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Did she pull it? JettyGirl Surf Sequences

Valentine's Day Swell on JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine

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For the Love of Surf - Valentine's Day Swell of 2010 - Photos by Chris Grant and Don Ansell JettyGirl Art, Photography & Culture

surfer girl surf sequences on jettygirl online surf magazineCalifornia has had such an amazing run of surf over the past few months that it's all starting to blend together. With the four-day President's holiday weekend coinciding with Valentine's Day this year, it seemed like a perfect time to shoot with surfers who might otherwise be spending two of those days in school.

First up was a down-south session at Darlene Conolly's local spot in San Diego County. We met up with Chloe Buckley and Sara Taylor who had promised me she'd clean her wax this time around. She did clean her wax, then proceeded to forget both the board and her wetsuit somewhere along the way. Luckily for her, Darlene had some spares. When we arrived at the beach we were greeted with no less than five other surf photographers and video guys so what you see in this gallery may very well show up in a half-dozen other media outlets. The extreme high tide hitting that particular reef made for less than spectacular conditions, but the girls took the place apart anyway. It was a great start to the weekend.

The rest of the weekend was spent at a not-so-secret spot that requires a long walk to get to. The hike in is really no big deal ...unless you happen to be carrying 50 pounds of camera gear on your back which is the position I found myself in. I walked down with local surfer Marissa Shaw and the moment we hit the sand, we both knew that this was the spot. To my dismay though, when we made it to the water's edge we discovered that recent rains had pushed the river through ...leaving me on the "wrong" side of the morning light, in essence shooting right into the glare of the sun. Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!!! With my camera bag hoisted back onto my back, I had to retrace my steps and take a different path to the south side of the riverbank.

My next trips in would be a bit more risky but definitely less of a walk. On these occasions I packed some trash bags and while under the watchful eye of the half-dozen other photographers stuck on the north bank, I bagged up my gear and floated it across the river. While I didn't necessarily relish standing on the beach in a wetsuit all day, at least I was on the good side of the morning light and I was indeed thankful that my venture hadn't resulted in unexpected sunken treasure. Long story short, the mission to this spot was well worth it... the girls were firing out there. From Marissa Shaw's frontside airs to Taylor Pitz' blistering snaps, it was a fantastic way to spend Valentine's Day this year. --Chris Grant


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Caption Index - All photos ©Chris Grant/ except where indicated.

1. USA Surf Team member Taylor Pitz threw these hooks down on almost every wave. Against the grain surfing at its finest.
2. An ultra high tide kept things slow until Chloe Buckley caught a left and exploded with three crisp snaps.
3. The waves were overhead anyway but as a pint-sized 10-year-old, they were WAY overhead. Meah Collins. Photo: Don Ansell
4. Marissa Shaw gives an unsuspecting bird some company as she soars higher and higher with each new punt.
5. Even though she forgot to bring virtually everything but her board, Sara Taylor never forgets how to attack the inside sandbar.
6. Judging by everyone I've seen ripping on CI Biscuits, it's obviously a valid design. Darlene Conolly in full color at her homebreak.
7. Lulu Erkeneff, fifteen minutes south of her local spot and about seven turns from the end of this long right.
8. It was fun watching Taylor Pitz wind up and whip these turns all the way down the point.
9. Looking down the line at a 100 yard wall, Meah Collins considers the possibilities ahead of her. Photo: Don Ansell
10. This was the first time I ever saw Frankie Harrer surf. She rips and has such an amazing style!
11. Every once in a while, it just seems right to hit the eject button. Unidentified local girl in flight.
12. It's not the longest walk in the world but when your feet finally hit the sand at Trestles, it sure feels nice. Jenny Quam.
13. Where would we be without the floater? Jenny Quam with speed to burn as she floats effortlessly over the section.
14. Danielle Wyman is another surfer I had never seen before. She obliterated this long right with a half-dozen committed turns.
15. Chloe Buckley puts her little Rusty through its paces with a quick hit on the inside closeout section.
16. Despite the super high tide, Darlene Conolly managed to pick one off the outside reef and was rewarded with a nice lined up face.
17. Wearing a borrowed wetsuit and riding someone else's board, Sara Taylor looks completely at home as she flies over the transition.
18. Along with frontside airs, throwing buckets is a large part of Marissa Shaw's surf repertoire.
19. What a pleasant surprise it was to see an old friend out. One of the best surfing moms on the planet, Marii Sugiura Bakker.
20. Marii Sugiura Bakker calls it a day and wraps up one of the best Valentine's Day swells in recent memory.

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