This photo was taken in October. It makes the wall of fame for the diligence and patience put into the work in front of the lens and the luck from behind it.
All of us have our “home break”. Owl Chapman was right. A local is just a guy that can’t get his shit together to travel. And, at times, that is all of us. So we put in time at the break we can get to the quickest. It’s the spot that you know exactly how long it takes from your back door (or your favorite exit) till your feet are wet–11 minutes if you drive with the suit on. After returning to the southeast coast from places as far as Montreal and as close as Charlotte, Ryan Tolhurst started putting in his time. An injury to the knee kept him confined to a bodyboard through his first hurricane season. The next winter, any blip on the radar and the man was wet. He’s stayed wet and a fair bit of that time at this spot. It shows in the photo.
After losing feeling in all toes, “the notes” hit the sand and started snapping shots. The swell itself might have been only waist-high at best and needed all the weight and length of the 9’6″ Tyler Hatzikian Ryan is riding. In fact, there is another wall of fame candidate from the same day and the wave looks fun and playful. A couple of guys out this day and no-one was really catching much. Just like yours, our humble little home takes a certain panache and finesse to get the best waves or sections. So, with Ryan still wet and having already bagged a few, “the notes” waded knee-deep and waited for this shot to present itself; kneeling down, holding the camera in front of my knee and snapping without looking through the view finder. No housing, no common sense. Paid off. It makes the wall for a couple of reasons. The first is the tidal wave effect from popping off a quick shot just in front of the foreground white water. The second is the surfing which seems off-hand in the composition yet is solid in the conditions and style. Ryan has that style and home-bred skill and there was enough luck to catch it with a lens. His riding makes the wave look better than it was. Diligence and patience got his riding there. Luck got the photo. A nice combo.