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.