August 2010 SURFING Magazine Cover. PHOTOS: Tom Carey
When the Landscape Altered trip took off for Indo boasting a crew of crews, we kind of expected enough cover-worthy shots to last through the apocalypse. We got them — but picking just one would be another battle in itself. Luckily, Clay Marzo is a freakazoid Stretch Armstrong doll and does weird shit like this on Every. Single Wave. So in the end, picking wasn’t that hard. Tom Carey talks about getting the images of Clay that wound up on our August cover.
SURFING Magazine: Where was this shot taken?
This session was at a little left on the other side of the reef from Bingtangs. We had spent a few days at the Kandui camp before jumping on the Tengiri. This was maybe the first or second session once we got on the boat. Everywhere was pretty small, but we anchored to have brekkie, and Kai [Neville] and I jumped off first for a quick session before the boys got out. I remember that we couldn’t get Clay out of the water that day. There was this crazy light that morning and an epic, oily lineup.
How do things change for you when you’re shooting alongside Kai?
He keeps you really motivated and on your toes. He’s nailing clips, so you never want to miss them either. I ended up shooting from the beach a lot more because of him, which is a good thing with these guys punting so hard. It took a lot of swimming, reef walks and sliced up feet, but it paid off. I’ve never had such a productive trip. I think Kai brings that out in you.
“I’m usually happy with getting one keeper shot per session of shooting water, but I was burning through memory cards like crazy with Clay. He’s a photographer’s dream, basically. I knew he was going to get a cover.”
The guys were only looking to launch one big move. That had to be a photographer’s dream, right?
Yeah, definitely — but with these guys going for that one big maneuver, you have to be prepared. I didn’t want to miss a thing. I could have used a second shooter, that’s for sure. But it’s so much more exciting. I hope this steps the game up for all freesurfers. The days of cruising, getting tubed and landing a frontside three are over in my book. You have to go bigger or get more technical now.
What’s it like shooting Clay?
He’s literally a machine. The amount of water shots I got of him on this trip is mind-boggling. I’m usually happy with getting one keeper shot per session of shooting water, but I was burning through memory cards like crazy with Clay. He’s a photographer’s dream, basically. I knew he was going to get a cover.
And a good man as well?
That was my first time meeting Clay and I’m glad I had the opportunity, not only as a photographer but also as a person, because he’s so unique. I watched him one night rewind a flip that Mitch did in Modern Collective about 20 times. And the next day he went out and nailed one. He said he never had attempted one before. I can’t see another goofy footer surfing better than him.
Which move on the trip impressed you the most?
I was super psyched on this backside layback carving 360 that Clay did. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. Jay Davies’s giant alley-oop was pretty crazy. It was so shallow on that section too. Mitch’s backside airs were the biggest things I’ve ever seen; if he had two working knees he would have pulled them. Kerr’s 540 alley oops were nuts. And Chippa almost nailed a couple rodeo shuv-its. He’s definitely the most technical surfer on the planet. I feel really lucky to be part of that trip and I hope the photos do the surfers justice.