Factory Seconds / by craig levers

The Out Takes 


In the latest issue of Damaged Goods the lead feature is a piece the fellas asked me to write about the 1990's. You can read more about that issue and the making of the feature HERE .

It has been out a month now, so I'm going to share some of the out-takes. The shots that made the edit selection but in the end didn't quite make the cut.  


First up is Timmy Curran in 1996. This image was the first alternate in the cut. It was shot in the Valley during a free surf around the Billabong Raglan WQS. It's hard to convey just how big the 3 Raglan Billabong WQS's were in the mid 90's. They were perfectly timed into a gap in the WQS schedule, just after the Aussie leg. There was a massive influx of international surfers. Surfing in NZ was going through a massive spike in popularity so the combination meant Raglan was packed with spectators. 

Me ol' partner in crime Chris 'Budge' Berge on the tools for the '95 final of the Billabong Coca-Cola Raglan WQS 

Me ol' partner in crime Chris 'Budge' Berge on the tools for the '95 final of the Billabong Coca-Cola Raglan WQS 

Tim Curren had just featured in Taylor Steele's 1995 release Focus. The goofy footer opened the video landing a crazy 360 air. Sponsored by Quiksilver he was toted as the next threat to Kelly Slater's crown. He was the surfer everyone wanted images of. 

I'm flopping around in the Valley with my alloy housing with the Canon Eos 5 camera,  a 28mm lens with 36 frames of Velvia loaded. I'm working with Shane Herring trying to get some snaps, but then out of nowhere Tim does this. At the time I didn't even know he was in the water and it happened so fast I wasn't sure who I'd just shot. I wouldn't know for a week  until all the rolls of film got processed. The sequence got used as a DPS in the preceeding issue of NZ Surf Mag. Quikky expressed interest in using it internationally which at the time stoked me out. I was only a couple of seasons into shooting from the water. 

So thank you Tim for throwing up a nice flare on your wave in that crispy autumn morning in 1996. You made my swim. 


This is a bit of a controversial one to post 'cos I don't know if Larry Fisher will be that stoked on it resurfacing. But it's posted with love and warm memories of great times. In 1994 Daggy Dance parties were the norm. The idea was that everyone wore the daggiest shit they could find. It was a cool way of lightening up the scene. During the 90's Piha had a very happening surf scene. Rent was cheap, cars and petrol were cheap so heaps of surfing students opted to live out at the beach. Added to that a lot of NZ top surfers of the era were also living at Piha. 

This daggy party was at Larry and his wife to be Donna's flat, just above Pendrel Road. It ended up being quite the party house for a year or two. In this shot there's Larry resplendent in his green get up- just owning it. Behind him is Nat Barron and Brent 'Dinky' Parkinson rocking his fur coat. The blonde is Donna, to the left rocking the grey trackys and Hawaiian shirt is Carla Michel. Far left is Charlie Chase with his iconic oriential/hawaiian shirt. 

This was shot on my beloved Olympus MJU II compact. Every photojournalist carried a Mju at that time, the small camera had an epically sharp 35mm glass lens. It allowed you take casual, more natural shots because you weren't putting a big SLR in someone's face. I guess an iphone does the same job now huh.


Cyco-Mike in full Suicidal mode. And here I'm pushing the shit out of what the Olympus Mju could do. In 1996 Suicidal Tendencies played the Powerstation in Auckland. The Sui's are one of my all time favourite bands, added to this my favourite NZ band Muckhole [as featured in the pages of DGZ] were opening for the Sui's an absolute match made in heaven as far as I was concerned. But wait there's more! Sean O'Brien, the lead singer of Muckhole got a bunch of us backstage for the entire concert. We were actually allowed onstage, so I shot a roll of black'n'white side stage of both bands. We were all so excited to be backstage I think we all tucked into Muckhole's rider a bit too much. I know it must have been fun, but I don't remember too much. Got the shot though! 


Take your sunnies off!  In 1997 there was a short lived TV channel called Max TV, Ella Willis [in the red Fox cap] was one of the presenters. Being a surfer and coming from the Willis surfing whanau, she was pretty good at pushing a surfing agenda with the Max TV producers. So we would team up to go on surf/photoshoots together. But the shithouse thing was every damn trip we got skunked for waves.

This one was with the Billabong A team of the time, from left to right there's Kelly Lovelock, Scott Casey, Jos Kennings, Ella, Ben Kennings at the back and Scotty McNabb sans sunnies in the front. We go so so skunked on this trip. Scott Casey's mum Cynthia was still running the old Cedarwood Motel in Port Rd, Whangamata. So Scott dialled in the accomodation. There was a nice 3 foot swell running, but overnight gale force south westers killed the swell. We were forced to settle with 1 foot Opoutere. So the smiles you see in this image are actually grimaces. 

Ella, beating us all in the drinking games. On the night of the howling winds, Scott and Kelly, not looking too stoked on her skills

Ella, beating us all in the drinking games. On the night of the howling winds, Scott and Kelly, not looking too stoked on her skills

It's of note how well all these surfers have gone on to do. Kelly is a top and highly regarded creative at FCB Advertising. Scott Casey was Billabong's Marketing manager for YEARS, before taking the plunge and now he and is wife Tiniel run Quiksilver NZ. Jos also worked for Billabong for years and now runs Hurley NZ with his wife Sarah. Ella worked for Arnette for awhile before getting into hospo, owning one of the Mount's most successful Cafe's. Ben has been the lynch pin of Surfing NZ since 2003, you have no idea the volume of work this fella does. Scotty McNabb bailed for the Goldcoast not long after this shoot, where he's an operation services officer, I have no idea what that is, but the bugger is always in Indo surfing. 

From The Bookstore


hhh, feeling all nostalgic and yearning for yesteryears now? Well have I got the book for you! There are still a couple of boxes- and I do mean only a few- of PhotoCPL- New Zealand Surfing Photography 1991-2008 left. Get retro! Get PhotoCPL! Check it out HERE