Friday, May 11, 2012


"...there was purity and there was the dream, and the adventure, and there was the counterculture aspect. It was like shove society, shove the nine to five, shove the rules... we're just going to follow our hearts, treat each other well, eat well and enjoy the ocean. It was not for money and it wasn't for fame... that's what we're gunna do... purely because that's what our hearts want to do. That was amazing."
— Jim Banks (quote from the Switch-foot book)

When I was a young boy, surfing songs were playing on the radio and TV all the time. The Chantays sang PipeLine, Jan & Dean had Surf City and of course, there were the Beach Boys!! It seemed for awhile that they had a hit every week and many were surfing related. They had Catch a Wave, Surfin Safari, Surfer Girl and the anthem of surfing; Surfin' USA. In Revere, Massachusetts where I spent my youth, there were no surfers, at least not that we knew or saw! We saw the teen movies with Annette (mostly bad) where boy meets girl, boy falls in love, then boy does something stupid and loses girl. But after some singing and surfing, the boy redeems himself, the girl realizes she loves him and they go off surfing into the sunset, usually while some surfing song played in the background!  

I remember loving the idea of surfing; the girls, the beach, the sun, the girls!! In the group of friends I had, you didn't run off to California in your teen years to surf, although more than a few of us thought hard about it!!!  In my case, it was a few years later when I moved away from the east coast of the USA to Arizona. Not much surfing in the Arizona desert!! By then I was married (a really bad decision ), owned a house and started working.. a lot !!! The idea of running away to surf was not even a small reality! 

All through the years when I had seen surfers riding the waves, I would stop and marvel at them. I think it's the sense of being young  again and their freedom on the waves. There is also a small feeling of remorse for not running off to California to 'catch' a wave.  My life is the best it's ever been but there still is the thought of being a surfer boy riding the waves while the girls all watch!

For the past three days, I have been teaching a one on one workshop and one of the days took us to a local spot named Bathtub Beach.
As we walked the beach looking for images, we saw two young guys on the beach, one with a camera the other with a surfboard. I knew I would not be walking any farther for awhile. I told John, the gentleman with whom I was working, that we should wait here and pick out some images!! 

Here I could combine my passion of photography with my youthful dreams, my california dreams! For a few minutes, I could watch and record the freedom of being young and feeling the power of the ocean under my board.

For a man whose only surfing is done on the web, this was going to be a great day!!

I was told that these were small waves and that the fall and winter produce larger waves on the east coast of Florida! To me, they looked large enough!!

As you can see in these next two images, this can be a dangerous sport. In the first image you can see one of the four surfers falling off the board.

In the next image that surfer cannot be seen. He is under the wave and his board is flying up into the air heading back down. These boards are heavy and if it was to hit the surfer, a serious injury could
be the result!! Luckily, the surfer was safe and was back up on his board in minutes looking for the next wave!

Any athlete will tell you that part of the enjoyment of their sport is the camaraderie felt with fellow athletes. It is a big reason they enjoy their sport!

                       Of course there are other reasons !!!


Martha J. M. Orlando said...

What amazing and exciting photos, Jim! And, how I loved the story you told about those "surfin' days" - I so loved the Beach Boys! You took me back and brought me forward all at the same time.
Blessings to you!

melissa said...

LOL Jim...did you just mention the word 'girls' twice s much as 'surfing'? ahahaha...

It looks like so much fun (even if it's done only in the net). And the Beach Boys made it even more fun I guess.

The waves look pretty amazing! Surfing would just like be being in harmony with the waves. I didn't know surfboards are heavy, geez!

I also like the clear blue skies and well of course, the model in blue LOL!

Thanks for this post. It brought me so much excitement viewing life and so much action in your page :D

C'est la vie!

Tameka said...

Hi Jim!

I'm not too familiar with the surfer lifestyle, but I love the water, the beach and being outdoors so these images really appealed to me!

So nice to see that you got to live vicariously through the surfers. I'm sure you have surfed in your own way over the years in all of your travels. Would still love to see you on a board though! Cheers!

Simran said...

My words can not explain the beauty of your talent!
Love your photography! :)