Justin Jay has the ability to be surrounded by photographers, fans with GoPros and iPhones and still find that… moment… that eludes everyone else. | Photo: Justin Jay

Soon: Justin Jay’s North Shore Photo Show, NYC

In the Bagel? Come and see the best of surf photojournalism at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club…

Each year there are two principal behind-the-scenes photographers on the North Shore. The Californian Steve Sherman, naturally, and maybe not so naturally given his geographical base, the New Yorker Justin Jay.

Justin Jay, yeah, that guy, the one whom I’ve given plenty of press in Stab magazine, first, and lately, BeachGrit. The same one who’s shot P Diddy and Jay Z.

Justin is one of those photographers y’can’t ignore; who catches moments, photos, that blur the line between artistic expression and candour. With an ancient fixed 35mm lens attached to a relatively modern Canon body and with an artist’s eye for colour correction, his photos arrest the eye.

Every year when he flies to the North Shore to independently cover the contest season, he carries a box of prints in his backpack to give to surfers he’s previously shot.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” says the 42-year-old from the Lower East Side. “A picture does take a little bit of your soul in a sense, it’s why famous people wear sunglasses all the time. So if you take someone’s photo, you need to give something back, you have to make sure they get a print. Everyone has a fucking iPhone and no one has any physical prints any more. When you give someone a print from a year ago, they feel amazing.”

Montgomery Ernest Thomas Kaluhiokalani aka Buttons
Montgomery Ernest Thomas Kaluhiokalani aka Buttons shortly before he died in 2013.

Opening this Saturday night at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club and running until July 6, is Justin’s exhibition 1000 images, all shot from his half-dozen or so seasons on the North Shore.

Gabriel Medina
Emotion? Jay’s photos got ’em.

If you’re in town and don’t mind a little ride on the subway, Justin promises a warm welcome, a little chilled booze and photos that’ll make you believe surfing is the most happening show in town.

Coco Ho and Quincy Davis
Hawaiian Coco Ho and New Yorker Quincy Davis and one of the famous North Shore turtles. Even something as potentially cheesy as two gals in a bikini with a reptile is filled with enough…what is it, intent, skill… to please the eye.
Ross Williams and Benji Weatherley
Momentum stars Benji Weatherley and Ross Williams (now the ace in the WSL commentary team) laugh at the absurdities of life and the brevity of fame.
Joel Parkinson and Steve Sherman
The other great behind-the-scenes shooter Steve Sherman and Joel Parkinson in an unguarded moment, typical of Justin Jay’s body of work.

If you want to hear Justin Jay talk about the game of shooting photos, click here. 

Justin Jay exhibition
In town? Swing by the Rockaway Beach Surf Club.

Fuck nostalgia says the writer, but why fuck when you can join! “Lexus has worked with experts in super-conductive technology to create one of the most advanced Hoverboards the world has seen.”

Here: Hoverboards!

You like the idea of surfing on… air? Hoverboards are sorta here! By Lexus!

Fuck nostalgia. Fuck the good ol’ days. Today is the best time to be alive in history. Why? Because shit like this comes across your desk:

“Lexus has worked with experts in super-conductive technology to create one of the most advanced Hoverboards the world has seen.”

That’s the second sentence of an oddly amateur-looking press release I received today. Lexus, purveyor of slightly-better-than-Toyota cars and SUVs, has tried their hand at The Most Advanced Hoverboard the World Has Seen.

Is it coincidence that the hoverboard heavy world depicted in Back to the Future 2 was a fictional 2015?

Anyhow, Lexus worked with superconductivity vets, hoping to use magnetic levitation with conductors cooled by liquid nitrogen and permanent magnets. The result?

“Frictionless movement.”

Imagine, literally floating in air, frictionless.

Alas, there’s a catch.

Two catches, actually: One, it only hovers in a controlled environment. I imagine one with a magnetic surface? And two, like cruel fucking assholes, Lexus and co. won’t be selling these slick sleds.

Hoverboard
Lexus worked with superconductivity vets, hoping to use magnetic levitation with conductors cooled by liquid nitrogen and permanent magnets. The result? “Frictionless movement.” Imagine, literally floating in air, frictionless. Alas, there’s a catch. Two catches, actually: one, it only hovers in a controlled environment. I imagine one with a magnetic surface? And two, like cruel fucking assholes, Lexus and co. won’t be selling these slick sleds.

The Hoverboard  was developed as part of Lexus’ new Amazing in Motion campaign, which is one big PR wet dream—Lexus’s engineers get to live out some childhood fantasies, everyone guffaws at their bold, brash ingenuity, and in the end they don’t have to actually make anything that is actually production-ready.

Here’s how EVP Mark Templin laid it all out: “At Lexus we constantly challenge ourselves and our partners to push the boundaries of what is possible. That determination, combined with our passion and expertise…” and it sort of goes on like that for a while. Whatever.

For all the self-congratulatory edicts, there’s not actually any footage of anyone riding one of the things. The promotional video shows a skateboarder rolling up on a trusty four-wheeled steed, then dismounting for the Hoverboard. His black, crepe-soled shoes threaten to light upon the Hoverboard’s deck, a plume of dry ice smoke rising from its seams.

And then, like so many dreams, it cuts to black.


Dane receiving his wildcard. Congrats! | Photo: Sherm

Just in: Dane Reynolds snags another wildcard!

He will be gouging J-Bay! Can you believe it? Can you?

Can you believe it? Can you even believe it? I can’t. I was driving north on the 101 to visit my wife’s father in quaint Cayucos. She is next to me and the children are in back watching The Incredibles and Vampire Diaries respectively.

We were through Oxnard, California almost to Ventura, California when my partner, Derek Rielly, texted me the news. “Oh Chas!” he began “I’m at a school concert and Dane just got the J-Bay wildcard. Do you have a mo to sling online?”

No because I was driving but then I thought about those gorgeous turns he strings together and thought about him almost conquering Fiji and thought about him using his earnings to feed a new baby at home and thought, “The people at home need to know!” I quickly swerved off the road, trying desperately to find a Starbucks to milk its wifi. And I found one….but realized that it was in a Vons grocery store and those damned ones don’t have wifi. Crushed. Until I saw a McDonald’s! Beacon of America! They have wifi, don’t they?

I scrambled inside, opened my laptop and……I’m online!

So guess what? Dane Reynolds is the wildcard surfer in South Africa! The WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow “cited the Californian’s incredible talent, ability to lift the event’s performance level and recent surfing in Fiji as reasons for his selection.”

Did you know Dane’s ninth in Fiji puts him at #34, ahead of full-time competitors CJ Hobgood (surprise!) and Brett Simpson (maybe not so surprise!). And if he scoops up another good result at J-Bay, and maybe slides into a few more events as a wildcard, he could qualify for the CT, finishing 22nd or better.

Dane’ll surf against Mick Fanning and Kai Otton in round one.

So! You get to watch his gorgeous turns! His baby gets to eat! Can you believe it? We all win! And if I can convince the family to get off the road in Venture Dane and I can celebrate together.

This is Dane at J-Bay in 2010 and, below, his last drop on Marine Layer Productions. I think, better now…

 

 

 

 

 

 


That's MT on the right, the dazzling character who was one of South Africa's best surfers at the start of the pro game (mid-seventies) and who later rolled his talents into creating the first big surf brand, Gotcha - $125 mill a year in sales at its early nineties peak.

Just in: Surf Legend Held in Coke Bust

Michael Tomson has been arrested on suspicion of dealing a little blow. Little, by '80s standards, of course.

Do you remember the clothing label Gotcha? Sure you do, at least if you’re over 25. At its nineties peak it was doing $125 million in sales.

Fish with the flag, Pottz rode for them, Machado milked its formidable teats before jumping ship to Hurley. That Gotcha.

Well, police this morning charged its co-founder and Bustin’ Down the Door star, Michael Tomson, “with felony possession of narcotics for sale after conducting a 7 a.m. probation check at his home in the 21000 block of Mar Vista Avenue,” reports the Laguna Beach Indy.

“A scale, baggies used to package cocaine for sale and 52 grams of cocaine were seized, said Sgt. Tim Kleiser. While the new charges carry a $25,000 bail, Tomson’s probation officer placed a hold on him due to the new arrest, Kleiser said. In 2013, Tomson was charged with two felony DUI counts, and suspicion of cocaine possession, following an early-morning traffic accident in Laguna Beach.”

According to the Encyclopedia of Surfing, “Tomson suffered a perforated stomach ulcer in 1996 and nearly died. Other health problems followed. He had semiregular run-ins with the law in the ’00s, including a morning car accident in 2013 in which the 58-year-old Tomson was charged with two felony DUI counts, and suspicion of cocaine possession.”


In case you have been living under a rock, Matt Warshaw rocked the surfing world, recently, when he told a reporter from Surfer Magazine, “Fuck the Olympics.” Yesterday, Owen Wright followed by telling a Reuters reporter surfing is more art than sport. | Photo: Steve Sherman

Owen Wright: “I’m with Matt Warshaw!”

World number three comes out swinging against surfing's Olympic inclusion…

Owen Wright is seen, is some ill-informed camps, as a jock-ish athletic type surfer. The sort who prefers doing sit-ups and kettle bells/balls to being the life of the party. And it could have been thought that the possibility of surfing’s inclusion into the Olympic games would have thrilled him beyond. Not only because of he sit-ups but because he is an Australian and all Australians are rabidly nationalistic.

But guess what? Owen Wright agrees with Matt Warshaw! He thinks the Olympics should butt the hell out of surfing!

In case you have been living under a rock, Matt Warshaw rocked the surfing world, recently, when he told a reporter from Surfer Magazine, “Fuck the Olympics.” (Read story here). Yesterday, Owen Wright followed by telling a Reuters reporter:

“I think surfing in itself is more of an art form and an expression so I think the Olympic banner doesn’t really suit the sport of surfing. It suits a lot of other sports but I think surfing is more like judging an art work. It’s kind of hard to put it under that one banner. If you had one event and named the Olympic champion? I think in the world surf league we have a bunch of different canvasses, they’re all totally different waves, and by the end of it you get the winner. I think it has to be like that, to have a bunch of different inclusions to get the one champion.”

And ain’t that refreshing. As iconoclastic as he is fit. And handsome.