In case you haven’t heard, the crew over at …Lost Surfboards teamed up with famed Hollywood photographer Michael Muller and invited a few members of their elite surf squad to do something truly unique in a pool in Texas. There were massive lighting rigs, there were smoke bombs of every color and there were a helluva lot of high-tech airs hucked above shimmering Texan lip lines (click here for a full gallery).
Tomorrow, we’ll be dropping the full edit from the colorful midnight mission (as well as myriad tricks from the daylight hours). But in the meantime, we rang one of the stars of the Technicolor surf show, Yago Dora, to talk about how this surreal session came together, and what it’s like punting through a sea of lights and color in the middle of the Texas night.
This looks like it was a pretty trippy experience. How did this whole thing come together?
I was always interested in going to Waco, since I saw Seth's backflip and stuff, and then Gian [Bernini] from …Lost Surfboards told me that they were planning to do a trip there and that they wanted to do something really different. A few months later it all came together with me, Mason and Michael. I'd just been at Kelly's pool a week prior, so I was on bit of a wave pool Tour. I had no idea what they were going to do for the shoot, but it ended up being such a crazy experience.
That must have been interesting, trying airs at Kelly's wave during that air exhibition and then getting to surf those perfect ramps at Waco and just seeing the difference.
Yeah, for sure. Waco is probably the best spot ever to do airs and to learn new tricks. If you really wanted to try something a bunch of times and figure it out, Waco is the spot to do it, for sure. If you keep trying a trick, eventually you'll figure it out there.
So how did the whole thing work with the lights and the smoke? Could you see the section pretty well or was it difficult to line everything up?
No, it was actually really tricky. It was super dark, and the light wasn't always pointing at the section—a lot of the time it was actually pointing straight at your face [laughs.] So that was hard, trying to figure out the timing of the section when you can't really see it very well, but it was still really fun.
And the smoke?
That part was sick, having all these different colors surrounding you when you're surfing. They'd fire up these smoke bombs right before the wave comes, so it would be really smoky and crazy looking when we were going down the line, looking at the section. Someone would be standing on the big wall that you're surfing toward with the smoke bombs, so that's where the smoke was coming from. It's pretty cool how it worked, because you hear a noise when the machine is starting and the wave is about to come, so when you hear that noise you know to fire up the smoke. The had the process pretty dialed.
What were you riding? Between that wave and Kelly's wave, do you feel like you need a certain kind of board in wave pools?
I think epoxy boards work the best in wave pools. They float more and just felt better for airs in the pool. The board I rode the most was a 6'0", epoxy, squash-tail "Pocket Rocket". That size–6'0"–is a pretty normal-sized shortboard for me. Matt [Biolos] actually made it for me to use at Kelly's wave pool, but I didn't end up riding it there. It worked really well for Waco, though. It felt super light, so was really good for airs.
What was it like surfing with Mason and Michael in that setting? It seems like you guys were all pushing each other to get super tech.
For sure. They're both super creative, especially Mason, who is always trying something weird and funny. And then Michael lands a lot of what he tries, and he goes really high with his airs. Seeing the way both of them approach the section got me really psyched to really push myself and try some big stuff. It was a really good crew to have for something like this.
Weirdest surf trip of your life?
Yeah, probably [laughs.] But I loved it. I really love wave pools because they let you do different things and get really creative with it. It's a controlled environment, so you can do something like this that wouldn't really work in the ocean. It was a sick experience, for sure.