Niknonos wave photograph

Analog Bodysurf #3

In the 3rd installment of Analog Bodysurf, we feature a variety of photos taken with a variety of cameras, in a variety of locations.

Nikonos- V (1984). Underwater film camera.

I have very much enjoyed the challenge of shooting the Nikonos V in the water. Judging the focus distance as a wave approaches, setting the focus and taking the shot at the correct moment…makes for intrigue when the negatives are scanned.  Some photos are trash, some are interesting even though out of focus and rarely, a photo is well composed and focused.

Nikon FM2

Analog Bodysurf: Mackenzie Yoshida

In the second installment of our series about film photography, we feature Mackenzie Yoshida (@WheelTurner) from Oahu, Hawaii.

Camera: Nikonos V Film: Lomochrome Turquoise

Mackenzie says: I used to shoot a bunch of film but got into digital about 10 years ago. I realized digital gear was only getting better and more expensive by the year. I couldn’t keep up!

When I jumped back to film I was able to go for cameras I knew have been around, shoot well and are tried and true. I also love the look and color film can capture. I’m constantly shooting different film and getting different results from each one with zero edits. Its a great feeling!

Surf film photography is my favorite because you  wait the whole wave for one shot. It teaches you a lot about the ocean and wave riding.

As far as developing on my own, it’s been years since I have. But i have friends working at our local lab, Rainbow Photo and love to support them.

Rider: Steve Kapela Camera: Nikonos V Film: Superia X-TRA 400.
Camera: Nikonos V Film: HP5 400
Camera: Nikonos V Film: Kodak MAX 400
Camera: Nikonos III Film: Superia X-TRA 400
Camera: Canon EOS620 Film: Superia X-TRA 400
Rider: Erik Sato Camera: Nikonos V Film: HP5 400.
Camera: Canon EOS620 Film: HP5
Camera: Nikonos V Film: Superia X-TRA 400
Rider: Kealii Punley Camera: Canon A1 Film: Kodak MAX 400
Rider Sean Enoka Camera: Canon A1 Film: Superia X-TRA 400
Camera: Canon A1 Film: Kodak MAX 400

Analog Bodysurf

This is an introduction to a new column we will be running called “Analog Bodysurf.” 

We are bodysurfers first. But photography is a secondary passion that complements our Ocean pursuits.

fullsizerender-10-copyAfter a few years of ever upgrading digital cameras, Eric found a Yashica TLR film camera from the 70s at a thrift store. Turns out we are both collectors/pack rats of old, vintage stuff. The first time I handled the Yashica, I was hooked. We immediately started searching swap meets, yard, estate sales, antique stores, thrift shops and the Internet for old cameras. A couple years later and we each have about 10 cameras, developing materials and we can turn his garage into a darkroom for printing with an enlarger.

From Tom Blake to Doc Ball to Ron Church, it is incredible that all surf photography before about the year 2000 was taken 36 images at a time on a film camera. It is said that a photographer does not begin taking quality photos until he actuates a camera 10,000 times. Well then, we might not ever take good analog bodysurf shots, but we certainly enjoy the process anyway.  

Nikon FM2
Minolta X-700
Nikon FM2
Nikon FM2
Minolta X-700
Minolta X-700

Les Palmes & Le Couteau


Interview with Yann and Joël Badina

Joël Badina, 29, Lifeguard living in Anglet, France

Yann Badina, 24, Anglet France

What is your bodysurfing history?

Joël: Started bodysurfing since I was a kid on Anglet beaches during Summer, going straight in the foamies and having a lot of fun. Things started to get serious at the end of high school when I bought my first pair of fins. Since this day I got more and more addicted to this wonderful feeling and never stop then.
I learned on my own, slowly but surely. As the connection with the ocean got stronger, I would chase bigger and better waves to keep the stoke alive. I also decided to enter bodysurfing contests to meet other people that share this passion. My homebreak is Anglet, Basque Country, France. Very nice sandbars, one of the best place for bodysurfing in my country.

Yann: I began with a bodyboard at age 10 or 11 I think, but I was not really good. Some years later, I was about 14, my brother Joel showed me the way, I was more able to take waves and have fun without a board, that’s why I never stop it. Then he offered me my first real pair of fins, it was started ! I principally surf in Anglet where we live, and also in Bidart, a little village few kilometers away, where it a bit less crowded in the water.

Who had the idea for the film? What were the main locations for shooting the film? Is there anything that was particularly special about the locations?

Joël: The idea of the movie came from Rémi Blanc and myself.
Rémi lifeguards with me in Anglet and is also a graphic designer. Winter was coming and we knew we would have a lot of free time. We really wanted to do something about our own vision of bodysurfing: simplicity, commitment and flow in any kind of conditions. So we decided to record every sessions with waves of consequences during the 3 monthes of winter. Antoine Justes, surf photographer and filmmaker, joined Rémi to help on the project. On my side I talked to my brother Yann to get him into it, and also Lucas Espil and Jean Lemonnier, the two young guns of the movie. We are all part of a lifesaving and bodysurfing association named “Les Guides Bains Angloys” which became the main sponsor of the thing.
The title “Les Palmes et le Couteau” is a little joke that makes reference to a famous french slang expression “la bite et le couteau which litteraly means” the dick and the knife”. People use those words when you try to do something hard without any help or weapon in your arms like if you want to climb Mount Everest in boardshort and slippahs…and well we thought it was pretty representative of what we do bodysurfing through European winter: cold water, big surf and only neoprene and fins to deal with it!

Where are your favorite bodysurfing waves?

Joël: Anyway good waves are everywhere, even in France if you didn’t know already.. The bodysurf here began quite long ago as I can hear old people telling stories of swimming in the waves and going straight with the foam.
Contests are on since early 90’s and each year the winner of the championship gets a ticket to Hawaii… That’s why North Shore has seen many of the best French riders like Laurent Masurel, David Dubes, Christophe Clemente, Matias Hegoas, Fred David and more. It’s been a few years now that the community is growing faster thanks to social medias. The spreading of news, pictures and videos makes lots of youth and less youngs get more involved into the sport, coming from different backgrounds as surfing, lifesaving or pool swimming. More than that, it is now crossing the borders. I just came back from a contest in Morrocco where the locals are crazy about bodysurfing, all along with the Portuguese community; those guys are overmotivated!! And this year Spain runs its very first national bodysurfing championship.

Yann: There is a lot of waves really nice for bodysurfing. Recently we go to California and caught some waves and the Wedge. This wave is brutal, but really fun to ride, especially when you start with the side wave, then you arrive in a big and wide barrel. And the Wedge crew is full of nice guys, thanks to them for welcome us as they do ! Pipeline can be perfect to bodysurf, but it’s overcrowded and it’s hard to have your wave over there. To finish I will say Nazaré in Portugal, with its big triangles, north Morocco where there is a big potential, right, left, beach break and point break, and of course in France!

What is a new wave you want to bodysurf?

Yann: A new wave I want to try is Point Panic, that looks perfect for bodysurfing, the videos I watch from there just make me mad! I hope to have a chance to paddle out there one day.

What bodysurfers do you or did you look up to?

Yann:  There is not really one guy I follow. A lot inspire and impress me. There are the classics like Stewart and Cunningham of course. More recently there is Kanealii Wilcox, doing crazy things never seen before! I try to watch videos from everywhere in the world to learn more and more every day. By traveling, you meet a lot of guys who are ripping, with different styles, different point of view about bodysurfing, but all passionate by the same thing, that’s what I like the most.

Joël: Several surf trips led me to meet bodysurfers from all around the world. This emulation helped me to grow my knowledge and improve my skills. Hanging on with guys like Mark Cunningham or Kanealii Wilcox don’t let you cold. Wedge Crew, so friendly last summer offering my brother and me plenty waves on a good day. My friend Sean Enoka, greatest ambassador of the sport, spreading the Aloha spirit with KahaNalu Hawaii. I’m so proud to be a part of the crew!! I couldn’t forget these epic times. Yes, sharing is good for you.

Final Thoughts:

Joël: I expect torpedo people to get bigger and I think we did our part of the job showing “Les Palmes et Le Couteau”. I hope Europe is now a point on the bodysurfing map next to Hawaii, California or Brasil.

Special thanks to Antoine Justes for the photographs from the film and to the Badina brothers for taking the time to answer a few questions.