An Early Morning Dance

No matter how early I wake up I never seem to get to where I need to be when I need to be there.  Not that I run horribly late but for me 5 – 10 minutes is the end.  I’d packed the van and my gear early, thank God cause after doing yoga, having coffee and an awesomely healthy breakfast, I hopped in the van with my girlfriend and headed to Doheny for a meet up with Logan Richardson & some of his friends.  I’d photographed Logan before, during a chance meet up on 2017’s International Surfing Day.

On the drive down I chatted with my girl, but always having to tell myself you’ll get there when you get there.  It only being 530ish there was still plenty of time.  You’ll get there when you get there.

Pull up.  Get out and load up.  Put on the wetsuit, grab the fins.  Chat it up with the stars.  Head down to the water.  It was true.  I got there when I got there and everything was perfect and as it should have been.

The clouds had just enough light for a soft definition.  The sky peaking through was a soft sherbet orange, dotted with blue grays.  Just enough light to reveal the waves.  The tide was beginning to drop, missing the high tide means missing the backwash, cleaner surf.  The swell wasn’t terribly strong but there was enough to have some fun.

Riese Lenders


Out in the water.  Floating and bobbing.  Your hands begin to tingle as the cold water does it’s work, but when you look over your shoulder, south toward San Onofre.  Nothing else matters.  The morning is calm and quiet, the clouds exquisite and the waves clean.  Life is a beautiful.


A nice set rolls in and you’re brought back to the moment.

One by one they get their wave.

Early morning sessions, also known as Dawn Patrols, allow you more opportunities to catch solo rides.  Solo rides are what we crave, just you and the wave, your dance uninterrupted.  Smaller crowds as autumn approaches.

Logan Richardson


Logan Richardson flashing the board.
Logan Richardson


But once in a while you just want to have some fun with your friends.  Together in this magical playground.

Riese Lenders & Logan Richardson

As the tide dropped we moved from an area called “Middles” over to The Boneyard, a shallow steep wave that when the tide drops becomes more of a obstacle course than anything else.  Large rocks and cobblestone size pieces of stone lay not far beneath the water.  Pushing you is a beautiful right that pushes you away from the jetty.  A steeper wave cause by the shallow water makes this baby a challenge for the best riders.  As you fly over the water’s surface you’ll see the large stones awaiting contact with your head, your feet (if you’re lucky) or your board.

Thankfully this morning it was a a softer wave, a jewel sneaking in every now and again.

Logan catching some nose time in da ‘Yard.
Joe Kisling
Riese Lenders
Joe Kisling on the wave & Riese Lenders paddling out.

I also had a long for the ride my trusty Nikonos IV-A with a 35mm Nikkor Lens.  Locked and loaded with some mystery film a good friend of mine had sent down.  I felt like Rambo out there, my big gun in hand and a little back up.  Fire some shots with the canon then let it float and pick up the little one slung around my torso.

The morning was more than I could have asked for and better than I could have designed myself.  The clouds, lack of other surfers, decently fun waves were a true gift from the Universe.


CAMERA:  Canon 7D w/ SPL Splash Waterhousing and iPhone 6 w/ VSCO   //   LENS:  Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM   //   EDITING SOFTWARE:  Adobe Lightroom 5

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