Photos: Brent Lieberman
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This is a tribute to my friend Shawn Schukraft who has been able surf this incredible wave for the last twelve years, that is literally off limits to most of the Surfing World. First and foremost, I would like to thank Shawn “Shuey” Schukraft who for the past three years, has shared his backyard with with his friends selflessly and charged these waves with little concern for board or back! It is because of Shawn, that Steve and I were able to shoot this breathtaking wave, seeing small foggy days, mid sized perfect days and double to triple overhead macking conditions. We were also able to become friends with some of Shawn’s Mates; Kevin Hamor and Will Dean, who also charge with reckless abandon, busting airs and pulling into sand dredging gaping tubes of any size!
This gallery highlights images from about 25 different sessions, spanning almost three years, under every kind of conditions. Some of the other Surfers you will see here, besides Shue, The Hamor and Willy are: Bobby Martinez, Dane Reynolds, Shaun Tomson, Strider Wasilewski, Dennis Rizzo, Nick Rosza, Jesse Motta, Noah Erickson, Jake Kelly, Matt McCabe, Sam Cammack, Eric Knowles, Rick Gannon, and “Braddah” Adam Dangleman.
The other Star of this gallery would of course, be the magnificent Wave itself. It sits on a very special niche of the coast where there is no Continental Shelf, so the wave comes in from very deep “Blue” water, and when the swell hits the sand bars, it will almost invariably alway jack up double size, making the take offs very challenging and ultimately picturesque. Sometime the backwash will take a five foot wave and cause it jump up and present itself as a ten to fifteen foot nightmare. Other days, the Wave will be a flawless perfect barrel peeling for a hundred yards, sometimes it will be a horse shoeing warped challenge that you will change 90 degrees of direction, then, like most beaches, there were those days when it was two to three foot, foggy, onshore and dribbling!
Through all this, Shawn, Steveo and I were always laughing, hooting and enjoying this gift that nature has presented as Laguna’s, or as I called it in the early days; Shawn’s Backyard, even on the occasion’s when Steve and I both donated our “pound of flesh” crossing the rocks! I dont know what kind of rocks they are, but they rival the A’a lava in Hawaii!
Well, the inevitable has happened, Shuey has moved on to a different House, with a different back yard, which doesn’t have this special Gem within its property lines. Being the Dreamer that I am, I will always look back to these days shooting out there, and use some of these waves as a benchmark to what I consider great waves. I will also, always hold these friendships near and dear, and look forward to shooting with my friends again, at other Gems along this Coast.