Jeronimo Vargas, jacking from the underground at Nias, Indo
There’s a surprisingly small amount of waves that are so instantly recognisable as Nias when shot from the sand. The trees, the green water, the obligatory man standing in way-overhead-barrel. But, what about from the water, staring into it? Not so instantly recognisable. So, let us focus on the situation we find in this photograph: […]
There’s a surprisingly small amount of waves that are so instantly recognisable as Nias when shot from the sand. The trees, the green water, the obligatory man standing in way-overhead-barrel. But, what about from the water, staring into it? Not so instantly recognisable. So, let us focus on the situation we find in this photograph: a 25-year-old surfer from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, named Jeronimo ‘Je’ Vargas, burning through a Nias fold on October 10. Je surfs qualifying events on occasion, but is mostly a tube pig and does his best work at Pipeline. So it’s unsurprising that he was in the front row when Nias scored its biggest swell in recent years. Bigger than the swell in Who Is JOB and certainly comparable to the swell following 2005’s earthquake. There were only 10 guys in the water this day. Mostly underground chargers from Australia, some Hawaiians and a couple of Brazilians including Je. With a distinct lack of sponsored egos in the lineup, the vibe was euphoric. Everybody sharing bombs, psyching each other, having a very fine time in the biggest swell any of them had seen there. It was a day of records for Je. He says that one particular wipeout, belonging to Western Australian Cale Grigson, was the scariest and heaviest he’d ever seen. He also says that this is the best barrel he’s ever stood in. And, that this is the best shot he’s ever had taken of him. Which is thanks to Diogo being the only nutcase swimming with a camera out there that day. Everybody gets their kicks somehow.
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