The Inertia

Situations don’t always go as planned. How you react can define you. Do you accept defeat, taking the obvious and easy way out, or keep searching for the road less traveled? In my second encounter with Maverick’s, I took a peek at the obvious path and decided to risk it all.

My goal as a photographer is to build a level of comfort in heavy surf while capturing the most artistic angles of a wave. At this particular wave, my plan was to do this from a boat, as close to the action as possible while still remaining safe.

One early morning in January I got to the docks at Mavs and loaded the gear on a boat that would take me to the lineup. To my dismay, the boat wasn’t actually functional that day, leaving me stuck on land. I hiked the bluff to shoot from land, but getting a decent image from that position was going to require at least a 600mm lens. The swell was rising, the tide was dropping, the winds were staying calm, and I found myself nowhere near the right position to get a great shot.

Still committed to my original goal, I decide to risk not getting a single shot and walked back to the harbor. Nearly an hour later a Half Moon Bay local showed up alone, ready to launch his jet ski out into the lineup. As this gallery shows, taking a chance paid off for me that day.


Thank you, Tom Watson, for being a solid jet ski pilot and helping me accomplish my own personal goal.

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