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From Ocean To Wilderness in the PNW With Jarett Juarez

By December 1, 2017 No Comments

Into The Wild

Jarett Juarez is a professional photographer living on the coast in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. He was born and raised on the coast with his dad being a professional fishing guide, he was introduced to the ocean before he was able to walk and quickly developed a love, passion and respect for the ocean and the activities and recourses it provides.
His career has been developed by his passions for surf and photography in such a way that he is able to make a large portion of his living by documenting and creating images reflecting those passions.
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Catching Up With Jarett

Shooting big wave surfing seems insane, have you ever had any scary moments out in the water?
 
Big wave surfing is a completely different game than your average weekend outing to the beach to catch a few waves. These waves that we surf and document are over half a mile off-shore and require a jet ski just to get to them.  Just the jet ski ride alone can be scary and treacherous as it requires launching the ski either off of the beach or through a river mouth which then you have to maneuver your way through a quarter mile of relentless beach break with the faces off the waves varying between 8-20 feet tall. The season for big waves is late October through Early April so this means the weather is usually stormy and rainy and the average water temperature is floating somewhere around the 50 degree mark. Once we get to the reef where the wave is breaking we are met by 25-60 foot faced waves depending on the size of the swell. The power of these waves is unmatched by any other natural force I have ever witnessed. There have been some scary moment for sure between getting thrown off of the jet ski in 15 for shore break with all of my camera gear or having to deal with a two wave hold-down after paddling into the wave on a good sized day being pushed somewhere between 15 to 20 feet under water and being held there for up to 30 seconds all while your limbs feel like they are being torn off of your body by the force of the water. These moments are some of the scariest moment of my life but they are the risk you have to take into consideration every time we go out but the reward of capturing an image of your friend as he drops into a 50 foot mountain of water or the feeling you get after paddling into it yourself is unmatched by any other feeling of adrenaline or self confidence.
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How did you get into shooting big wave surfing
 
I had been surfing consistently for 6 years and had started working with a few surf companies providing them with images. Three years ago, I had a local surf shop inquire if I would be able to go out to the reef on a jet ski and photograph a couple of their pro team members as they surfed this incoming swell. Of course I said yes and I suited up to shoot and had my eyes opened to a whole new world and level of surfing. The rest is history.
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You spend a lot of your time in your van, Roxy. What is one tip you have for spending a lot of time on the road?
 
Yes! Roxy is the best road trip partner I could ask for! I put an average of 50k miles on her a year so I am on the road a lot. For meas a photographer, it is pretty easy to make so many trips because most (or all) of them are work related. For someone who may not have the luxury of making money off of their travels I would just say to take every opportunity you get whether it is just a weekend or a month off and just go. Anything you want in life must be worked for in some way or another so just get out there and have fun, who knows you may find your own way of making money while traveling!
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Any hikes you’d recommend in the PNW while on a camping trip?
 There are so many good ones out there but a few of my favorite are the hike to broken top in the Three Sisters Wilderness near central Oregon or Hurricane ridge in the Olympic National Park!
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What is your favorite Penny Board to Ride?
 
My favorite Penny board is 36″ longboard V2 for cruising around town or surfing a big hill!

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Road Trip Jams With Jarett