The CPL Top 20 of 2018...or so / by craig levers

2018 was a good year in CPL land, I hope it was for you too. For the last few years the CPL E-Bomb has started the New Year with a look back at the visual highlights and lateral likes of the year that was. It's kind of a way of cleaning house and setting up the next year. Compartmentalising. In somewhat chronological order, let's get into it. 

Matt Newdick slicing past at the Logger Heads Late January 2018

Matt Newdick slicing past at the Logger Heads Late January 2018

Who cares that Matt's hand is cut out, how gnarly crisp is the shot and that style. This is was taken in the water at the Annual Logger Heads Comp, which means Matt was super close. The Logger Heads 5 is on again this January, come check out NZ's leading proponents of traditional log riding. Here's the details. 


Ok, this image was actually taken the year before, BUT, in February Canon New Zealand used this image as their website homepage and did an 'In Focus' interview with me. I didn't get any new Canons to play with though, but it was a stoke to be selected/regarded as one of their pro's.


Hashtag ishootfilm...still. As part of a group exhibition at Lopdell House I went bush and made a series of Panoramics using the 6x17 Fotoman Camera. The exhibition was an action to highlight Watercare's plans to decimate 10 hectares of mature natives at Waima, Titirangi, including multiple stands of Kauri. Sadly a lot of these Kauri now have Die Back. 


We had an awesome summer season of waves out west in 2018. Everyone surfed A LOT.  March was a bloody good month, and the most favourite little corner of the coast turned on. Napes was there most days... was I! 


I got an e-bike, a fat bike. for getting along beaches. Thanks to the absolute legend Neil Bridgens for building such a fun machine. As stated in the intro, there's gonna be some laterals and this is one of my favourite images hands down, it represents fun and mini adventures. 


In late March the gorgeous Ange and I went on a tiki tour around the Eastcape. We got absolutely shunked for quality surf. Apart from me having a tanty half way through about being on the wrong side for surf [Taranaki was pumping the whole 10 days] We had an epic adventure in the Cambulance. 


We shot lots of film, had some mean beach bike rides and nearly got stuck on dodgey roads a few times [the Cambulance pulled through everytime of course and we probably shouldn't have been trying to do what we were doing.] Tologa Bay Dawn, shot on the 617 camera and then drum scanned fricken HUGE. 


Post epic non surfing adventure, and locked into roady mode, it was time for Far North east swell chasing. This five day mission was one of the best I've ever done...ever. The swell exceeded expectations, but also behaved exactly as the swell models predicted. The goal was to shoot and surf as much as physically possible. It was all about energy and injury management. I returned a happily broken man with a full quota of waves and images.


Arty and so on trend right now, fricken LOVE It!!! 


Sundowners everyday


May days are always good out west, it's kind of like the last of the summer wine. My neighbour Mike Mulcahy going hard on the end section of the Bar, which actually showed some pretty good form in 2018 at different times... I mean the Bar, not Mike; he's always in rare form. 


Winter is coming on and things are starting to slow down. That's a photo geek dad joke. This is Elliot Paerata Reid at North Piha using a slow shutter and panning the camera. 


Years in the making! At this stage, and I hope it's not true, the last and therefore current issue of Damaged Goods Magazine's main feature was a piece I did for them on the '90's. The whole issue was bookended with a '90's theme. 


It was super fun to do the feature, and really nice to see images like this one of Joel Tudor I shot at Pipe in 1999 used again.  


And den.... The gorgeous Ange and I did a quick trip over the ditch to try out a pop top Troopy. We kept it simple and did 5 days somewhere neither of us had been, Hervey Bay. It was pretty random, there are no waves there. 


The Troopy trial actually put us off changing campers. We were seriously thinking about buying and importing one of these from the rental company. But as well as them being terrible to deal with, the way the interior was designed and constructed was pretty poor; super hard to access the storage and just generally badly fitted out. It was still fun checking out a different part of Oz and ruling out this company as a potential camper source.

The low of 2018 was tearing my left hamstring. A word to the wise, don't do this, it hurts quite a bit. Thanks again to Greg Faunce and Steve Hill for chairing me up the beach to the carpark, you guys are legends. 

Hamstrung, there was nothing I could do except shoot photos right? 


Taylor Hutchison scored the wave of the day. Wanna see more shots from this winter session? Check it out HEREIt was rad. 

South Sumatra


I like rain


We got great waves... 


Like... real good! 


What makes a good surf trip epic is the crew you go with and these GC's sure as hell made this trip one for the books [or blog, or whatever is current] This trip was my first back to Indo in 10 years. I was burnt out on Indo, but more than that I just wanted to do different stuff, The States, Mexico, the Pacific ...and exploring our own coasts [having camper vans]. Even though the hamstring restricted my primary goal- a surfing holiday where I go surfing, this tour reignited the love of Indo culture and waves. 


And then Cale Tolley  and I unveiled our plan for global T domination...NOT... but we did roll out Trophy Tees  they are stocked by Northbeach Nationwide and Backdoor in the Mount. Check them out, they have gone really well, we're both stoked. 


The Bar got good again. It goes away, it comes back. This is one of the best waves I've seen on the Bar is a fair while, it was perfect. I frothed out on it and loaded to the website. It's HERE. 


In November I got asked to supply an image for The Auckland Primary Champs. I decided to have some fun with it and make up a bunch of mythical Auckland surf breaks. It was easier than originally thought to be honest, but the highlight wasn't the photoshopping...ok that was pretty fun... but making up the captions for the surf breaks was hilarious. They created a huge amount of chat and, I hope a bit of a laugh. They are all in this blog

December;  potentially life changing... nah, not really. We bought a new camper....


After the Troopy Trial earlier in the year, we figured out the pro's and con's of pop tops... pros; lower roof line, more stealthier, and with the right one, weight/load bearing. The con's ... cold, not good in bad weather, bloody expensive to get the good ones.  I found the hard top, ex Britz Camper, Storm Trooper in Otago, Ange wants to call it the Super Trooper, either way, first trip in and we're loving it. It is a downgrade in size from the Cambulance, and this is really proving to be a challenge. Stay posted for 2019, there's gonna be some adventures in this camper! 

Thanks for reading the E-Bomb/web log and other social media put out under the PhotoCPL banner. You guys rule. 

From The Bookstore  


The reprint of the Big Little Beach Book has gone really well- pheeeww. What, you know nothing of this little winner of the book? Check it out HERE