - March 2017). By March-May 2017, the chance for neutral conditions rises to 87% with a meagre 8% chance for El Niño conditions and 5% chance for La Niña conditions. In summary, ENSO-neutral conditions are likely over the next 3-month period and should continue into autumn.

What does that even mean?

Well, the scary thing, as a surfer, I understood those three paragraphs perfectly. In non-surfing terms it means more of what we have had this last month. More blustery westerlies, more changeable days and more no surf days. We're less likely to get low pressure systems out of the Pacific that create east coast swell as well. To be honest, when I started researching this week's blog I thought I was going to be writing about an eminent change, a late summer about to bloom. Time to move to Gizzy fellas!   

We had one day, the only day of Offshores so far this summer, last Saturday. I went for a swim with the camera...  
 

The wet side of the Keyhole

The wet side of the Keyhole

The Dentist's Chair was putting on a great show

The Dentist's Chair was putting on a great show

Piha Bar showing some form! 

Piha Bar showing some form! 

Even better

Even better

...even betterer...

...even betterer...

Mischa Davis, 2017 National Longboard Champion, on her Hughsie retro shorty

Mischa Davis, 2017 National Longboard Champion, on her Hughsie retro shorty

Former gut sliding champ, now stand up surfer Adrian Bray, having a relapse...ENSO-neutral will do that to you

Former gut sliding champ, now stand up surfer Adrian Bray, having a relapse...ENSO-neutral will do that to you

More bush walks and mini photo missions for this fella. But I have to admit despite the less than even average outlook on the local surf front I'm liking the idea of going to Gizzy or even further afield in search of clean walls to surf. And the weather is always subject to change.  

This week's very mini mission around the Mercer Loop to make a pano stitch from Auckland's highest sea cliffs 

This week's very mini mission around the Mercer Loop to make a pano stitch from Auckland's highest sea cliffs 

From The Galleries

This will be a good place to be over the next few months; Castle Point, Wairarapa. This image was used as a feature spread in The Big Little Beach Book. Click on the image to see it larger...and of course purchasing options :)

The Nationals 2017 Done and Dusted by craig levers

The 2017 Nationals are done and dusted with a 30 year old record finally broken....or is it? 

Records inherently are made to be broken. For the surfers following the record makers they become goals, goals to better. From 1966 to 1970 Takapuna's Wayne Parkes dominated the NZ surfing scene winning 5 consecutive Open National Titles. In the mid '80's Christchurch's Iain 'Ratso' Buchanan matched Parksey's domination with 5 Open Titles. Maz Quinn has long chased the record with 4 Open Titles, but the magic 5 has thus far eluded him [I write thus far, because I don't want to believe Mazzy can stay retired.] 

Billy on his way to breaking records

In 2016 Raglan's Billy Stairmand matched the magic 5, and this year, yesterday he went one better claiming his 6th Open Title. It's taken 30 years for it to happen, but I suspect Ratso and Parksey could be chortling to themselves in private "yeah Billy, but you didn't get them consecutively."  The 2017 Title for Billy means 4 on the trot, he needs to win 2018 to match Parkey's and Ratso's 5 in a row.

Of course this is verging on quibbling and the stuff of Tall Poppies. The fact remains that over the last 8 years Billy has dominated the Nationals, he's been in the final bracket every time with Jay Quinn, Maz's younger brother and a 3x Open Champ himself, being Billy's [and Maz's] spoiler. It's fricken great stuff; high drama on the high seas! 

Ratso was on the beach to watch the final yesterday, he was one of the first to congratulate Billy as he was washed in after the last heat of the day. 'Nah, I'm not sad at all, I'm totally stoked for Billy, it's an awesome achievement. He totally showed his world class on that opening wave and the 9.53 he got for it' states Ratso. And whom more qualified to identify Billy's world class performance, Ratso has been the WSL's Championship Tour priority judge for 3 years and has been the WSL Europe Regional Head Judge since 2005.

I'm biased, unashamedly so, for half of Billy's titles he's stayed at my home. The gorgeous Ange and I have the Lucky House, we have the title wins to prove it. Billy's other titles were won in Gizzy and Dunedin. We love opening up the house to friends for the Nats, our little 2 beddy bulging at the seams for the week. The record year was 2004 with a revolving cast of 14... that was probably too many, but you know, you gotta find the limit right?

Bit of Supa-Glue and she'll be right mate! The Open Cup Trophy is a story in itself. The traditions around it, the things it has seen. For the record it takes 18 stubbies to fill it up, the tradition is that the Champ fills it and drinks about half then it's passed around to fellow competitors and friends as a way of sharing the victory. In 1998 Chrissy Malone won the title up at the Bluff, 90 Mile Beach. That night at Collards Tavern he did his duty filling the Cup and sharing it around. Chrissy then carefully stashed the Cup behind a speaker stack. The band came on, the mosh pit started, the speaker stack was pushed over pancaking the Cup. Chrissy paid for the Cup to be repaired, but it's never quite had the rigidity of its former self. Running repairs have become the  rule of thumb. It has self destructed a couple of times at presso's quite spectacularly. Here Billy 'welds' the handle on the day before it gets handed back to him. [When it did he was sure to grab it from the base]  

It has been a terrible week for waves but a great week of connecting and hanging out with the tribe. A weird week too. The Nats at MY beach and I'm not the contracted shooter? My already discounted rate to SNZ was undercut. I love the discipline of being on the sand shooting most heats, documenting new talent coming through, witnessing old rivals tough it out, the cut and chase of delivering pertinent daily material. And then I saw the weather forecast .... hmmm maybe not having to be beachside this whole week is a good thing. Turns out it was actually better being a free agent- this time anyway. The eyes were picked out of the few times that there was nearly good surf.

Here's some lateral images from the last half of the week that was- 

Wrong place at the wrong time! JC Susan definitely got a dud call on where to jump out, he kept his cool, while he got a rinsing of epic proportions he wasn't washed off the rocks.

Dan Kereopa's SUP Final didn't go well, but he still got a 2nd. His board was guillotined by an 8 foot double up out the back. He swam the 2 halves in, against the rip, but lost valuable time and energy. As he rightly commented later, it was lucky that it happened to him not someone else as he was confident in the situation

A couple of heats later Dune Kennings suffered a nose snap too. Reckon he got underscored on this wave because of the degree of difficulty 

Now there's a familiar free fall float, Dune's uncle Ben Kennings walking the talk. BK is of course the driving force behind SNZ, Conest Organiser, Director, Media Liaison Officer and general go to. He very literally is The Man. 

Keeping in the walking the talk theme, meet your SNZ president Chris Fougere battling it out in the Over 35 division final

Speaking of the plus 35ers and the Cup- here's Chrissy Malone clenching two more division wins; the Over 28's and 35's. Both off of his arch rival Jarrod Hancock

Mr J-Rod, 2nd in two divisions and denying us one [or two] of his legendary victory speeches ...but that is a story for another time

YES Marky Marc! Former T&C salesman, DJ and of course Stolen Girlfriends Club Co-founder finally got the monkey off his back and won. Marc Moore- your 2017 40+ Champ

The woman to beat, and she wasn't. Defending Open Champ Ella Williams dominated the field with her class act

Groms like Gabby Samson are right on Ella's tail

The Nats hold massive mana in NZ Surfing, a reason for that is the people that support the event, that have chosen to document the annual meeting of the tribe. New Brighton's Warren Hawke is a photographer who has been doing it since the 1970's... he attended his first Nationals in 1968. And here he is 2017 and loving it. Wazza was part of the crew at the Lucky House this week, he kept us enthralled with tales from the past and plans for the future. He sure ain't resting on his laurels. Waz is deeply involved in organising The Duke Festival Of Surfing... dunno what that is... click here  After contributing to Surf Mags for 5 decades, he's authored one book so far ; NZ Surf- Captured By A Surf Lens is a must have for any Kiwi Surfer. The link to that book is HERE  But it's just the start of this creative's output. 

Here's my not so Grom to Watch call from the week that was. Clearly carrying the family mantle for clinical heat surfing and savvy strategy Taylor Hutchison... just like his old boy Geoff. The young Raglan surfer made his way convincingly through the Open heats surfing confidently and shrewdly... watch out old boys- this grom is out for scalps. 

Loyalties are always torn during the Nats, and here's a big tear, my boy, my man Elliot Paerata Reid. The 20 year old stormed his way into the Open Final pretty much stamping his local authority on the comp with ultra high heat scores and combo's for fellow competitors...ahhhh I want my flatmate Billy to win....but how sick would it be if Elliot gets his first Open title at home, on the day of his 21st party...TORN, torn I tell ya. He played to go big or go home game opting to charge the huge outside Bar sets. The big gamble didn't pay off, instead he got lost at sea. In epic, and maybe foolish, sportsmanship EPR had bounced back even at the presso, he invited EVERYBODY to his 21st party. I bailed after the heart warming speeches and heart racing Haka, but from all accounts things got rightly messy.   
 

From The Galleries

This was a summer not that long ago, maaaaaan if only we had waves like this for the Nats last week. Click on the image to see it larger...and for buying options of course :)  

The Nationals So Far So... by craig levers

Hordes of surfing families and competitive surfers have once again descended on Piha for the Nationals. 

And it's a great thing. The motor camp is full with tents and motorhomes, the local businesses are humming with the extra influx. At its best, the Nationals is a showcase of NZ surfing talent, it's a meeting of the national surfing tribe. Friendships and networks are made and reinforced. There have always been the nay sayers and the haters, but there's always a negative to something that is largely a positive thing. 

The waves and weather have not played ball. Grey days of persistent onshore winds, crumbling junky swell. But in amongst the grey junk there have been pockets of goodness. Here's a little gallery for you from the week that has been so far... mostly free surfing around the actual contest.

Keone Campbell gouging

Gremmie tearing

Lookout open surfers, Josef Jungwirth is on his way

Dunedin's Elliott Brown has been a standout

Keone Campbell committing 

Sean Peggs speedlining 

Peggsy take 2

JC Susan looking the buso for the Open 

Elliott Paerata Reid combo'ed his fellow competitors in his Open heat

The locals did a fair job of representing 

Tiarua's Mr Peggs freeing fins 

Billy Stairmand showing why he's the defending Champ

Phil 'Bong' Griffin  with his trademark yellow board and paddling gloves

Fran Kora, joined the ramble for a evening free surf

Flyboy Callum Chautter 

Billy waaaay up the beach

EPR this morning 

Chch's Harrison Whiteside lofting high

EPR dealing with the morning's crumble

The contest is down to it's two final days. We'll be seeing a huge jump in the swell, not in the good way and the onshore winds will strengthen. It's going to be war at sea for the finalists. Stay posted for Sunday's post. 

From The Galleries

Yeah, this sure ain't going to be the view any of the competitors in this years Nats are going to get this week. Click on the image to see it larger...and for buying options of course :) 

Yeah, this sure ain't going to be the view any of the competitors in this years Nats are going to get this week. Click on the image to see it larger...and for buying options of course :) 

Day One by craig levers

The Surfing Nationals are back at Piha this year, in fact this very week. I'm not the official photographer this time, so it has freed me up to shoot the surfing around the heats. To maybe, hopefully, shoot the sessions the surfers actually want to go out in, not have to go out in. Last night, despite the onshore conditions a sweet little session went done. Here's a cheeky sample of last night's fun.... 

Billy Stairmand the defending champ

Billy Stairmand the defending champ

Ella Williams in the big Tasman

Ella Williams in the big Tasman

Grommie freeing his fins 

Grommie freeing his fins 

Grommet on the charge

Grommet on the charge

My flatmates for the week sharing meals and waves... Billy Stairmand and Sean Peggs

My flatmates for the week sharing meals and waves... Billy Stairmand and Sean Peggs

Peggsy, getting one away from Billy

Peggsy, getting one away from Billy

Keone Campbell on the tear  

Keone Campbell on the tear  

happy chaps

happy chaps

smashing the corner pocket

smashing the corner pocket

Keone in classic form

Keone in classic form

Peggsy 

Peggsy 

The Correct Foot Forward by craig levers

In this case that would be the left one. Over the weekend a beautifully wrapped lil' A5 parcel was sitting in my post box. It was Ant Green's new book Left Foot Forward.

The 66 page book is self published by Ant [plus cover- a pet peeve; when people include covers as text page count] and it's a mere $15.00. All profits are donated to Sustainable Coastlines - reason enough to order the book. Regardless of where the profits end up, the book is a visual feast. The limited edition, I've got number 106 of 150, celebrates Ant and his brother Matthew's journey earlier this year through South East Asia. The images are beautiful. Thoughtful compositions that nicely veer away from on-trend photographic styles. I'm not sure how to put it but for want of a better word there's a photographic maturity in Ant's style. 

I could bang on about the insightful passages of text crafted by Ant's fellow travellers, the clever non lineal use of the images, but the acid test is always; Does the book give you itchy feet to venture East? F$CK YES!!! 

Check Out more of Ant's work on his website HERE and on
Instagram HERE

 

...And The PhotoCPL Corporation... 


It is that crunch time of the year for anyone retailing any type of product, and being a one man band, cracks are sure starting to show! This very E-Bomb has been the primary victim, 2 weekly deadlines missed. Missed because of good stuff; big, long, exciting commercial photoshoots in exotic locales with bugger all inter web. And then back to packing orders. It has been a rush. 

Product splayed at Raglan Surf Co... stolen from the gram

Product splayed at Raglan Surf Co... stolen from the gram

The Big Little Beach Book has sold through 66% of the print run in it's first 3 months of publication, thank you fellas. 

New Release

This panorama has been added to the Beaches Gallery. It was made just this last Saturday evening. A lot of thought, trail and error have gone into this one. Waiting for the Pohutukawa blooms to be just right, balancing the sun against the blooms in shadow... oh yes there was a lot of complex internal conundrums... and then nature just did what she wanted anyway. Check it out bigger by just clicking on the image.

Cleaning House by craig levers

I'm going to apologise in advance if this week's post is a bit ho-hum for some of you. There's a couple of reasons I'm posting what I'm posting. 

#1. There's no surf, I just haven't been able to get to where there could, would be waves to shoot- and it stings.

# 2. There's a real awareness that the image galleries on PhotoCPL.co.nz aren't the greatest to navigate. They are great 'cos the images can be seen pretty large, the trade off is there's no slide show ability. There's a plan in place to fix this. But it's a real ongoing issue, naturally photographers want to share their work and showcase it in a way that at least hints at the quality. The problem is no one wants to try a view a 1 gigabyte photo on the inter web  [there goes your data plan]. 


So here's a little work around for your viewing pleasure, over a 160 images across the four Galleries in under four minutes. 

This is the Beaches Gallery on PhotoCPL.co.nz which is

This is the Waves and Line-Up Gallery which you can view HERE

This is the Americana Gallery which you can also view 

And this is the Elements Gallery which you can is online at PhotoCPL HERE

Other Exposures

Here's the latest Copious A0 summer poster, that's going into Backdoor and Northbeach stores around the country now, and that would be one happy Shaun Boucher holding out the poster. Shaun is the subject matter of the poster and he's on fire this year, winning every ramp and bowl jam nationwide. Last weekend he took out the annual ALC Ramp Jam in the Naki. Here's the full sequence of the ridiculous drop. It was part of the Copious summer campaign I shot last month- love those gigs!!! 

Check out more from Copious [and spot the Cp shots :) ] HERE

The Big Little Beach Book

Distribution is trucking along for the book. Shops are starting to place re-orders! Can't be bothered finding it??? Well the inter web shop is open all day every day HERE