'Slide Your Brains Out': Photos by Thomas Campbell
"Diamond Dave Rastovich, lacerating yet another wide-open West African face (2008), riding a 5'10" Akila Aipa twin fin .... Most normal, competent surfers would be riding a 7- to 8-foot board on this kind of wave -- not Dave. Also, he'd take off 100 yards further up the point than the rest of us. What a weirdo."
"This was on location in Ceylon during filming for my second surf film, 'Sprout.' Dan Malloy caught me mid-directional movement between shooting motion picture and stills of the locals -- Dan, Belen Connelly and Alex Knost -- in the town of Pottville. 2002."
"These three-wheeled buggies were how we got around in Ceylon (Indian Ocean, 2003). ... Alex Knost was 17 at the time, and he attended the first day of his senior year in high school and then left to come on this trip for three and a half weeks of seriously epic sand-point sliding. He went nuts."
Skip Frye, San Diego, Calif., 2002
"Harry Richard Frye was born three months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. His father was a Navy aircraft mechanic on the battleship 'U.S.S. Enterprise' .... Being a Navy man in time of war, Harry's father did not see his newborn son until two years after his birth. During that time Harry was the only male in his family's home. So his father called him 'the skipper of the house' -- thus 'Skip Frye.'"
Inspection of the deep blue
"C.J. Nelson is unarguably one of the greatest noseriders of all time. This ridiculous logging wave we found in the Land Of The Thin White Cloud in 2004, while filming for 'The Present,' gave C.J. every opportunity to be every bit of the nasal freak he is. ... No one surfed this wave, either -- just drove right past it."
"Muggins is the name of a dog owned by a crazy handyman I know named Chava. And Muggins is also what happened to Rob Machado's face here. Bonny Doon, Calif. 2010."
"Craig Anderson, Central Chile (2011). Craig's board is the Hypo Crypto model by Hayden Shapes, built with EPS foam and a parabolic, carbon-fiber frame (Future Flex). 5'4" long x 19.5" wide x 2.25" thick."
MC Squared, Sandy Beach, Hawaii, 2012
"What can be said about Mark Cunningham? He is a seriously cool cat that can belly slide like Pete Rose and keep going a really long ways. Whenever I go body womping I strive to be like Mark, but always fall short. Anyhow, Mark, thanks for the inspirato -- and The Duke, too. Two Hawaiian legends come together."
"This was a really cool time down at Tom Wegener's farm, when all the serious players in the early plank-riding movement got together to slide a few at Noosa Heads, exchange ideas and have good times. L to R: Chris Del Moro, Harrison Roach, Dan Malloy, Jacob Stuth, Tom, Dave Rastovich, Jon Wegener."
"This is one of my favorite photos relating to surfing I ever took -- even though it barely does. Shot in Donald Takayama's surfboard factory. Oceanside, Calif. 1997."
"Dane Reynolds out behind the Channel Islands factory in a research-and-development meeting. What comes after the Neck Beard or the Sperm Whale? The V Stone model or the Jacked X-mas tree stick with a trunk tail? Carpinteria, Calif. 2011."
"I shot most of Nixon's ad campaigns from about 1998 to 2004. One of the times after I had sent in all the photos to Nixon, I realized this image really conveyed what the current film I was working on at the time ('Sprout') was all about: riding whatever equipment most suited the waves, or to just have fun on weird stuff. I wanted to use this shot for the film's cover, so I called and asked if we could pull it from their stash and re-appropriate it for my film. Thanks, Chad, I appreciated that. Santa Cruz, Calif. 2002."
Craig Anderson: tubular times
"Craigo's ... style is one part Gerry Lopez, one part Rob Machado, while the rest is hyper-modern wombatness. His approach is very refreshing amidst the current re-push toward competitive jockey styles. Craig is riding a board ... [that's] a combo of two models: the Hypo Crypto and the Psychedelic Germ."
"Kirk Putnam is a longtime displacement-hull-riding aficionado, "stubby" historian, Liddle surfboard dealer, serious quiver holder, pack rat, pool cleaner, Tecate drinker, Valley-dwelling wild man. ... After the throng of sliders and their equipment had come and gone, Kirk and I set some hulls afloat in his backyard pool."
Alex Knost, Bonny Doon, Calif., 2011
"Alex Knost with four of the first five boards he ever shaped. He gave me shape number six as a gift, and to my surprise it worked so damn good. They may look like hull-style boards, but they aren't. They're more neutral and easier to navigate on the backside than a hull. And, of course, he lays it way down on them."
"When we dream of an epic surf session with a good buddy, no one else around, light offshores, we might think about something like this. North Africa. 2011."
"A. Knost putting his handmade ditty on a** and rail. One of the funnest surfers to watch, ever. You never know what is gonna happen. Alex is riding a self-shaped 8'6" Brown Microwave Television round pintail, step-deck 22" wide x 15" tail x 17" nose x 2.75" thick with an 11" flex fin."
Econoline, Baja California, Mexico, 2001
"When in those desolate environments, my driving style turns from fairly mellow on asphalt to kind of red-lining it on dirt roads. Because of these extremes, there is much lore about my driving, which has turned into heated debates between traveling companions as to whether I am the best or worst driver ever."
"We made a few trips to Central America in 2003 and 2004 [to film 'Sprout'] with Rob Machado, Skip Frye and Joel Tudor. ... [W]e stumbled onto this perfect little logging wave that no one really surfed or knew about .... Joel at full capacity, in rhythm like you see here, is one of the wonders of the world."