Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Golden 80s

The golden 80s. Golden for me as I was young and blossoming into the surfer I always wanted to be. Even though I lived closer to the beach, I still drove for miles to look for surf. My brother had given me his old camera and telephoto lens and someone at a local camera store put it on all the settings I needed to take pictures of surfing. 
When I eventually started working at the camera store that helped me, I was able to buy better equipment and take better pictures. I joined the WISA (Women’s International Surfing Association) and surfed competitavely. That took me all over California from Santa Cruz to Del Mar, I even went to Hawaii to compete in the 1980 US Amatuer Championships. 
 As my surf photography improved, a friend of mine introduced me to Larry Moore at Surfing Magazine, he took me under his wing and gave me a lot of coaching and press passes to shoot at OP Pro events in Huntington Beach. My work was published in Surfing Magazine and a couple of times in Surfer Magazine. My parents had given me their camper truck they called “Happy Red” so that was my home away from home. 
It was fun exploring different surf spots up and down the coast of California. 
My favorite place to surf and shoot though was Rincon. A perfect peeling right hand point wave that you can ride for a long time. 
I moved to Maui in 1993 and continued surfing and surf photography. The waves are much bigger here, and I enjoy shooting at Jaws (Peahi) and Hookipa on the north shore. This large surf washes up some beautiful treasures that I like to turn into jewelry.
This is me in a nutshell and my next blogs will be about the stuff I am and have been creating.
Did a little bit of modeling for a California based agency.

Waiting for my heat to start. 
Taking pictures at Rincon

Aleeda wetsuit ad.

My Magic Bus. It took me quite a few places. I was sad to let it go.

Modeling a new style of swim suit. I still have my old tan lines.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The 70s

Fast forward to the 70s. We moved to California in 1964 and did a lot of camping in the mountains and near the beach. We lived about an hour inland so getting away was very necessary. I feel lucky that I had parents that loved the outdoors and we used to camp in tents or tent trailers doing all the cooking on a stove outside the tent. There was another family we often went camping with and they had a lot of kids so there was never a dull moment. Entertainment was hiking, sailing, skiing, playing in the water or building sandcastles in the sand. When we learned how to ski in the early 70s, we would even camp out in our tricked out Ford Econoline van that my dad fixed up with cabinets, a bed, shelves and a cool 8 track tape deck that would be blasting Eagles, Creedence, Jethro Tull, America or Santana. We would drive to Snow Summit or Mammoth at night and the three of us would sleep in the van and wake up slope side and go skiing for the day or the weekend. We would camp throughout California, back then you could just pack up and go on a whim.
Since most of my relatives lived in Holland, my parents took me there often when I was young. And we always went camping some where in Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Greece. My grandpa had a tiny little Fiat that my mom and I would borrow and load up the camping gear. We always had the smallest tent and everything was stored outside of it. 
When we camped near the beach, I was always mesmerized by the breaking waves. I would watch the surfers carrying their boards, waxing them up and then dancing on the waves. I wanted that lifestyle. I thought it fit me. Hanging out at the beach, sun bleached hair, sunburned nose that was always raw. I met a lifeguard who took me under his wing and taught me about surfing and playing guitar. 
One day, my mom came home with a huge longboard that she had bought at a yard sale for a dollar. The fin was loose, but I didn’t know any better. It was my first surfboard. My dad some how tied it to the roof of our van and off we went. The fin eventually broke off but I still tried to ride it like that. The board kept drifting in different directions. My friend in high school said he could make a short board out of it and I believed him. Too bad I let him destroy it. It might have been worth something today. I ended up buying a real short board from another friend in high school and before you knew it, my girlfriend and I were ditching school to go to the beach.

Camping with my grandparents in France. We called this car the "Ugly Duckling"
Camping in Europe. Our tent is the tiny one.
Possibly my first camera
My first surfboard
Fishing with my grandpa
My mom skiing at Snow Summit with our red van in the background.
Camping at Carpinteria State Beach
Lifeguard Denny showing us a few tunes on the guitar
There was never a dull moment! Roasting marshmallows with the "Swanies"
70s surf chick
In 1976 after high school, we moved to Santa Barbara. Thats when my dreams of being a surfer came true. I was close to the beach and tried to go every day I could. My dad gave me $200 dollars and said “go and explore Santa Barbara and surfing”. So I did.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Where it all began

I guess my love for the ocean began when I was a baby. Born on the small island of Curacao in the Caribbean, I was destined to be a beach baby since my parents loved the beach themselves. I also loved playing in the water. Clothes or no clothes, nothing stopped me from splashing around.

My mom tells me that in this picture she had me all dressed up to go shopping. She went in the house to get something and when she came out, found me sitting in this tub of water.