Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Shore Thing

I have to give huge thanks to Bishop over at a Shore Thing Cafe in La Jolla. Bishop along with his business partners took over what used to be Squire's Deli in La Jolla. They did an awesome job to transform it into a quaint 'surf' deli / cafe.

Needless to say, the food and drinks are superb. But the thanks goes for the opportunity for me to showcase my images in the cafe. I'll be updating what's in there now as I continue to shoot La Jolla Shores. It also helps that I'm sitting on years of great surfing images of riders of La Jolla Shores.

Thanks again Bishop and the Shore Thing Cafe crew!

Now, go eat and check the images...

Location: 8080 La Jolla Shores Dr, La Jolla, CA 92037

Monday, December 2, 2013

Re Inventing Manny V

For the last two years I've been very fortunate to commentate the IBA Bodyboarding World Tour. Unfortunately, that epic job has ended in early 2013 but there is a tiny glimmer that the IBA may return in 2014. I can't wait for something that isn't a 100% certainty. I've got bills to pay.

I did a talk for Urban Surf 4 Kids during summer and my intro from Wes was pretty cool. He mentioned that to live the lifestyle I have, I'm able to 're-invent' myself year after year. I thank him for that.

To keep my spirit and sole alive in 2014, I'm going to focus on the things I love... photography and surf travel. My wife and I have been working on our wedding photography site and it was then when we realized, 'we got this.' Together, we've capture many of friends' weddings and we're, along with the bride and groom, are very happy with the final product. We already have a few bookings for 2014. I'm stoked. So if you have friends getting married please refer them to our site and to me directly. Much appreciated.

Surf travel... yes! As you may or may not now, I love the ocean. More specifically, I love riding waves, photographing wave riders and sharing that stoke with others. I've been putting trips together since 2003 and loved every minute. In 2014, I'm going to focus more than ever to deliver the stoke that comes with traveling to find empty perfect waves. The Baja Weekenders will running all winter and spring months then selectively through the summer (depending on Wedding gigs). My website should be completely finished by the end of this week.

Come 2014, I would love to see you coming down the aisle or slotted in the pocket of a perfect wave. Either way, hit me up and wish me luck people! Get ready 2014, Manny V is coming atchu full steam.

Allison & Matt's wedding in Baja, Mexico.

Keeping the dream alive. Los Cabos, Mexico.

MannyVTours... let me be your guide to paradise.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Baja Weekender

Back on October 19th and 20th, I put together the first of many Baja Weekender surf trips for the San Diego Surf Ladies crew. Needless to say, the quick getaway was awesome. This post is just a shout out to not only the cool SDSL possee but also those that made it possible. Damian Davila for all his great hard work and awesome photos. Bruce at RediVan for the coolness. Gustavo at Calafia Hotel for turning on the hot water for us. Charly and the rest of the cooks that fed us all properly. Lastly, for the crew at Vista Al Mar 3 in Puerto Nuevo for the great lobster feast.

This was a special trip for the SDSL crew but will be implementing this quick escape to Northern Baja, my backyard, for everyone to take advantage of.

Be ready, it's coming.

Make sure you like my FB page as well.

The ladies chillin' after a morning surf.

Nothing like an ice cold Pacifico after a surf. Corina.

I have to thank Jill for throwing on the Ray Mysterio wrestling mask to get the shot.

Justine. Arriiiiiba!

The crew watching the sunset at K-58.

Marley had the most style on the trip.

Case of ice cold Pacifico on the mandatory list.

The San Diego Surf Ladies.

Nancy handing over the Surf Monkey Award to the first recipient, Jill.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Aminal Style On The Jungle

There's gotta be one night where all of the Cabo Freak Festers come together and let loose. That night is the Jungle Cruise night. Chuy, Eddy and the crew from the Jungle Cruise sunset cruise in Cabo San Lucas have been nothing but excellent to my groups and I. Gracias amigos.

We ended the night with an awesome performance from our man MC G-Nutz. Robbie G threw down a great performance at the Hard Bar. We're always left wanting more freaky-funky-delicious-ness every time.

You know that saying, "What ever happens in __________, stays in ____________." Well, the Jungle Cruise is one of those situations. I could tell you that all the images on Jungle Cruise gallery all the ones that were taken with my camera. But to be honest, I had to remove quite a few before uploading. I think with the this year's theme of 70's Porn Stars kinda reverberated through the three hours on the water.

I do have to thank the group of ladies from Los Angeles that made this year's three hour all-you-can-drink tour a very special one. Thanks to Alex for manning the mic and everyone else for making it a very unique one. I'm going to stop right now and let the images do the rest of the talking.

Richard wins the 'Porn Star' of the Jungle Cruise Award!
MC G-Nutz throwing it down at the Hard Bar.

Before leaving the dock, I think everyone knew this wasn't going to be your normal sunset cruise.

Cesar always cool and calm.

WTF. We were in a public area weren't we?


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Day 3 - Cabo Freak Fest One3

Dawn Patrol.
This was the second full day of the trip. Aside from the four bodyboarders that hit the dawn patrol the day before, everyone was jonesing to get in a solid session. 5:30am rolled around and I believe everyone was packed in the two cars and were ready to hit the waves.

(L to R) El Jack 59 years young. Billy Thiel ready. Jay preparing. Damian being Damian.
I don't like disclosing the location of the beach break that we invade 20 deep but if you look on any map you'll know where we are situated. Because of the way the beach is set up, the waves come in perfect.

Shade... on land and in the water.
With Damian, Billy, Rolando and Roy snapping photos, I headed out to get some waves for myself. It was glassy with two to three footers rolling in. I love bringing our own crowds to empty breaks. We are all out there to have a good time and aside from one or maybe two people, everyone was sharing waves and enjoying everything going on.

Carly was on fire this year. She came. She saw. She kicked ass!

I do have to admit... the 15-20 minute walk in the early humidity to the break and the same walk with the same humidity but with added blazing sun really sucks ass. It's a hike. I think that's has to something to do with the break being empty every time. I would do that walk for empty perfection any day of the week.

The locals come our firing. Hugo Collins on one of many barrel rides.

A must after every session... Chostimo burritos.

There's over 12 hundred images ready for download on the Manny V Photo website. Enjoy.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Another Baja Run

As I was going through photos of day three of Cabo Freak Fest, it hit me. I have to gear up for another Cabo adventure... Cabo SUP Surf! For now, peep what's coming in October.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day One and Two - CFF13

Billy Thiel - Cabo Freak Fest One3 Belly Flop Champion
Day number one of Cabo Freak Fest is all about settling in and getting situated. With months of planning, I know that our transport company ( will be there to pick up the crew.
We had half the crew come in a day early. By the smell of alcohol coming off their breath and seeping out of their pores, I knew who they were.
The first night for the entire crew as a whole went down at Baja Brewing Co. just across the street from our hotel. Baja Brewing Co. has the best view of the bay and has the best beer this side of the border. After going over the schedule and meeting the new faces, I was off to bed for an early morning start.
Day number two. 5:30am meet. (Sounds of crickets). After some heavy drinking after the opening speech, I was out. Luckily, the four bodyboarders that were hungry to ride… rode. Rolando, one of our drivers, was there on time and veteran Freak Fester Jay Farjado made the call and said, let’s do this. No photos were taken but from what they said, it was worth it.
Richard, Ellie and Cynthia enjoying the view.
Next on the agenda were the afternoon Belly Flop Challenge and some shorebreak action out at Lover’s Beach. We decided to get some barrels and do the Belly Flop Challenge afterwards. Chato is my contact here in San Lucas when I need anything to do with the waters. He called up his buddy and got us a group rate for the boat (Ponga) to take us out to Lover’s. Getting on and off the ponga sounds easy but add waves, loss of perception and everyone wanted to get off at the same time, it’s crazy! We make it to Lover’s Beach. The waves we ride are actually on the other side of Lover’s Beach. The locals call it Divorce Beach. It’s secluded and a place for a secret rendezvouses. What we bodyboarders call it is epic shorebreak with warm water and amazing backdrops.
Walking from Lover’s Beach to Divorce Beach, for me, is the longest walk during the trip. In my mind I have several thoughts going through my mind:
-Are the waves going to be big?
-Does my crew know their limits?
-What is the injury protocol?
-Did I charge my camera batteries?
-Do I have space on my memory cards?
-Who brought the water?
Damian and Hugo Collins lining up.
As we come up and over the sand bank, I can finally exhale. The waves were a fun 2-3 and barreling. Wasn’t epic but fun. Plus, it’s a great way for me to gauge who is who in the water. Cameron Steele and I snuck down the beach about 50 yards and within ten minutes we scored three solid shots as if we were doing this shit for years. Wait, we have been. The other water photographers on the trip, Damian Davila and Billy Thiel, hung out by the wall and shot everyone in the water. Our two hour shorey session came to a close. We marched back through the massive rock corridor and got back on the pongas.
Cameron Steele making it look easy. Text book: No spray in the face and clean.

The locals doing their thang.
One last stop… Pelican Rock, the jump rock. I think most everyone jumped from the rock. Even El Jack. More on El Jack and his lovely lady later. After Carly’s massive dive from the top of the rock and the rest of the crew’s plunges, it was time for the Belly Flop Challenge. Jay was the first to go and couldn’t hold his position long enough and over rotated. Next, Cameron Steele. From the launch from the rock to ankle grab to perfect landing, Cam set the bar. Alex and Josh.0, both couldn’t keep it together. Then Billy Thiel stepped up. The takeoff, the flying time and the landing were all perfect! I thought to myself, how in the f*ck do I top that? As I made my way up the rock from the backside, Josh.0 took a second jump and nailed it. I didn’t see it but it was pretty damn perfect from what I’ve heard. But still there was no way I or anyone could top Billy’s jump. I got on the rock and take a moment to figure out a plan of attack. With hand behind my back, I went for it. Just as I was about to land, I turned my right should in and took the impact on my neck and upper peck. Right then, I knew and the rest of the crew knew Billy Thiel is your Cabo Freak Fest 2013 Belly Flop Champion!
The night was attacked by many but I opted to stay close to home and get in a good night’s sleep.
My photos of the trip will be available to you. Free watermarked and resized images. Plus, if you want to get your hands on the high resolution images for download or print straight from my site, you can purchase as well. Check it:
Self portrait with the one of the two pongas.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cabo Freak Fest Day One

What can I say? I'm trying to report on day one when its day 3. Basically there is not enough time in the day to give you the play by play in real time. So I'll give you the sunrise from today and put something together for you by tomorrow. Wait, as I was sitting here about to press post, Richard and Ellie walked down ready for the Jungle Cruise. Off for more madness.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cabo Freak Fest Daily Posts

Here we go people! The 11th year since it's resurrection, Cabo Freak Fest will go down from August 15th to the 20th. My blog will be the go to place for the play by play of each day on the trip. Somewhere at sometime each day between deep blue barrels and the drunken mayhem, I'll post photos or video clips of the madness that goes down at Cabo Freak Fest One3. Plus, this is the first call out to all the pros looking for a break from the bodyboarding rat race and enjoy all the things that make bodyboarding what it is... fun. Easy as that. Here we go!

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Must App

Pixlr is epic. I know there's a ton of apps out there to help your phone photos look that much better. My goto app for this is Pixlr Express. It has it all and more. PLUS... there's a desktop version as well! You can have all the cool things from the app and apply them to your images on your hard drives. That is awesome. 

Pixlr falls under the Autodesk company umbrella. Autodesk is known for it's unbelievable software programs; AutoCad and 3ds Max to name a couple. So you know, these people know their sh!te.

Here's a quick run down of what I like about Pixlr Express app. I have yet to play with the desktop version but will soon. Okay, check it:

-Has six different categories of coolness. Each having several types of modifiers: Adjustment, Effect, Overlay, Border, Text and Sticker. Sticker is my favorite because it have the comic word BOOOM!

-Undo and Redo buttons: If you don't like what your photo looks like after applying an effect, click Undo. Wait, you did like it... Redo.

-Saving: You can save in different sizes including the original size.

-Sharing: After you've finished your editing, click share and bam, shared!

Get it. Use it. Love it.

After. Yeah, got crazy on this one.

Before. Using my HTC One S phone with the HDR effect.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Nine Years Strong.

Where I am today would not be without the support of my beautiful wife, Mailei. Today makes nine years that we've been married. Here's to you my love...

My first Instagram photo. @MannyVMedia

Monday, July 15, 2013

All Smiles With JRom

Oh man, I don't know how long I've known Jacob Romero but I must say... the latest photos I've seen of him have been the most I've seen with him showing his pearly whites. it's not that he's been an angry man but his supa dupa fu man chu beard can be intimidating to some. So what's up with all this recent smiling? I'm guessing it could be that he just signed with one of the coolest bodyboarding brands out there ( or it could be that he's got a great looking lady by his side or maybe it could be that he survived this freakin' hell air in Chile? Either way, this is huge props to JRom. Congrats braddah. JROM's Blog. CLICK HERE.

I snagged this image from the Kahuku Bodyboarders FB page. Go LIKE 'em.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pro Status

I have to admit. I love shooting water photos of everyone riding waves. Bodyboarders because they go deeper in more heavier situations than most, if not all wave riders, that paddle in. Surfers because it's a matter of reading their lines and predicting their next turn. SUP surfers because there's an additional element that can potentially damage my water housing and/or me... the paddle.

I've had the pleasure to shoot pro bodyboarders pretty much all the time. I can count on them to pull into every single barrel whether is over shallow sharp reef or concrete hard sand. They're a little concerned about hitting the water housing with their mugs than I am getting hit by them. Once, they have the trust that I will not let that happen, we score.

Surfers and longboarders, they're more worried about running me over. Or it could be that most have never shot with a water photographer before. Either way, my goal is to get close and not get run over. I did get run over by Sean Fowler in Baja Malibu during a session in 2-4 feet. It was all my fault. I mis-read his line. He pulled in at the last minute as I was expecting him to annihilate the lip with a turn. In fact, anyone that tells me that they're afraid of running me over, I make it clear, "If you run over me, it's my fault." I have to encourage some to actually try to run me over so I can get the shot I'm after. Again, once that trust is solidified, game on.

SUP surfers... new challenge, new fun. John Ashley listened when I said get closer during one of our sessions. He has been the only one to hit my lens port on my waterhousing. Luckily, it was only a scuff and it was off center. Lesson learned... I have to be a chameleon and keep one eye on the board and one on the paddle.

Enter Sean Poynter. If you've kept up with my blog posts, we've scored a cover shot on Standup Journal magazine. I was stoked and so was he. I remember that session clearly. Big gaping barrels closing out on the low tide sand. Epic. Whenever he's in town, I always hit him up to shoot. Why? New challenge, new fun. Sure it helps that he fears nada and will trust that I will get close for the shot and not cause a collision. One main thing he does that I appreciate, actually its a couple things: 1. Because he's on an SUP board, he's able to spot the set waves sooner than I can so he'll give me a yelp or holler to let me know they're own their way; and 2. We communicate even when he's on the wave. I will do my best to predict was he's going to do and he knows this. But if decides to switch it up, he'll throw me an audible and tell me what he's going to do. In most cases, it's going to be a round house around me instead of smashing the lip right in front of me. To me, that's pro status.

When I was doing the pro bodyboarding thing back in the 90's, photographers appreciated that when I went out to shoot water with them... I shot water with them. I know that sounds funny but here's my reasons why I was great to shoot with: I didn't paddle to another peak. I didn't go left when the photographer was waiting on the right. I didn't pass the photographer because I wanted to line up a move way down the line. I communicated. I gave them a heads up on set waves. And I new for those few hours, it was all about getting the shot. That what it means to be professional.

Don't get me wrong, if you see me in the water just do your thing. You don't have to be a pro. I'll do my best to get to you and make you look like a pro. If you and I set out to get photos, let's work together. Let's be pro status.

Sean Poynter off the top. I pulled this one out of the 'B' rated folder.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Holy Sh...

Last Friday has to go down as one of the toughest labor intense days I've had in a long time. I know I may sound like a wimp to some of you that do this kind of sh!t everyday but... man.

As you know, I've been working at Creed SUP for almost two months now and since the first day, we've been waiting for a container of 150 sup boards to show up. Little did I know, that day would come sooner than later.

Last Friday a diesel truck rolled up and it was go time. We had only two hours to unload 150 30-40 pound boxes. I have to give the owner of Creed SUP, Randy, huge props. He has done this before and man-handled the boxes like no other. He got up inside the container and unloaded every single box while three of use picked up the boxes and stacked them in the warehouse. My arms are just getting back to normal three days later.

After the unloading that we did in record time, we had to ship out as many as we could for the Friday cut off. So we had to move and load on top of that. Hectic.

Dreading the next container to arrive in the next couple weeks? Nah, I know what to expect now. But I know I'll be hurting aftwards.

Time for some waves. Peace out.

Less than two hours later, that container was on it's way back to Long Beach.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Say, Then Do.

Funny thing happened this morning. I went to a local news stand in search of the new Stand Up Journal magazine. I was ready to fork over about $15 for the latest issue. I got the cover shot of Sean Poynter. Yes, I'm pumped. But when I showed up, the mag was nowhere to be seen.

What I did see it was Riptide magazine front and center. I did a double take on the price tag of 15 dollars and realized I had no problem dropping that for an SUP mag. I picked up the Riptide magazine and headed straight for the check out counter.

Sure, the editors would hook me up if I email them for a free issue but the way I see it, and have said it in the past... support those that support you.

Here's to bodyboarding. You've got my full support.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Going Full Time Full Bore

Today was the start of a new chapter in my life. I started my new 40 hour a week job at Creed SUP. The last time that has happened was back in 2000-2002. That's when I worked for a salary of $30,000 as the editor of BodyBoarding Magazine. It was a bit of a shock after doing the whole pro bodyboarder dealio for 10 years prior. But today, I wasn't shocked but stoked. Stoked to be a part of something that I enjoy... SUP.

I spent the day going through the in's and out's of what makes Creed SUP one of the coolest SUP companies to work for. My new boss, Randy, has more business knowledge than can ever imagine obtaining myself. Add that to the fact that he's straight up and I get a head honcho that I can't wait to work for. What does that mean for us? Well for me, I get a monthly paycheck that'll make me and my wife happy. And for you... well, I'm now your 'GO TO' guy when it comes to SUP. That means, you're going to get the Manny V treatment and hook up when you're ready to stand up paddle. If you're in southern California, drop in and save cash money by not fronting shipping costs. If you can't come into the warehouse, then use mannyv in the promotional code and knock off $20 off your Creed SUP board when you by online. Again, you're going to save more by coming in and seeing me. Plus, there's more savings on other gear we have in our showroom.

Bodyboarders reading this are probably wondering what's that mean for my commentating gig on the IBA World Tour. Well, never say never. But because this is a real job, I will have to go through the appropriate channels to try to get the time off. Priority is now in the hands of Creed SUP. I will miss all my friends on the tour, the riders that I'm so proud of and the awesome crazy bodyboarding fans out there. Now, I will be watching the race for the title from this side of the camera.

Cabo Freak Fest (August 15-20, 2013) is set in stone. I've already talked to Randy and made sure that I have those dates on lock down. There's no way I'm going to let that slip through my fingers. I will add another one week trip in there but not sure if it's going to an SUP trip or another bodyboarder trip.

It's a new era in the Manny V camp. I will always find a barrel to sneak into on my No. 6 Vargas bodyboard model. I will always bodyboard. I will always SUP. I will always ride waves. But for this time in my life, I will work on getting you on a Creed SUP and a No. 6 Vargas model.

All I ask from you is the same that you've been given me for years... your support.

My new home away from home... the Creed SUP warehouse.

My new ride from No. 6 ready for shredding.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Test Drive

You have to agree, time lapse video is pretty freakin' cool. I've used my Canon 7D and videoed 20 minute clips only to have a massive file then having to bring that footage into a video program to get the time lapse. I have a ton more options using my Canon and I know there are other options. But I wanted something that was quick and easy. Enter Lapse It!

I'm one of those few people in the U.S. that doesn't own an iPhone. I have an HTC One. The camera on this thing is amazing! Lapse It is an app (Android and iPhone) that offers exactly what I was looking for. Easy user interface and fast rendering. A sick time lapse video clip. Best $1.99 spent on an app.

But to get a clean shot, my phone has to be steady. It should be on a tripod. I hunted through the net and found this little bad boy: Grip Tight by Joby. Perfect. It has the 1/4 inch screw fits perfect for all tripods. Epic.

I bolted to Harbor Island this morning in hopes of finally testing my new toys. Twenty minutes of capture time, less than two minutes to render and BOOM! Done! A sick four second time lapse.

I was zoomed in on this clip to get some of the street out of the frame. So sharpness was compromised. Settings: 720hd, one frame every 10 seconds, rendered at 30 fps, added the vidid color effect, mp4 file format. But no bad at all. Check it:

Friday, February 1, 2013

Great To See


When I go shoot water, I'll put an action sports camera on top of my water housing. Sometimes I get too much great footage with no where to make use of it and it all just sits dormant on my harddrives. Great to see Ardiel Jimenez and the crew made use of the action we snagged while I was in the Canary Islands.

All the footage of Ardy in the beginning of the video with the epic Sardina village in the background is all from my camera. Yes... The photos came out unreal as well. Almost surreal.

Thanks Ardy and PHmedia, you're a true professionals.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

That's It? Only $11.98!

I just got my latest issue of BBR and I got a bunch of stickers to go a long with it. I also got a flyer that said you can get a year subscription for only $11.98. That's two printed issues and two electronic versions.

If you're a bodyboarder, do your duty and support the sport you love.

Now, it's time to read the issue front to back. Peace out.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Back In SD

WTF! It's cold! I have to admit, it was nice to be back in the water but damn... It's been about 20 minutes since I've been out of the water and I can now feel the tips of my toes. I'm not complaining. Just stating a fact. The day I have to suit up at home, walk across a snowy beach in a five mil, then drive home to change... That's when I'll whine. Until then, I'll see you in the water.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

High Resolutions

It's the new year and the resolutions have been made. One of which is to focus on my photography. Water and weddings. I enjoy them both. With that being said, I'll be posting a write up each time I pull out the camera. I learn something new each time and I'll share that with you. Cool? Cool. Okay, I leave you with this photo that I took in the Canary Islands. It's a sand bottom beachy with the perfect background. This is just one of many perfect barrel shots from that day. Each year I head out there to cover the IBA World Tour Fronton Pro event, I make sure I spend a minimum of one day here. This time around, I was staying with Ardiel Jimenez. He lives on the complete opposite of the island but we made the trek and he was stoked. He walked away with six cover worthy waves. I kept them off my site so he could send them out to the magazines of the world. Happy New Year!

Sardina. I love you so.