Stab Magazine | What Happens When You Get Too Many Barrels?

Stab High Japan Presented By Monster Energy Will Be Broadcast Live On June 21st and June 22nd from 5 PM - 10 PM PDT

6 Views

What Happens When You Get Too Many Barrels?

Spoiler alert: you become a sometimes surf photographer!

style // Oct 18, 2017
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Who here is satisfied with the quantity of quality surfs in their lives? Certainly not me. Even with a flexible job and residence on America’s most consistent coast, I find my life woefully deprived of epic surf sessions. It’s a few-times-a-year thing, at best.

But there are certain people in the world — most of them pro surfers, others lucky souls in money poor, wave rich regions — who surf so many great waves every year that they all become a blur. One barrel blends into the next as their life begins to function within the realm of one long, wet tunnel. These folks get tubed so often that it becomes, dare I say, boring.

Me on the other hand — anytime a potentially epic swell pops on the charts I’m combing my rolodex for local info, prepping my supplies days in advance, and investing every ounce of energy into finding the best waves within an X mile radius. It’s the most exciting thing I can imagine doing with my life, and I become physically ill at the thought of missing one of these opportunities.

raven sandy 2 photo by phildo

During 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, Raven was towed into some of the biggest surf ever witnessed on the east coast. He’s got a knack for finding himself in the right place at the right time. Photo: Uncle Phil

Which is why I will never understand the surf photographer. If you’re not a surfer yourself, then where does the motivation come from to either freeze or suffer a heat stroke on the beach while shooting (mostly) terrible sessions for (always) terrible pay? And if you are a surfer, how can you stand watching perfect waves while you’re swimming in the impact zone or fighting off sand flies? It makes no sense. 

Virginia’s Raven Lundy ain’t exactly bored of tubes, but the east coast stalwart has altered his trajectory from fulltime tube-stuffer to halftime tube-stuffer/sometime tube-photographer. I called Raven, who since I can remember has worked as an east coast Billabong rep, to figure out how a guy who’s committed decades to chasing pits up and down the east coast, can bear to miss out on perfect waves… for the sake of photographing them.

Is it for money? Fame? Is he just sick of getting barreled? I had to know.

unnamed4

Cash Barris, as seen through Raven Lundy’s lens as perched on Brett Barley’s jetski.

Stab: Hey Raven! I’ve seen your photos popping up around the web and they’re pretty sick but… how do you deal with watching all those incredible waves go by, when you could be surfing them yourself?
Raven Lundy: Well it’s not like I don’t surf anymore [laughs]. I’m still surfing when the waves are good, but sometimes it’ll get crowded or whatever so I’ll just snag the camera and get a few shots. I’m happier to swim around and try to score photos than I am sitting around in a packed lineup.

So you’re not doing this for money? For fame?
Nah man, I’ve never sold a photo in my life. It’s really cool for me to stoke people out when I get a good photo of them, and also to experience surfing in a different way. I’m not trying to steal other photographers’ thunder or undercut the market or anything. I’m just a guy trying to have fun.

Screen Shot 2017 10 17 at 2.15.46 PM

“This kid’s name is Ski,” Raven explains. “I don’t know his last name, but this is one of my favorite shots.”

But I would kill to surf some of those waves you’re shooting. Do you think you’ve become a little jaded after like… twenty years of scoring the east coast?
I obviously still love getting barreled, and you know, sometimes I do step-offs when we can find an empty stretch of beach. So when you get used to that… to getting tons of barrels all by yourself, it’s hard to be super motivated to sit there with 20 guys waiting for a good wave. It doesn’t give you the same adrenaline rush.

So last week there was a swell on the Outer Banks, and according to Brett Barley you tried to swim out but got denied… then you drove a jetski six miles to get some shots. That’s serious dedication.
That was stupid is what that was [laughs]. Yeah, I tried to swim but the current was so gnarly, I pretty much got swept right away. The I tried to paddle out on my board with the camera, so that I’d be able to fight the current a little better, but I got caught inside, got absolutely smoked, and broke my leash. I saw Brett and told him he should let me take his ski out, but he was a little apprehensive because the ski hadn’t been run in a long time. Eventually he let me go, and I had to drive it through a crazy channel to get it out to the spot. Once I got there, though, I got some of my favorite photos to date.

Screen Shot 2017 10 17 at 2.14.44 PM

Yeah, I guess from that perspective I can see where the excitement comes from. So long as you still get your fill of waves, it’s probably fun to mix it up.
For sure, but I don’t want it to seem like I think I’m better than anybody or I get more barreled than anybody. People are always upset about something, whether it’s for using a jetski or exposing a surf spot, but I’m just out here doing what I’ve always done — trying to have as much fun in the ocean as possible. I love surfing, I love being in the water, and I want to experience it in as many ways as possible.  

 

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Allow Us To Introduce The YETI Ladybirds And Bottle Rockets Of Stab High Japan Presented By Monster Energy

Here's our schoolyard pick for teams; who will win the most cred at the lunch…

Jun 17, 2024

Prediction: Moving The WSL Finals To Fiji Will Kill Off Two More Surfing Superstars

Is this JJF's time to collect his titles? We checked the stats.

Jun 17, 2024

Confirmed: Fiji To Host 2025 WSL Finals

Cloudbreak will remain on tour until 2026.

Jun 17, 2024

What’s The Secret To Powersurfing?

Taylor Knox, Kyuss King, and Jessi Miley-Dyer tackle a trio of questions in our third…

Jun 16, 2024

How To Win Stab High Japan, Presented By Monster Energy

A statistical analysis of the 493 airs attempted in previous chlorinated editions.

Jun 16, 2024

Watch: An Intimate Portrait Of The Wave, Village, And People At The End Of The Road

Oxbow’s ‘Children of Teahupo’o’ is playing exclusively on Stab Premium for the next two weeks. 

Jun 15, 2024

Fuck It, Run The Entire CT In Indo

A historic beginning to the Indonesian dry season.

Jun 14, 2024

Ferrari Boyz: Holly Wawn

"I've had 4, 5, maybe 6 cars... I'm a car dealer I reckon."

Jun 13, 2024

A Miscalculated Shallow Dive, Neck-First, Into The Waters Of Japanese Surfing

How is surfing different in the land of cherry blossoms?

Jun 13, 2024

How Has Ian Crane Made 4/5 Stab High Finals?

And who he's most afraid of competing against in Japan.

Jun 13, 2024

“I Haven’t Seen Anyone That Young And That Keen For Heavy Waves In A Decade” —Shane Dorian

Jacob Turner is 16 years old and trying to paddle tow sets at Teahupo'o...on his…

Jun 12, 2024

Long Read: 1,000 Ways To Die In Indonesia

18,000 islands of beautiful people, world-class waves, and danger around every corner.

Jun 11, 2024

Watch: Craig Anderson And Kaito Ohashi Find (Mostly) Empty Waves In Southeast Asia

Oh, and enter to win a grand worth of DB gear.

Jun 11, 2024

Brad Gerlach Rode A 600cc Motorbike Through Europe’s 1980’s Psychedelic Renaissance  

"Fuck London. Let’s just buy motorcycles tomorrow and drive to France, man."

Jun 11, 2024

Caroline Marks Goes Two-In-A-Row And John John Florence Wins First CT Event Since 2020 At The Surf City El Salvador Pro

Plus, we asked Chris Cote for a look into the commentary team's psyche and Griff…

Jun 9, 2024

Why Is Mavericks Core Getting Overrun By Yuppies?

And other questions from our audience — answered by Pete Mel, Mick Fanning, and Joel…

Jun 9, 2024

Everything Worth Remembering From 4 (Mostly) Forgettable Quarterfinals In El Salvador

Plus, what's the consensus on the Griff vs. João kerfluffle?

Jun 8, 2024

Wildcard Big-dogs Italo, Yago Pops The Cork, And Griffin Cops An Ambiguous Interference On Day 2 In El Salvador

"Honestly, that was a bad... uhh I mean, a tough call." - Strider

Jun 8, 2024
Advertisement