Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Breaking Ground at Luna Park

Breaking Ground at Luna Park from mickey smith on Vimeo.

This is a clip made up of footage I shot during our first mission to Luna Park back in the day.
These two sessions were where it earned its name and reputation.

Damian King had won the world title and I was working on his movie at the time. He got a call from Phil 'Toinzy' Gallagher, and within hours myself, Toby Player, Toinz and Kingy all met up in Melbourne. I think it was April 2003.

We drove for a while and met up with local lads Jason Hazle and Josh Barret. Then we drove for an even longer time into the middle of nowhere and finally peered over cliffs through trippy early morning light.

To put it bluntly, I shit myself immediately. The wave looked psychotic and there were giant close outs taking out the whole lineup. No real channel that I could make out. The sea looked angry and wild.

Kingy and Tobes were psyched regardless. Toinz was mad for it if they were. Hizzle and Barret didnt look convinced at all. I was confused but just had to suck it up and 'av it.

There were no skis, no safety in sight, just an isolated part of coast with life threatening waves, strong offshores, hectic seas and a few mates who were interested in riding them.

The two sessions we had out there were insane in the full sense of the word. Kingy and Tobes were charging so hard. It was incredible to be a part of. As these were the days before Digital took full hold of photography, Toinz kept having to swim in and out to the land to change rolls.

Eventually, after several close calls, our stint out there ended when I paddled over what had previously been a bomb to see a frickin gigantic set of close outs already pitching top to bottom outside the reef on both sides. Toby cackled next to me and shouted 'holy fuck we're fucked'. I was so scared I didnt even penetrate the water.

The set ended up smashing everyone into the rocks on the inside. Toinz went tumbling over the rocks. Kingy was even screaming for help at one point. Tobes was just laughing like a madman. I kept swimming for the horizon. It was chaos, beautiful chaos.

The photographs Toinz shot made the cover of Movement issue 2. My footage culminated the heaviest section in Kingys first film. That session changed the way I thought about shooting heavy waves. The waves, the lads and the experience gave me belief in myself that I didnt have before.

Here are most of the clips from those two mad sessions. Although folk have done all sorts of far crazier things since, the stuff the lads were doing out there back then was pretty damn ground breaking for the time.

Cheers to King, Tobes, Hizzle and Toinz for the inspiration...


paud.ie said...

Good to know it's actually possible for you to get scared sometimes.

Phil.. said...

love it mick, one of the best trips still in my career.

Jordan Godley said...

Nice story man, thanks for sharing it and the footage.

Paulo Ara├║jo said...

I keep coming here to read this story. Epic!!!!