One Shot: Lucas Gardner.

One Shot: Lucas Gardner.

Words and image: Lucas Gardner @Igardnerimagery

Rider: Dane Beales @danebeales

Deciding whether to surf or shoot has become a familiar dilemma to me of late. It’s a love-hate relationship, where the rewarding feeling of opting for one is met with disappointment of missed opportunity from the other.

Living on the Gold Coast, bodyboarding has always more or less taken a back seat to stand up surfing, but it’s not hard to see why, given the amount of raw talent and world class surfers the joint has etched in its history. With so much talent in the water, there’s equally as much trying to document it, whether it be via stills or video work, on land or in water.

It’s no wonder that when the charts show significant promise, some opt to escape the circus and put in some leg work in hope of scoring away from the crowds. This is both true as a surfer and photographer.

This particular time we decided to escape the chaos and put in some hours on the road. Rocking up just before dawn, we were greeted with pretty epic conditions with a cold winter offshore and a heavy swell from the south. It’s always been one of my personal favourite waves.

Growing up as a young grom and seeing it get its fair share of exposure in printed bodyboard publications really made it a no brainer for me to leave the boog at home and opt to shoot land instead. There was still a small paparazzi on the beach, but all were fixated on the stand up crew, with the sound of shutters going silent when a bodyboarder took centre stage on the peak… a trait I’ve become pretty familiar with on the Gold Coast.

Dane rocked up around mid morning and pretty much started to tear the joint apart instantly.  Those from the Goldy know what he’s capable of and it was no surprise to see the quality of surfing he dished up on this particular day. He was on the best waves all day and in turn was hard to keep your eye off.

I’ve always felt this break looked better from land. As much as I love shooting water, sometimes I feel that a land angle tells the full story and gives a better perspective.

Photography isn’t just about the images themselves though, but the process of creating them. It’s the through the middle of night drives, the small town bakeries, the very fucking average servo coffees, the shit talking with mates and the stoke when you see the first set of the morning roll in. Everyone’s chasing the same outcome, good waves…but enjoying the process to get them should be just as important.

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