Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Double Take

Taking water photos of SUP wave riders is tough. Do-able but tough. I have to put full trust in the rider. I read and predict the line they are going to draw across the wave and pray they don't freak out that they will hit me. That's when trouble may arise. But if they hold their line... cha-ching! Sean 'Poynty' Poynter is one of the few guys I can trust. He rides a Star Board 6'6" SUP board and he kills it on this thing. I can't wait to shoot him when the sun's out.

Yesterday, we linked up in south San Diego but with a strong current and not one consistent peak, our work was cut out for us. Plus, I think he had a late night in OB the night before! Hahaha.

Here's a photo that I got of Poynty. And to my surprise John Ashley got the same wave but with another angle. CLICK HERE to see his perspective.

Full trust. Full throttle. Sean slides past.

Catchin' Up Part II

So the last two weeks have been hectic. We had waves, grand opennings and just good times. Here's a glimpse of what else has been going down.

A south swell rolled in a few days ago and I was the happiest guy on earth. That was the feeling I got when I was driving up to a beach with the sun out and the swell pounding. Early this day, I was in my hometown shooting water but it was cloudy. The waves were going off and the current wasn't too bad. But the second session was calling for this secret spot that really only breaks on a southy. So I'm rolling up around 9ish and the sun was blaring! I could see the sets crackin'! I was amping. Took my time with the housing rituals and headed out. I was out for no more than 20 minutes when all of a sudden the clouds came back in and the winds before to switch. Hey, the waves are up... no complaints!

There was hope for the perfect session.
Balancing Act.

Night Owl
I felt like a rockstar photographer this past Friday. Octavio was invited to a grand opening of a new gym down the road from my house. So he, Nelz and I showed up and jumped right in. The host and owner of Evolve, Heather, was totally cool. I asked if they had a photographer for the night and she said yes but the person was shooting photos and the camera was a point and shoot. So I offered to take photos and rolled back home to grab my gear. I took a grip of photos there and then we were on our way home. Little did I know that we were going to have a few more pit stops before coming it a night. After Evolve, we ended up at Wine Steals for a bottle of wine; the Ruby Room for show; Lalo's for Mexi food then finally; the AC Lounge to watch our friend Aaron Veenstra and friend DJ. What a night of good times. Check out the rest of the photos at MannyVPhoto.com.

Evolve Grand Opening.

Aaron Veenstra every Thursday Night. AC Lounge.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Catching Up!

Has it really been two weeks since my last post? Bad Man-ny!

Okay, here's some juice for your morning.

Since the last time, I posted I've been shooting like a maniac! First, it was a friend's romantic photo session. Next, the sun finally came out before 11am. Then it was a night out with friends. Finally, a south swell rolled. Check it... today you'll get the first two adventures and tomorrow I'll lay the rest on you. Read on.

Good friends Chava and Martha wanted some photos of them together in Balboa Park. With the help of my lovely wife, we pulled off some cool photos. We spent about two and a half hours walking around and finding cool backdrops and nice light. I could've spent all afternoon there but we all had to do things later that day. Now that I spent a little more cash on a soft box and wireless flash remote, I was able to get some cool lighting effects. The only thing... the remote was not automatic so I had to set the flash manually. And the Canon Flash Speedlite 430EX II has an automatic shut off that I tried to disable to no avail. So I have to reach into the soft box and reset it after every re-location. Do I like doing this kind of work? Hell yeah! It's challenging and exciting to see the results. Peep it...

Martha and Chava. Good looking couple.

Okay... now look good. Perfect!

Let The Sun Shine
Okay... who's ready for this June Gloom shit to go away? I've been gone for the past three years during the month of June and I totally forgot about it! Seattle supposedly has around 240 of overcast days. Holy shit! I'm going on 21 days and I'm ready to sell the house to get out of here! Seattle-lites... I don't know how the hell you do it. Anyways... on June 22 the sun actually popped out before 11am and I was excited. I knew the waves were going to be small but I got the housing ready and headed for the water. What a difference sunlight makes when shooting from the water. Not only did I get a few cool photos but I met a few awsome locals. Kevin, Janae, Panda and Tyler... great meeting you! See the entire gallery here:
June 22, 2010 Surf Session Gallery

This is Panda. Super cool and as you can see... having a great time!

These steps are always more enticing with a bit of sun on 'em.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The New Generation of SUP?

While on our recon mission for the upcoming SUP Mex trips, I realized that SUP is about to blow doors on wave riding on the regional level. I say regional because we've all seen Laird Hamilton do his thing on the ever so exciting Teahopo'o, Tahiti. And now that the boards are becoming smaller, shorter and more maneuverable... it's going to be guys like Sean Poynter that are going to lead the charge of the new young guns. This 20 year old ripper, was riding his Star-Board 6'6" like it was a fish! Insane.

The SUP Mex video is coming soon. There, you'll see him in HD action!

Keep your eyes peeled on FFATtrips.com for more info!

Here's a pic of his on a cloudy day at Shores. Sick!
Fearless Floater. Sean Poynter. San Diego.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Time On Your Hands

Before I give you the update on the SUP Mex trips, I have to throw this video at you. As I post this blog, this video has already accumulated over 34k hits on youtube. Love it. Enjoy.

Click on image. You'll be sent to the coolest vid on youtube!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

US Open Of Bodyboarding

Huntington Beach. Last weekend, myself and Steve ‘Action’ Jackson MC’ed the Sport Chalet US Open of Bodyboarding. So we had front row seats to the one of the most intense comps in recent history.
Me thinking and Action talking.

The action started with the cool idea of Sport Chalet’s Sports University concept. On Thursday, companies were invited by Sport Chalet to set up a pop up tent at Beach Blvd and demonstrate and talk about their products to the employees that showed up. Guinness!  I got to see a bunch of old and new friends and I actually had to go out and demo my bodyboard for a couple Sport Chalet buyers. Good times.
Mike Stewart and the Hawaii groms on hand for Sports U.

Friday, was more of a hype day. I was on the mic on the massive scaffolding on the south side of the HB pier promoting the weekend’s event and sponsors.

Saturday saw good 2-4 foot waves for competition. The first rounds of all the divisions were sent out and weeded out the competitors. I was putting my money on the South African ripper, Wesley Fisher, but was later knocked out in the semi-finals. The amateur divisions were dominated by the Hawaiians. How they were able to wear spring suits in 63 degree water after coming over from the warm Hawaiian waters is beyond me.
Early Friday morning. The set up is ready.

Sunday showed remnants of the fading south swell but was still pushing 4 foot sets through the contest area. The women’s pro division saw international riders tearing it up all day long. It was Karla Costa-Taylor take the win hands down. Claudia Ferrari was close on her heels but couldn’t pull it off in the last minutes of the final.

The amateur division was far from it. The new generation of bodyboarders were holding their own and showed positive outlooks for the future of US bodyboarders. California super grom, Rocket Klein, was on fire and was putting in some serious water time to compete with the Hawaiians. In the end it was Trevor Kam and JB Hillen that took the Amatuer and Amatuer 13-18 divisions, respectively. Side Note: It was JB Hillen’s birthday on Sunday and this was his first time on a plane and actually leaving the west side of Oahua! Oh cuz!

DK divisions are always fun to watch. Cali rippers, Jeff Bragg, Joe Grodzen, Nick Ashby, Matt Hamilton, Jeff Vycital and others were out to win. Wave selection was the key in all the heats. We all know that every DK rider has the skills to take the win but it all came down to wave selection. Joe Grodzen was on fire and was hopeful to give David Hubbard a run for his money. But Joe, along with Bragger and Ashby, were knocked out. In the final it was the three Hawaiians, Mich Mickmullen, David Hubbard and the lone Cali boy, Jeff Vycital battling out for the title. In the end, David Hubbard, pieced together another win to add to his list of victories.
David Hubbard throws some chunks.

(Copied from usbatour.com) The Men’s Pro Final provided the riders with a spitting south swell and good ramps. It was the Kauai rippers Jeff Hubbard, David Phillips, and David Hubbard battling against Maui charger Jacob Romero. They were all going hard with style, and giving the judges a reason to pay attention to the water. David Phillips and Jeff Hubbard both took waves back to back, throwing synchronized moves; it’s like they were in each other’s heads. But the highflying Jacob Romero proved himself throughout the heat to be the best, by cruising with style and consistency. Romero scored the title for the Men’s Pro 2010 USBA Champion!
Jeff Hubbard throwing out the ARS move.

Check out www.usbatour.com for more on the event.
Jacob Romero wins the US Open Of Bodyboarding.

Up Next: Info on the new FFATtrip: SUP Mex. SUP Adventures in Northern Baja.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Action Packed

It was a crazy weekend up in Huntington Beach. I was the MC at the Sport Chalet US Open of Bodyboarding. My co-host, Steve Action Jackson, and I blabbered on the mic the entire weekend and we haven't lost our voices!

I will have a full update come Wednesday when I come back from my recon mission for the Northern Baja SUP Adventure Trips. I will have all the details and info here and on my tour site: www.FFATtrips.com.

Good times ahead!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Winner Is...

The winner of the $40 WaveHouse Gift Card for the May Photo of the Month contest goes to John Ashley. I know what you're thinking... 'he's your friend; you guys link each other'...  but his photo was the best one that was entered. Simple as that. And he is a Follower to my blog (which was step 1). Check out his entry pic:
May Photo of the Month Winner. John Ashley. Mexico.

June Photo of the Month contest winner will get $100 off any service offered on www.mannyvphoto.com. Rules are the same: 1. Follow my Blog ; and 2. Submit your best action photo. Easy as that. I will choose a winner on June 30th. Submit your jpeg image to: mannyvphoto@gmail.com. Good luck.
(Service offered will not include Commericial Services. Email for details.)