April 23rd – Surf’s up, and over!

Hasty Exit

A bit of a lay-day for the camera today, so I’m posting a photo taken last Saturday. The location is off a small headland between Angels Beach and Shelly’s Beach in Ballina.

The reason for the visit was to collect some visitors from Ballina airport, but coming into town a little early I thought I would detour to check out some prime photography spots. I had no idea of the monster swell I was about to witness.

These accessible surf beaches are usually quite tame, with the odd rip or rough swell cause for concern. However with Tropical Cyclone Ita’s influence, 2000 kilometre’s away off the Far North Queensland coast, resulted in a massive swell.

It was non-stop action in the water, with 5 or 6 jet ski’s employed to provide transport out to the break, and tow-ins were the order of the day to get onto a wave.

The action wasn’t limited to the surf. There was a gallery of eager photographers assembled, pointing their significantly more capable (and expensive) lenses eastwards towards the action. Despite my ‘stock’ equipment, I managed to capture the moment when one surfer bailed on a 15-20 foot monster barrel that was closing out – and fast.

A small crop and tweak in Aperture and it came up better than I could have hoped.

Don’t settle for this scaled version of the image – click the pic and check it out in full glory in my Flickr collection.

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