Photogs Talking Story

SURFER photographers on some of their favorite travel moments

Andy Irons, putting his boxer shorts through their paces. Photo: Childs

Andy Irons, putting his boxer shorts through their paces. Photo: Childs

Jason Childs

“This was the best day I have ever seen and ever shot at Keramas. I got there early in the morning on a low-ish tide and watched from the channel as an empty lineup pumped with fun, hollow waves. As the tide filled in it started to get bigger and better. Andy Irons turned up solo for a Billabong shoot, but the rest of the team was at another location, getting in an early surf, and--bummer for Andy--they had all the boardshorts for the boys to surf in. After a while, Andy couldn't stand watching the waves pumping without a soul in the lineup any longer. So he paddled out in his black boxer shorts and tore the place apart (reminded me of Martin Potter back in his world title year surfing in the wetsuit shorts that were all the rage). Finally the Billabong crew turned up and one of the crew paddled out a pair of boardies for Andy. I scored a cover of Australia's Surfing Life and spreads in SURFER and other mags of Andy ripping in his boxers!”

One of many plane rides to...wherever they were going. Photo: Glaser

One of many plane rides to…wherever they were going. Photo: Glaser

Todd Glaser

“The most recent trip I went on was a very memorable one. Kelly invited me last minute to come chase a swell at a place I knew nothing about. It was a super small crew: Kelly, Shane Dorian, and myself. It took us two days of traveling to get where we were going. Planes, boats, more planes and more boats. When we arrived, it was onshore and raining and the swell hadn’t really shown up yet. We woke the next morning and took a long boat ride to check another spot. When we got there, the wind was a bit too sideshore, the swell had a lump in it, and the tide was too high. Another couple of hours in a small skiff to the next spot had made us pretty tired and lowered morale a bit. But when we got to the next spot, we saw one set, then another, then another. The sun came out, the swell filled in, and the wind went from side-offshore to straight offshore. Kelly and Shane surfed a perfect right by themselves for six hours. There wasn’t another surfer around for miles. I was jumping up and down on the boat dancing and giggling like a school girl. The two of them put on a tuberiding clinic, pushing each other deeper and deeper. Kelly would get a wave, get two or three barrels, come out, then sit in the channel while Shane got the next one. It was a special day and one I will never forget.”

Welcome to the gun show. Photo: Burkard

Welcome to the gun show. Photo: Burkard

Chris Burkard

“After three years of planning a trip to the Kamchatka coast (Eastern shore of Russia) I found myself lying in my tent on a black sand beach. The beach was far from the city and the first few days we saw only a handful of local fisherman. Little did we know, this beach was a local destination on the weekend. One night we saw the first influx of locals hit the beach. In the distance, Euro techno music started as a muffle, but soon seemed closer, getting louder and louder. As a 4×4 SUV made its way over the dunes, I peeked out my tent just hoping not to be run over. No one wanted to leave their tent so we decided to do our best to fall asleep with all the commotion outside. I can only imagine the scene that took place that night, but we heard clanging bottles, gun shots, and techno music early into the morning. When we awoke, the beach was teeming with half-clothed local townspeople taking in the uncharacteristically warm weather. I walked to the top of the dune to check the surf only to see a family teaching their daughter how to fire a hand gun. The dad handling the ammo, the mom in her bra and panties firing rounds into the dunes, and the daughter patiently waiting her turn. I rarely go into a country expecting to see any preconceived stereotypes, but this scene was something I could only see happening in Russia. We decided to wait out the crowds that morning since the peak that we had been surfing the previous day was just beyond the dune being fired upon.”