BEHIND THE PHOTO: JOHN & THE MUTANT SANDBAR
During the North Shore winter, the ocean is capable of unthinkable things. Some days, there's so much swell, so much water moving, that none of the regular spots are working.
It’s these days you'll find our founder John Florence and a select crew hunting for moments of sense amongst the chaos.
On this particular afternoon, everyone was packing up to leave the beach – even the usual roster of photogs lining the beach. With the ocean swirling itself into a messy, nearly unrideable mess, there didn’t seem much point.
Arto – a skateboarding legend turned photographer & North Shore resident, he watched John Florence and a small crew slip down the beach unnoticed and paddle out. It wasn’t long before he realized there may be something worth documenting.
"This day was just one of those weird ones. None of the normal spots were working, and there was no one even out surfing aside from John and a few of the boys. They were surfing down the beach, and all of a sudden, these weird, suck-out, underwater sandbar barrels started going off. I saw John take off on a few, and actually make them. And then it was on. He was riding the unrideable. I don't even know how you read those waves. These guys were paddling so below sea level, they were moving backwards trying to catch them.”
TEST PILOT: JOHN FLORENCE @JOHN_JOHN_FLORENCE
DOCUMENTARIAN: ARTO SAARI @ARTOFOTO
EQUIPMENT TESTED: WAYPOINT BOARDSHORT