Surfers love telling tales about the best rides of their lives. Usually these stories have to do with their best wave rides, but sometimes it’s the ride that got them there that is more legendary.
Tasmania-born and Oahu-based photographer Sean Davey has been shooting surf culture for over thirty years. He has seen it all, from monstrous waves to some of the more unconventional surf vehicles around the world.
We asked Davey to tell us a little about his iconic surf car shots. His reflections are full of serendipitous photo ops, a couple of the world’s most famous surfers, distant lands, remote breaks, and cars you’d never expect could make the trip.
His experiences will inspire you to hit the road for your own adventure -- surfboard or not. When you’ve got a ride like one of these, it truly is about the journey rather than the destination.
1. "Plain Place," aka Oakhampton, Tasmania
This car belonged to my surf buddy Alan Davis, in Tasmania, Australia, way back in the 80's. We used to take this thing everywhere, simply because it was a good economical car for those long missions. He also had one of those home mini component stereo systems inside his glove box. That car was way cool....
2. 7 Mile Beach, Hobart, Tasmania.
3. West Cape, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia
This is a mid-70's Australian Ford Falcon which Australian Surfing Life Magazine purchased, then sprayed "Operation Tubequest” on the doors and sent it off into the much-feared South Australian desert knowing that they would get great waves and cause all kinds of mayhem in an area where outsiders were generally not welcome. The trip went for 6 weeks and resulted in three major article features. Before you pack your bags, you should know that this location is just a couple of miles from where they filmed the real Great White sharks for "Jaws."
4. Currie, King Island, Australia
Again, this one's on King Island, Australia and features an old chevy from the 20's. It belongs to this really nice old guy who let us borrow it for a few pictures. (Thanks, mate.) The surfer is Hath Joske.
5. Seal Beach, California
I was just cruising along one morning and saw this guy with his old Kombi van and asked him if I could shoot a portrait. He was stoked that I was interested.