Presented by Jettygirl.com and our generous readers
Today it's cold and rainy in Southern California, the type of day that lends itself perfectly to reflecting back to the warm days of summer. Of all the days I shot during that three month span, this session stands out from the rest. With a hungry pack of male world tour competitors scrounging for every wave possible, one girl held her ground and scored at least a dozen high-quality lefts that afternoon. Her name is Lulu Erkeneff.
You may or may not know Lulu but due to her homebreak being the photo-friendly Salt Creek, she's quite possibly the most consistently photographed female surfer on the West Coast, a fact I'm sure makes her sponsors quite happy. Whenever I see her surf it trips me out that no major clothing sponsor has signed her yet. While they seem to hand out contracts for daily Instagram bikini shots and slip-slidey surfing these days, the brands are clearly missing a surfer who's not only smart but charges, pulls into barrels, and uses her rail in a manner that would make any power surfer grin.
On this particular wave Lulu had two huge snaps out the back and as she approached me the clouds that had been obscuring the sun a moment before parted and her turn was suddenly bathed in beautiful light. While I was a bit too close to her to work much with the composition of the photos, this turn is permanently etched in my mind due to Lulu's clean rail-work and spontaneous smile after rebounding off the foam. While many of today's tricks are played out and forgotten about after the next set has rolled through, the memory of a well-placed roundhouse can stay with you forever.
Photos: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.com
Previous Photo Fridays | Alexa Frantz |Rebecca Woods | Silvana Lima | Alessa Quizon Additional Resources:Go, Lulu. Go!Ocean MindedHotline WetsuitsThe Mint
* Like, tweet, post, comment or whatever. Waves are meant to be shared.
Summertime Fun with Lulu Erkeneff
For a world class summertime recipe, add some rays to a batch of leopard sharks and mix in a healthy dose of big frontside blasts by Lulu Erkeneff. Salt Creek surf video clip by Rick Erkeneff.
Additional Resources:Go, Lulu. Go!
We know what you're thinking. Mid-May is certainly not summer ...yet a trip to the beach earlier today sure felt like summer, so much so that we've decided to kick off Jettygirl's annual summer photo feature a bit early this year. The water's warming up, the sun's out and there's no May Gray to be seen. We'll be adding regularly to this photo feature over the next four months so check back often. We hope that all of you have a wonderful summer and for those of you on the globe who are entering winter shortly, we hope these images will keep you inspired as you're pulling on your 4/3 fullsuits. Enjoy!
Alana Blanchard - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comAugust 7, 2012 - Alana Blanchard takes a moment to guide a baby opossum up to dry sand after he found himself going for an unexpected ocean swim. Kyla Langen - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comAugust 1, 2012 - Kyla Langen spends much of her time up north these days but it's always a treat when she's in town. Spirited foam blast at a spot her and her family call home. Lauren Sweeney - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comJuly 16, 2012 - I met Lauren Sweeney five years ago on the morning this photo was taken. Her first ride was a backside air. This was her second wave. Five minutes into the session and she already had a fan for life. After getting to know her over the years, I've found her to be one of the most well-rounded individuals I've ever come across. Alexia Jeri - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comJuly 8, 2012 - A while back I was swimming around in the channel when a ripping goofyfoot from Peru paddled out a snagged a bunch of fun lefts to herself. Alexia Jeri hooks one off the top at one of Southern California's few remaining secret spots. Haley Watson - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comJuly 6, 2012 - Haley Watson is one of the few people we know who'd both surf in an event, then do the Reef bikini contest afterward. The current Miss Flagler County dons an evening gown as easily as she gets her hands dirty organizing events and raising money for the MayDay Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit she founded in loving memory of her mother, Dollie Sue Watson, that raises awareness and funds to fight heart disease in women. Coco Ho - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comJuly 5, 2012 - We still think it's lame that the World Tour doesn't end in Hawaii again this year. Deciding the World Title in Huntington Beach just doesn't seem right. Nevertheless, the HB shorebreak still tests boards, bodies and commitment. Knees bent and ready to absorb the shore dump, Coco Ho stamps the end of her ride with an exclamation point. Claire Bevilacqua - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comJuly 3, 2012 - This post will be short and sweet. We miss Claire and wish she was here. Today, tomorrow and always, she will be one of our all-time favorites. Lulu Erkeneff - Photo: Mark Simon / simonphotography.smugmug.comJune 30, 2012 - Day in, day out you can find Lulu Erkeneff ripping this local left. Earlier today, Lulu put in some solid rail work at one of California's most competitive surf spots. Danny Dean - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comJune 25, 2012 - It's always wise to check for stingrays during the summer, but the influx in Oceanside this year is simply ridiculous. You're usually in the clear when the only parts of you in saltwater are a couple of toes. In the Summer of 2012 however, there are so many out there that it's worth it to check back and make sure they're not following you onto the sand. Danny Dean, Oceanside, California. Nikki Viesins - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comJune 23, 2012 - Some of Nikki Viesins' turns were so similar to Sally Fitzgibbons that I did a few double-takes yesterday. On a messy onshore day where many of the locals left the water shaking their heads at how bad it was, Nikki shredded wave after wave to the beach. I wish she would visit North County more often. Kaleigh Gilchrist - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comJune 21, 2012 - I dig watching power surfers and Kaleigh Gilchrist is no exception. This particularly windy day featured tricky, frothy rights and with textbook style, Kaleigh applied both power and finesse on wave after wave. Alexa Frantz, Kelsey Harris & Mallory Eberlin - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comJune 11, 2012 - These three surfers had just finished a completely solo session and were back at the car when a complete stranger walks up and says, "My friend has this boat. Do you want to go wakeboarding with us?" After an incredibly awkward minute of silence, the guy bailed but once again I was left bewildered at the lame lines I hear on Jettygirl shoots. I'm pretty sure that bikinis are just bikinis, not invitations. Lindsay Steinriede - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comJune 10, 2012 - Far from the prying eyes of a hundred media cameras, the current ASP Women's Longboard World Champion, Lindsay Steinriede, makes her way to the water's edge at a break that's always been dear to her heart. Alexa Frantz - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comJune 8, 2012 - Somewhat of a secret outside of San Diego, Alexa Frantz is definitely on the short list of surfers I like to shoot with. Her choice of beach attire turns heads most everywhere she goes but it's what she does in the water that I appreciate. The powerful regularfoot has a variety of fin-throwing turns and she never plays it safe. Alexa takes the polar-opposite of "3 to the beach" approach and that's one of the reasons why we like her surfing so much. Ryoko Maruyama - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comJune 6, 2012 - With a quiet gesture that would surely warm the heart of any surfboard shaper, Ryoko Maruyama, shows her board some much deserved appreciation before paddling out at a secret reef in Cardiff. Singlefin love from Japan. Danielle Wyman - Photo: Mark Simon / simonphotography.smugmug.comJune 5, 2012 - On one of those "sunny-but-still-fullsuit" weather days, 3-time ISF State Champion and Dana Hills High School star, Danielle Wyman, whips a nice turn off the top at her local spot. As a standout at one of Southern California's most competitive surf spots, watch for Danielle to continue to make waves in coming years. Bianca Valenti - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comJune 4, 2012 - Far from her homebreak in Marin County, current women's Pipeline champ, Bianca Valenti, was in town for the Bud Light Lime Surf Series event in Oceanside held over the weekend. The waves weren't great but I'm sure it was refreshing for Bianca to ditch her fullsuit and booties for a couple of days in a spring suit. Kassia Meador - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comMay 26, 2012 - A few summers back I had the chance to work with Kassia for a three-day stretch while she was working on some of her early wetsuit designs. A few things stick out in my mind from the sessions ...on the negative side, no sun and a fried wide angle lens; on the bright side, it was the first time I was able to meet the amazing Sofia Mulanovich and of course the extended opportunity to watch Kassia rip on everything from her prized alaia to a pristine singlefin noserider. Taylor Pitz - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comMay 24, 2012 - After being chased from a secret spot last summer, we had to walk for an hour over sharp, rocky terrain. Judging by Taylor's virtual jog over sharp rocks, she'd have no problem walking over hot coals. She probably grew weary of hearing me say, "Ooh, ouch!" a thousand times during the journey. On the way back Taylor discovered a natural pool and took a moment to cool her feet. Shea Hodges - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comMay 23, 2012 - Late afternoon slice by Shea Hodges. The water in San Diego is beginning to warm which suits this Hawaiian goofyfoot fine. While others are breaking out their bikinis, Shea's happily transitioning to a 3/2mm full. Warm and shredding in the sun's last light, Cardiff, California. Kulia Doherty - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comMay 21, 2012 - It may not look like it but on this summer day the water was freezing. If I recall, Kulia's dad Mike (may he rest in peace) said he'd give her $10 if she braved the sub-60 degree cold for a couple of waves. I wasn't on the beach to see her collect her payday but she earned every cent on the couple of rights she ripped to the beach. Chloe Buckley - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comMay 17, 2012 - A painful example of May and June in California ...cloudy over here, sunny over there. Chloe Buckley eyes a section down the line on one of those overcast-but-warm mornings. Claire Bevilacqua - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comMay 16, 2012 - With south swell lines pushing into the jetty a few seasons back, our good friend Claire Bevilacqua makes her way to the jump-off spot. Hayley Conant - Photo: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.comMay 15, 2012 - This photo was taken in 2008 but we wanted to post it in honor of Hayley Conant, who as of a few hours ago gave birth to her first child. While Hayley might not be surfing anytime soon, her summer will no doubt be an amazing one. Congratulations Hayley!