Surf Photo Friday – Malia Ward, Chris Ward, and a Surf Photographer’s Second Worst Nightmare

Malia Ward drives off the bottom on a sunny California day. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.

Surf Photo Friday – Malia Ward, Chris Ward, and a Surf Photographer’s Second Worst Nightmare

After juggling schedules that never seemed to jive, we finally set up a morning to shoot some photos. A quick call to Malia’s mom, Jacqueline, to verify we were on and I was into my car and driving north. Upon exiting the freeway, I was feeling that familiar blend of excitement and anticipation that comes on when working with somebody new. Although usually on time, I felt quite proud of myself for arriving several minutes early. However, the feeling vanished with one glance at the back seat of my parked car.

Although there are some bad things that can happen when shooting from the water…being run over, getting pinned against the reef, etc., the biggest nightmare equipment-wise is having a water housing flooded with saltwater. I never give flooding much thought though, because SPL water housings are so well-built. On this day, however, I was guilty of the second biggest nightmare–I had left my housing on the couch at home.

What would I do? What could I say? Here I am meeting someone for the first time to shoot water shots and I had left a most important piece of equipment an hour away. As my feelings of preparedness gave way to complete embarrassment, Jacqueline and Malia arrived at the beach lot. Taking a “rip the bandage off quickly” approach, I told them of my blunder right after we had exchanged introductions. Although I was feeling like a complete numskull, they showed me nothing but kindness and understanding and we were soon laughing about the mishap. As luck would have it, the tide was way too high for the break which provided ample time to retrieve the water housing.

When we met up later in the day, the tide had dropped, the surf was still glassy and Malia was shredding. It’s going to be fun watching Malia’s development as a surfer. She is absolutely fearless, surfs for hours on end, and works a crowded break with the ease of a seasoned veteran. As this particular session was winding down, Malia’s dad, Chris Ward, paddled out and basically turned every wave into a live surf movie. The nightmarish start to the morning had come full-circle and transformed into a dream day complete with sunny skies, clean waves, and new friends.

Thank you for dropping by for another installment of Surf Photo Friday. Have a great weekend everyone …and as always, thank you for your support of Jettygirl.

Midday barrel for Malia Ward. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.

Malia Ward paddles out for some fun winter waves in Southern California. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.

Malia Ward, layback snap in Southern California. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.

Malia Ward setting up for a barrel. Surf photo by Chris Grant.

Small wave punt by Chris Ward. Surf photo by Chris Grant.

An empty wave slips through the lineup. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.

Malia Ward dives into shallow water. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.

A glimpse of Malia Ward through the lip. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.

Malia Ward, layback snap at her local beach break. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.

Malia Ward in a thick-lipped barrel. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.

Chris Ward frontside air. Surf photo by Chris Grant.

Photos: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.com


Bonus Material: 24 seconds from the session with Malia and Chris Ward


Previous Surf Photo Fridays | Chloe Buckley & the Tiny Five Hundred Dollar Wave | A Special Surf Session with Ashley Lloyd Thompson, Julie Cox, Alex Thompson, Chris Cuevas & Sheri Crummer | Kelly Nicely & the Pelican Session | Mary Osborne & Her Beloved 9’10” Cooperfish Single Fin | Kelia Moniz, Megan Godinez, Geodee Clark & Bruna Schmitz | Kamalehua Keohokapu | Claire Bevilacqua | Lulu Erkeneff | Alexa Frantz |Rebecca Woods | Silvana Lima | Alessa Quizon

Additional Resources:
Malia Ward on Facebook
Malia Ward on Instagram
Jacqueline Miller on Instagram
Chris Ward on Instagram
Cyber Shield Wetsuits
Lost Surfboards
Tonic Haircare
SPL Water Housings



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