Iconic surf photographer Jason Murray teaches you how!
Life is the most wonderful serenade. This morning, I inadvertently posted a very fun picture of a boat being mauled by waves on my Instagram account without thinking much of it besides, “Whoa.”
Mere hours later it was revealed the captain, and hero, of that boat was none other than legendary surf photographer Jason Murray and that the particular event happened during a professional surf contest. Come and revel in his iconic images here!
In any case, I thought, “Fantastic…” and then did further research.
Did you know this one clip has garnered more views than anything, save Mick Fanning’s shark attack, related to professional surfing? Oh this news was worth a call to Mr. Murray who I found patrolling Oregon’s coast. Let’s have a chat with him!
The finals were about to start in the 2002 CT at Lowers. Kelly was in the semi-final I remember but lost to Mick (I wrote poorly as I was listening and got last name wrong but the one with red hair… Mick… Lowe?) and Luke (I think maybe Egan) were in the final.
Before they ran it though they had an expression session, an airshow and a 9/11 tribute. I had been out on the boat all day long. This was pre-ski and looking back it is a really weird craft to use at Lowers but at the time it was no big deal.
It was a really good finals day with the sets pumping. Like, 4 to 6 feet. The boat had a 2-stroke engine and those fuck up after a while so during the day I kept going past the break and revving the engine to clean the carbs.
Anyhow, right after the 9/11 ceremony finished I made my way into the lineup and that’s when the engine just died. There were 3000 people on the beach, it was high tide and they were all there on the cobblestones. Five people deep, shoulder to shoulder.
The engine was dead and of course a solid fat one popped up. I was thinking, “Fuck. This boat is not starting. It’s totally dead.”
Dave Stanfield was on the mic for that one and delivering the call. “Sets coming. The boat better get out of there…”
I handed my cameras to Jake “Jaker” Walsh and told him to put them in the Pelican. Then we took two waves and started to get pretty cleaned. It was almost give up the ship time. The boat had spun around and was facing the beach and I finally got it started, spun back around and punched it. Jaker went full superman but crisis averted, for the most part. If not I’d probably be doing this call from jail, being inside for involuntary manslaughter for 10 people. The beach really was packed.
I wouldn’t be laughing if I killed people. That boat had a lot of good adventures after that but that was its moment in the limelight. You know, though. It doesn’t matter what you are shooting on… a ski, a surfboard, a boat… eventually your luck is going to run out.
Oh but real quick, the best part, when we were safe I asked Jaker, “How are my cameras?” Well, he had put them in the bait box instead of the Pelican. They were all floating in water. I had at least six surfers paddle up to me after that bringing me canisters of film but you know what? We sat outside and watched the finals and some of the best surf contest I ever shot was from that day.
So there you go. You want 20 million social media views? Drive a boat into a professional surf lineup, get smashed by waves and save the day while losing your livelihood.