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Tom Servais  Thanks for checking out my posts! All photos available as custom prints, email tomservais@earthlink.net. Enjoy your life!

Joel Parkinson, Cloudbreak, April 2001. One of the most stylish surfers ever, always making radical surfing look easy. Likely resulting in being more underscored then over. An iconic surfer before his World Title, then add 4 Runner-up's, 3 Triple Crown's, and a Pipe Masters. All done with his wife and 3 children along for the ride. Quite a resume. Besides all this, he's very well liked and a lot of fun to be around. Plus he loves to fish. Hard to believe he's retiring, seems like yesterday when he won J-Bay as an 18 year old wildcard. Congrats Joel !!

Kai Lenny, Namotu Lefts, May 2018. The limits of foiling are still in it's prehistoric stage, but huge advancements have taken place since Laird and crew started doing it with snowboard boots. Kai has certainly been the one to revolutionize and popularize it, since he figured out how to do it without a boat or jetski. Making it more accessible and easier for everyone to enjoy it. Interesting to see what the future will bring.

Bruce Irons, Cloudbreak, July 2011. Couple hours after Kohl's wave in the last post, a pretty simple ride for Bruce, until he got to the inside section and couldn't escape, said he almost drowned. He was riding a 9'2" that Nathan Fletcher passed off to him after he got a great ride on it. Quite a few photogs got this image from the same angle, one of the most beautiful rides ever, hard to miss with a wave like this, the lighting, and that it's Bruce. #CustomSurfPrints available.

Kohl Christensen, Cloudbreak, July 2011. This was an exceptional swell with epic days before and after the peak day. This ride was close to winning the WSL XXL Award for Barrel of the Year, had Kohn not fell exiting the very last part of the tube it may have won. Must be noted, that even though this may very likely be the biggest barrel that anyone has ever paddled into at Cloudbreak, and as wide and open as the barrel was, it turned almond like at the end and made the exit very tight. Many believe that this ride should have been considered made? Kohl deserves a lot of credit. As mentioned before, these swells usually happen on average every 5 years at best, and this swell was one of three that hit within a year and a half apart, with the 3rd one being the Volcom Swell in 2012. More to come.

Shane Dorian, Cloudbreak, April 11, 2006. This swell happened during "The Jeff Booth Week". Boothy had this week for many years. For quite a few of those years, Mobley and Big Cat (Danny Fuller & Reef Macintosh) were part of the group, Boothy loved those nicknames he gave them. Early this morning Reef, Danny, JunJo (JunBug!), and Dorian paddled it. Barely. As the morning wore on, it just got bigger and better and too big to paddle, or no one had the right boards. And it stayed very smooth until about 2-3pm. Unfortunately, there was only one ski available, and one tow-board. And everyone was switching the straps back and forth depending on their stance. Shane towed on a CARPER 7'2" semi-gun, no straps, might have been an epoxy production he used as a reliable back-up? Watching him in the boat all day it was obvious how frustrated he was that there wasn't more skis, as there were so many unridden waves, big waves. If you look carefully, Shane is looking up at the lip on this one, as his childhood friend Conan Hayes did on the wave posted yesterday. And to top this day off, the next 4-5 days were as good as Tavarua gets; huge Rights, perfect Restaurants, very rare perfect 12' Cloudbreak. One of the best runs of epic surf that anyone had ever witnessed. Vinaka Tavarua Island and the wonderful Fijians.

Conan Hayes, Cloudbreak, April, 1998. Conan and this wave he rode opened everyone's eyes as far as what Cloudbreak had to offer big wave surfers. At it's best, Cloudbreak is considered to be one of the best big waves in the world. It doesn't happen every year, actually on average once every 5 years. Conan was out early this day waiting for Jon Roseman and Terry Stewart(boatman and jet ski driver) to show up. It was too big and dangerous to attack without ski safety. Tow surfing was just becoming popular, but Jon and Conan didn't have tow boards, so they used standard 7' plus guns. This was Conan's best wave before the wind starting coming up and made it too dangerous without tow boards and straps. According to Terry Stewart, he towed Jon into a wave outside where no one could see it that was 5' bigger than this wave of Conan's. The next big swell would come 8 years later, in April again, with Conan's childhood bestie, Shane Dorian. Check tomorrow for more about that one.

20' Cloudbreak, April '98. Lot of talk centered around Cloudbreak lately. This was the first day that Cloudbreak was revealed as a big wave spot to most everyone, mainly since there's photos. Jon Roseman and Hans Pedersen (the most talented boatman surfer after Shane Dorian) towed a 20' day a year or so prior to this on a sunny, oily glassy Easter Sunday. No photos, but they enjoyed it by themselves. Then this day came, shot from Tavarua Island, 2.2 miles away, this was the end of the day. Conan Hayes and Roseman had towed it early in the morning (look for the next post). How many 20' swells have poured thru before these two? One rumor was that Dane Kealoha paddled out on a huge day by himself in the early days of Tavarua, never caught a wave. In those days, checking it from the tower and seeing how big it was and then 6' Restaurants is firing off to your right, the choice was obvious. #CustomSurfPrints available.

Ramon Navarro, Cloudbreak, Tavarua Island, Fiji. May 27, 2018. One wave can make your trip, for both the surfer and the photographer. 11,000 miles, 22 hours in the plane, lot of luck, and 1/2000 of a second for the photog. One of those special swells in Fiji that happen on average once every 5 years. #CustomPrints available. Vinaka Vaca Levu

Cloudbreak, Fiji, June 2012. This is the biggest wave anyone has ever seen at Cloudbreak, it was during the Volcom Pro 2012. No one rode it, Mark Healey barely escaped it's jaws(that's his board in the lip), and Kelly Slater was about to paddle out and changed his mind when he saw this wave! Remembered as the 'Volcom Swell'. Cloudbreak hasn't had a 20 foot swell since then, almost 6 years ago. This weekend looks to be as big, or bigger. Conditions look good, but that's always the x-factor. Wait and see, but plenty of big wave surfers from around the world aren't taking any chances and are heading there right now. #CustomPrints available.

Kai Lenny, Rangiroa, French Polynesia. Breakfast of Champions; left to right; Rangiroa host Paul, Kai, and coach Doug Silva. Kai travels like a cat; quickly, effortlessly and silently. His specialty is 'complete waterman', but not a bad cook either. Like all pro athletes, he doesn't like not winning, but it's worth noting that he was a very close runner-up on the 2017-18 WSL Big Wave Tour, and was nominated for a few categories at the Big Wave Awards held last weekend. Expect to see more amazing feats from this young man for many years, he's just warming up.

"Andy Irons: Kissed by God", the long awaited movie premieres tomorrow night(May2) in Los Angeles. About this wave with Shane Dorian swimming in the wave face, Andy was quoted, "the next thing you know I was in the lip and held up and....I was about to jump, but I couldn't move, I was petrified with fear, literally frozen with fear. I made the wave frozen with fear. It was the wave of my life. I think about that wave all the time". Aloha Andy.

Willy Morris, Rocky Point, Dec. '84. You could always count on Willy to provide exciting surfing, a photographer's favorite. He was the nicest, most friendly guy you could meet. They say nice things about most everyone when they pass, but Willy was different, he was a big lovable Teddy Bear that everyone loved, but surfed with plenty of power and passion. Prayers go out to his family and friends, he's surfing and fishing everyday now. Miss you Willy.

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