Big(ger) Shots -- 2/24/02

Spencer Skipper scores a chunky one before the contest
Contest photos here

Although the surf was forecast to be sizable, winds were going to mess things up. Didn't matter--it was my surf day, and I was getting wet regardless.

The waiting period for the Gotcha Pipeline was still on so I knew Pipe would be extra busy in the morning with guys getting in some precontest surf. I also knew they would more than likely run the event. That was cool. I figured I could get some bodyboarding in early, then try shooting again from the water during the event.

Paddled out in near darkness and was greeted with some chunky surf in the 4-6 foot (Haw'n) range. I got one big set where I took a very conservative line, and got a medium sized one that allowed me a sweet tuberide. I was satisfied.

The lineup crowded quickly, pretty much choking my wave count to nil. Since I already considered my sponge-session over, I just enjoyed the view, watching the hordes battle for waves, all the while waiting for the sun to peak over the Koolau’s enough to start shooting.

Went in to switch gear and talk story with the contest crew. My "Hassle the Photographer" session was forgotten by all on the scaffolding. Cool.

I jumped in halfway through the first heat and got to the lineup with surprising ease. Got lucky, I guess.

The photo session wasn't all that great, but as always with Pipeline, there are moments of intensity. I was using a borrowed 80 mm on my Nikonos so I was able to get fairly tight while keeping my distance.

Knowing I had just a limited amount of time to shoot, I blasted away with reckless abandon. This time I was using some cheap print film so I didn't feel too bad about wasting shots too much.

Came in quite invigorated after a good swim. Was more invigorated after I saw the pics.

Golden Depesa charges during the contest

Aloha from Paradise,