"The trip was just an all out stoke fest from the very get go..."
...consisting of my brothers and I, Nate Yeomans and Nelly behind the lens. 7 straight days of light winds, 4-6 foot perfect South swell. The waves at Teahupoo just blew me away. Nelly jumped off the boat first and swam right into the pit of the empty lineup. Water so clear you could see right to the bottom. By the time we made it in the water Nelly was hanging with his trusty fish eye water housing. After every wave Nelly would pop up out the back of the wave just grinning from ear to ear, none of us could stop hooting.
When Nelly pulled out his laptop with his images i nearly lost my mind. The view from behind his lens document- ed some of the most spellbinding colors I had ever seen..."No wonder why he was smiling like a maniac wave after wave. One for the memory books."
Growing up and getting to shoot with David “Nelly” Nelson when I was younger was such an honor. For my brothers and I, he was such a pinnacle of creativity with the flash photos, air shots, and people he was working with. Through travels and hanging with Nelly we became really good friends, as most people that know him do. He is a lion of good energy. Always amped to shoot and connect with people and the earlier the better! I remember sleeping on the floor for years in Hawaii and Nelly opening the door every single day around 5 am in the dark yelling PURE PSYCHE for us to get up and get ready! I wondered if Nelly ever slept ha! Or how he always contained the work ethic that he had to keep getting the magic moments. This trip specifically was really special to me because it was my brother Dane and I joined with John John and Nathan Florence. It was a strike mission chasing a swell to P pass Micronesia. I had never been and couldn’t believe the amount of raw energy that quickly refined itself into those perfect right slabbing barrels. We surfed ourselves completely silly for that week with so many moments between all of us trading off set waves and enjoying the perfection. Nelly was ON it this day... It was the day of the swells arrival and he was pushing us deeper and getting himself into some beautiful blue caverns. I think this specific shot led Nelly into the impact zone on the next two or three set waves behind it actually. Thats what is so magical about water photography its really working with someone in those close quarters and trusting in each others abilities. Nelly is a master of his craft, so you could tell when you were pulling in deep on a bomb he was going to be right there with you. I think Nelly got a couple covers of John John from this trip and this shot is one of the most special water photos of my life. Every trip with Nelly was a classic but that one definitely was one of the most special.
Nelly- After looking back at all our trips I think I loved going to Tahiti the best. The dawn patrol missions there are second to none! The smell of the ocean air , and the color of the water is pretty much unexplainable. One of best things I remember is when a big set came I knew we had better take off or you would definitely be hearing it from Nelly down the line! Haha! After Surfing all day it’s always time for a little poker, and Nelly loves it!
Anyway theses were some of the best years and trips of my life Nelly and thank you for always including me on your trips! Love you bah!
This photo is extremely special to me and the fact that it was taking by my great friend Dave “Nelly” Nelson makes even that much more special. On this trip my friend and fellow pro surfer Russel Smith and I got so sick with some sort of Mexican stomach rot that our tongues turned black. The morning this photo was taking Nelly and I woke up an hour before sunrise. It was so dark that we really couldn’t tell how big the surf was. I ended up paddling out on my 6’2”. Once Nelly and I made it out the back we both immediately knew my board was way too small. After some serious beatings, I went in and grabbed my 6’5” Hamish deep six channel. Right after I got out the back this beauty came right to me. It was not only a sick hook up with Nelly, I also pulled in, came out, and went back in the tube for one of the biggest longest tubes of my life.
I will remember this wave, this day, and this surf trip strongly for the rest of my life.
This photo captures the true journey of surfing to me.