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Local surf photographer shares images from recent swell

By Andrea Swayne, with Jack McDaniel

With a strong south swell providing the main energy—bringing waves in the solid 10-foot range, with occasionally larger sets—through the weekend and into the first part of this week, local surfers, from tween-aged groms to seasoned pros, flocked to Lower Trestles. The swell showed up on Friday, March 27 and peaked Sunday.

San Clemente-based photog Jack McDaniel—official photographer for Surfing America Prime and the WSA series—was on the beach, as usual, capturing the action.

We caught up with him on Tuesday, as the swell was beginning to subside, to talk about some of his favorite images and get background of the shots. Here are a few of his top picks:

 

It's always great to see any of the Gudauskas brothers going out. What they do for the community and especially the groms is awesome. Dane Gudauskas’ size and power definitely helped him out in this large swell. Photo: Jack McDaniel
It’s always great to see any of the Gudauskas brothers going out. What they do for the community and especially the groms is awesome. Dane Gudauskas’ size and power definitely helped him out in this large swell. Photo: Jack McDaniel
David Economos is one of the phenomenally talented group of younger groms coming up locally. I was a little concerned for some of the younger kids paddling out. It was seriously huge at Lowers Sunday when I shot this. David took off on this huge wall of water. The camera angle actually flattens the size a bit. The sick thing is he didn’t just ride it straight while holding on for dear life. He did a huge wrap to finish the wave off (see the shot below). Photo: Jack McDaniel
David Economos is one of the phenomenally talented group of younger groms coming up locally. I was a little concerned for some of the younger kids paddling out. It was seriously huge at Lowers Sunday when I shot this. David took off on this huge wall of water. The camera angle actually flattens the size a bit. The sick thing is he didn’t just ride it straight while holding on for dear life. He did a huge wrap to finish the wave off (see the shot below). Photo: Jack McDaniel
David Economos finishes out the wave shown above. Photo: Jack McDaniel
David Economos finishes out the wave shown above. Photo: Jack McDaniel
Hagan Johnson was one of the youngest and smallest to paddle out during the largest day of the swell. However, like Griffin, Hagan has been known to charge and amaze people on a regular basis. Here he catches a nice inside right and throws a super steezy tail slide. Photo: Jack McDaniel
Hagan Johnson was one of the youngest and smallest to paddle out during the largest day of the swell. However, like Griffin, Hagan has been known to charge and amaze people on a regular basis. Here he catches a nice inside right and throws a super steezy tail slide. Photo: Jack McDaniel
Kalani Robb is a regular now down at Lowers. He was ripping the large swell at ease and it seemed dodging groms and other surfers caught in the never-ending conveyor belt of sets was the most challenging part of his session. Photo: Jack McDaniel
Kalani Robb is a regular now down at Lowers. He was ripping the large swell at ease and it seemed dodging groms and other surfers caught in the never-ending conveyor belt of sets was the most challenging part of his session. Photo: Jack McDaniel
I’ve been shooting Griffin Colapinto since he was a mini grom. He’s dropped jaws since day one and hasn’t slowed down. He boosted this one quite a bit ahead of the wave. Luckily, it developed a nice bed of foam to land in. Photo: Jack McDaniel
I’ve been shooting Griffin Colapinto since he was a mini grom. He’s dropped jaws since day one and hasn’t slowed down. He boosted this one quite a bit ahead of the wave. Luckily, it developed a nice bed of foam to land in. Photo: Jack McDaniel

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