I'll tell you a photographer’s dirty little secret.
While a great competitive clash out in front of the NSSA scaffolding is worth its weight in gold, sometimes the amazing freesurfs that take place just up the beach at these contests are enough to pull our lenses away from the competitive action for a moment.
Don’t get me wrong; we at ESM fully realize that documenting the contest is our journalistic responsibility. We also have a deep respect for the competitive organization that has been a stepping stone for so many Right Coast pros. That’s why my partner Tom Dugan and I came up with a win-win solution. We often split duties, with one of us concentrating on the surfers in jerseys and the other framing the freesurfing.
After all, one of the wonderful things about a contest that gathers so much East Coast talent is that there’s always a ton of action going on in the water, some of it official, and some not. In fact, to some surfers, “winning" a sideline freesurf session over their fellow competitors is almost as important as taking out the same opponents in front of the NSSA’s iconic contest towers. And we wouldn’t want you, dear reader, to miss out on any of the action at this year’s 2012 NSSA East Coast Championships. So here’s what went down between the heats.