Stab Magazine | Jack Freestone, slinging over D-bah slop, Gold Coast
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Jack Freestone, slinging over D-bah slop, Gold Coast

Surf trips are always a gamble, no matter how far away you’re going. It’s the nature of surfing. Which is fine for the average thrill-seeker burning down the coast with his buddies on the weekend for a change of scenery. But, when it’s part of your job to capture the best surfers in the best […]

full frame // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Surf trips are always a gamble, no matter how far away you’re going. It’s the nature of surfing. Which is fine for the average thrill-seeker burning down the coast with his buddies on the weekend for a change of scenery. But, when it’s part of your job to capture the best surfers in the best waves, it becomes a balancing act. “It was meant to be three-to-four foot,” says photog Matt O’Brien of a recent planned dash from his home on the Sunshine Coast down to the Gold Coast. “A really good swell. But then Noa (Deane) told me the arvo before that it was one foot, and don’t come down. In the morning, Jack (Freestone, pictured here) said it’d picked up to three foot and to come down. He’s the kinda guy you need to shoot with whenever you can, so I went down and, well, it was tiny.”

With no waves around, scooping shoots was tough. Luckily, the trip wasn’t a complete commercial failure for Matt. Noa’s brother, Jimi, is taking a serious crack at acting and Matt found out that he needed some headshots. Jimi’s agent was happy to pay for some of Matt’s skills which, on this day, only meant a coupla white wall portraits. But, better than nothing. “If it wasn’t for that I would’ve had a shocker,” laughs Matt. “I would’ve come home and cried.”

But the trip wasn’t completely without surf. Jack surfed for 10 minutes in the morning and one hour in the afternoon. “You just gotta shoot with him when he’s around,” says Matt. “Everyone wants a piece of him ’cause he’s so consistent. If you go shoot with him you’re always gonna get something.” This shot was one of very few that the wind slop allowed. Worth the two-and-a-half hour drive from Sunny Coast to Gold Coast? You decide.

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