Making the Best of a Slab Situation

Despite his bluster about not caring whether he drowns (this, from a man with three children), surf photographer Russell Ord

Despite his bluster about not caring whether he drowns (this, from a man with three children), surf photographer Russell Ord is to be admired for his determination to create images that transcend the ordinary. Ord found himself in a slump, dissatisfied with the photos he was shooting, and has set himself on a course to find “the one” image that defines him. Most photographers know that’s a tall order – trying to create a career-defining picture is like trying to create true love. More honestly, you have to put yourself out there again and again and hope you recognize when the right one comes along. But at least he sees the box and wants to break out of it.

This teaser is for a documentary on Ord’s quest, which is interesting enough but actually isn’t the reason it’s posted here today. Rather, it’s because of a really sick short sequence that kicks in at 1:25 – a surfer drops into massive righthand slab, miscalculates his balance, and falls flat onto the face of the wave. But rather than dive for the bottom or give up and succumb to his Maytag fate, he attempts to body surf the beast – and for a split second does, before finally surrendering to a guh-narly over the falls. The whole thing lasts 10 seconds, but the dude is so stylish in making the best of a bad situation, it might stay with you all day.

Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal.
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Showing 8 comments
  • laavy

    I don’t see it….

  • adam lauver

    Steve, I am beginning to think all these videos don’t like you. They always seem to run away.

    • steve casimiro

      Baffling. Well, I’ve dropped the code in again. We’ll see how long it lasts…

  • KP


  • Craig Rowe

    Steve, for what’s it worth, I’ve never had an issue with the vids posted. I run Chrome on a Mac, if that helps. (Man that sounded super hipster; I suck.)

    I got chills watching him go over. Body surfing was clutch, but that’s the kind of rinse that will end your day. Christ.

    • steve casimiro

      The issue is that the embedding code is there where I schedule the post, but then when it posts it simply disappears. Believe me, I confirm that the video is there and plays properly before I schedule it. But then poof, gone. There’s no rhyme or reason why this should be happening it’s not as if Vimeo is removing the videos from its site or that the original uploader has turned them private. It’s that a snippet of code vanishes from the post.

  • LAsurfer

    Appreciate that AJ is keeping track of surfing! Good stuff, that’s Shipstern’s Bluff, youtube it for videos of endless carnage and slabbing, ledgy barrels…

  • Nora

    @1:25 ya that was pretty much me the other day. 😉 thanks for the vid! (they always work for me btw)

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