August 28th, 2015
As always, this year’s Follow The Light awards proved hard to judge according to master of ceremonies Aaron Chang. Staged in the heart of the US Open at the Shorebreak hotel in Huntington beach, five hand picked, budding surf photographers presented their portfolios in front of surf industry icons and a panel of judges. With each picture more stunning than the next, it was a difficult task to select the “best” photographer from such varied styles and landscapes.
While the tallies were close across the board, Matt Kurvin ultimately won the People’s Choice award for, among other things, his remarkable photos of backwash pounded surf. When these images escaped the projector, Oooh’s and Aaah’s were given as if fireworks had gone off in the room. The Santa Cruz based Floridian was awarded a total of $1500 for his mind-tripping photography.
For the main prize the timid and shaggy haired Australian Duncan Macfarlane won over the panel with his eclectic mix of progressive surfing, unique perspectives, and varied use of lighting. He walked away with the $5k grant and the prestigious title as the Larry “Flame” Moore Foundation grant recipient for 2011. He plans on further developing his talents and possibly enrolling himself in a photo business course with the prize money.
Aaron Chang presented the difficult pick to the 2011 Follow the Light Finalists. From left to right: Quincy Dein, Matt Kurvin, Rick Lesser, Duncan Macfarlene, and Carlos Santana.
SWELLsurf has been a proud sponsor of the Follow the Light Foundation since it’s inception 6 years ago. The award ceremony was created under the wishes of the late and legendary surf photographer Larry “Flame” Moore to help push both the sport of surfing and the lensmen behind it.
Cardiff, CA – July 26, 2011 – As an extension of their Chosen campaign and a warm up for the upcoming US Open, Nike staged a night time surf session at Seaside Reef. Before arriving I pictured a couple of spotlights and a maybe loud commentator, but instead I ended up stumbling into what felt like a Poison video. Smoke machines belted off plumes of smoke, a live band and DJ played for the crowd, and a giant crane lit up the surf with a massive sun-like spotlight. They even had several underwater lights illuminating the surf from beneath. It was far from any thing I had expected.
Unfortunately I missed the live performance by the Wavves (the main reason for my post-work excursion from San Clemente), but the event was definitely a spectacle to check out. With the resources used for this random Tuesday night exhibition, I’m sure Nike’s got something awesome up their sleeve for the US Open in Huntington scheduled for July 30 – Aug 7.
Surfing is a hard sport to master. No matter who you ask, from the well seasoned pro to the surf school novice, pretty much everyone’s trying to improve his or her technique out in the water. So here’s a simple list of 5 things you can do daily -either on flat spells or in between sessions- to better your surfing. I didn’t include everything, so if you don’t see your type of surf training on the list leave us a comment at the bottom and let us know what you do to sharpen your skills.
1) Skate – Skateboarding is one of the easiest ways to improve your surfing. That’s because much like surfing, skateboarding is based on the same fundamentals: balance and motion. Skating regularly will strengthen your legs, smooth out your style and more importantly get you up off the couch and outdoors. Luckily for us all there are heaps of surf skates out there that can turn any slopy driveway into a standing wave. So if onshores are howling and the forecast looks bleak, grab a skate and hit the sidewalk.
Street art is punk as hell. It grew up on crushed beer cans and gritty street corners. It’s a backyard pool, a railroad car or an abandoned building. It’s an album cover, a painted surfboard or a strange sculpture. Street art is so many things that it seems impossible to fit into one all-encompassing exhibit, but somehow this is exactly what they did at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. 50 street artists from around the world contributed to this massive display that is the first major survey of Street Art and Graffiti in the United States.
The result is a Disneyland-esque acid trip. Whole street corners and alleys were built. A mini indoor skate park sits at the front. Strange lights, colors, & sounds are spread throughout every corner. It’s as if Stanley Kubrick and Gaspar Noe wrestled the inside of the building and won. Somehow it all came together. The skateboarders, the artists, the gangsters, the punks, the surfers, the cholos, the rappers, the intellectuals all had this one thing tying them together: Street Art. It’s art for the sake of art. No dollar signs, no profit, just pure self-expression.
Go check it out you won’t be disappointed.
The exhibit is free on Mondays, compliments of renowned street artist Banksy. His words, “I don’t think you should have to pay to look at graffiti. You should only pay if you want to get rid of it,”