Well, after all these years of taking pictures of Peahi (Jaws), I finally got out on the water to shoot from a jet ski. It’s not that I haven’t had the opportunity, I just hadn’t taken any of them for many reasons, like not have a working water housing, not wanting to miss getting land shots, not healthy enough, on and on… So what changed? I got healthy, had a friend do it without a housing, and had a persistent driver who would not take no for an answer.
Yep, my FaceBook friend Loren Eib messaged me over and over saying he wanted to get me out on the water!
In January we had a solid week of XXL size swells coming’ I picked the second swell, smallest of the week, to give it a go. Loren was excited, maybe more than I was, and kept saying, “can’t wait to see what you get out there.” No pressure :)
So we met for the first time IRL at Maliko Gulch to launch the jet ski. We hit it off right away as we loaded up our stuff and hooked the trailer to my 4×4 truck. Loren got on the ski and I backed him into the water, and off he went. After parking the truck, I waded out to the ski and out the channel we went! 20′ face waves lined the channel as we left the rivermouth, game on! Now I’m excited…
The short ride up the coast was beautiful, the ocean had a calm glassy surface with big surf crashing on the rocky shoreline. Loren gave me some emergency instructions, something like this… “If I get knocked off… it could happen, here’s the extra kill switch key, stick it in here, start here and go… got it?” As we approached Peahi bay I could see boats and skis and the lineup was already full of surfers. Loren took us straight into the mix to have a look. I was in awe of how close to the surf everyone was, as we saw our first wave, 20’+ up close and personal! Now I am very excited!
We moved a little way into the channel as I unstrapped the Pelican case, opened it and pulled out my camera. I had prepared my Canon 70d with a 100-300L in a dry bag setup to keep the spray off. As we went back into the lineup, I could see many of my favorite pro photographers, ALL with real water housings… But I forgot all that when the first real set came through, 30’+ glassy, light offshore and hollow! Now, I’m frothing excited!
For the next few hours we buzzed in and out of the lineup, constantly moving, dodging rouge west peaks and shooting some of the best tube riding and surfing in Peahi history. I felt right at home, I love riding big waves and it made me wish I was 30 again :)
THANK you! Loren, for being such a great driver and getting me out there.
Mahalo to all the surfers who put on quite a show!
The gallery below is some 688 images from the shoot in chronological order.
Ahhh, and the day ended with this :)