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Professional surfing competitions are a great opportunity to take dynamic photos

Professional surfing competitions are a great opportunity to take dynamic photos
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Professional surfing competitions are a great opportunity to take dynamic photos, and a great place to shoot

If you want to take a bold photo of a professional surfing competition, there is a great place to do it!

The JPSA Pro Surfing Competition attracts top pro surfers from all over the country, so it is exciting not only for surfing fans but also for photographers.

It is a common wish among photographers to capture the great riding of the cool top surfers at the JPSA surfing competitions.

However, when photographers who are not official photographers shoot pro surfing competitions, they often cannot get the best positions.

But don't give up.

I have finally realized after several times of shooting that there are some good spots where even official photographers can't get good shots.

As a sample, here are some photos of Nijuho Tsuzuki, the JPSA 2019 Rookie of the Year, from the Instagram of Shige-p, the administrator of this site.

It is rare to see female professional surfers perform dynamic airs that are not often seen during competitions, but Nijuho Tsuzuki, a pro, has been showing them off well outside of the competition area.

Conclusion of "The Hole in the Road for Filming Professional Surfing Competitions" out of the blue

  • Outside the competition area during the competition (a spirited and dynamic picture just before the match)
  • At the competition area on the day before the competition (including adjustments, and highly difficult moves)
  • Early morning of the day after the competition (before returning home, riding in a blitz)

All of this is outside of the competition area and time during the actual competition.

What? Some of you may be thinking, "What? The photos above were taken outside of the competition area during the JPSA Tanegashima competition, but during the pro competition, you can take more dynamic photos at other places and times than during the competition.

Photos taken outside of the competition area, which are different from those taken during the competition!

Consider the professional situation in terms of how surfing is scored

Surfing competitions are scored within a limited time frame of 20 to 30 minutes and are based on the sum of the best two scores.

In other words, professional surfers in the competition want to get two of the highest scores possible, because their first priority is to win the competition.

At this time, they will be trying to score points by avoiding the big tricks that will score high points if they succeed, but will not score well if they fail.

In other words, they are not likely to give their all during the competition.

The pro surfers will only perform big tricks when they are almost certain to win, when they want to make a comeback at the end of the competition, or when they catch an insanely good wave.

The pro-surfers are awesome when they are not competing

Since the JPSA is a gathering of top professionals, the surfing skills and intensity are top-notch.

Especially before the competition, pro surfers will do their best to make adjustments, including board selection, etc., so you can take really great pictures.

The pro surfer's photo from the day before the competition is also a great example

I have a lot of photos of pro surfers on my instagram the day before! I have a lot of photos of pro surfers on my instagram, but here is another one.

This is of Juli Nishimoto, who came to Tanegashima for the JPSA Shortboard Round 6 in 2018, taken the day before the JPSA Tanegashima event.

Compare the position of his body and head. It is too much.

Next to the surfing competition area, outside the competition area was a treasure trove

Of course, the best way to photograph surfing is to take pictures of the competition, but the area outside the competition area is actually a treasure trove of surfing treasures.

You can't miss them because they are flying as fast as they can without thinking about the finish line, or they are performing highly difficult tricks.

I regret that I should have noticed this earlier.

No competition bibs except in the competition area

The red, white, yellow, and blue numbers worn at surfing competitions are used to identify the competitors during competitions, and if you take a lot of photos of surfing competitions, you can tell who the pros are by checking the time of the photo shoot and the heat list.

But from a photographic point of view, I find these numbers distracting.

Especially female pro surfers wear nice and fashionable clothes, but when they put on their competition numbers, they are not visible at all.

I recommend taking photos outside of the competition area because you can see the surfers' wear, so the photos are beautiful and you can see their personalities.

Also, the male pros fly like crazy, so this is fun too.

The only drawback is that if you are riding outside of competition and you are not a photographer who knows the pro surfer well, you may not know who he is, but you can contact him on Instagram or someone will tell you.

Great photo opportunities before and after the convention

Professional surfers will ride to the venue by the day before the competition.

Naturally, they will try out their surfing skills at the competition site, so this is a great chance to photograph surfing that the pros are really into.

Even after the competition is over, pro surfers may stay at the site the next day due to scheduling reasons such as reserve days.

The day after the competition is over, there are no facilities that interfere with the competition, so this is another great opportunity to take pictures.

In other words, there are great opportunities to photograph top pro surfers outside of the main competition.

Pro surfing competitions are a great opportunity to take dynamic photos, pro competitions overview

About the Tanegashima JPSA Pro Surfing Tour

Tanegashima Island has hosted the JPSA Japan Pro Surfing Tour three times in the past

Since this is a JPSA article, I will also write about the JPSA held at Tanegashima.

Tanegashima has hosted three JPSA surfing pro competitions in the past.

①JPSA Japan Pro Surfing Tour 2017 Shortboard Round 6

Thursday, September 21 - Sunday, September 24

What a surprise, it is a double grade event with double prize money and double tour points.

Unfortunately, I had not yet taken any surfing photos at the time of this event, so I did not take any photos.

JPSA Japan Pro Surfing Tour 2018 Shortboard Round 6

Thursday, September 27 - Sunday, September 30

I participated in the filming of the Tanegashima surfing competition from here, but my filming equipment at the time was an ordinary telephoto lens (400mm), so the image quality was not so good, but you can see it on my Instagram.

This event was also double graded with double prize money and double tour points.

③JPSA Japan Pro Surfing Tour 2019 Shortboard Round 5

Thursday, September 19 - Sunday, September 22

This tournament was titled "Surf Island Tanegashima.

Of course we took pictures, but the total number of pictures taken at this time was quite a lot, and only a small part of them are on our instagram.

The event was cancelled from the 2020 Surfing Competition due to the impact of the corona

4) 2020: All JPSA-sponsored surfing competitions will be canceled

The Japan Professional Surfing Association (JPSA) will announce the cancellation of the tour for the 2020 season, but other competitions will not take place either, so the Olympic surfing team selection and other events will be slammed.

(5) The Tanegashima Pro was scheduled for the opening round of the 2021 season, but was cancelled at Corona.

The opening round was scheduled to be held on Tanegashima Island from Monday, May 17 to Wednesday, May 19, but the event was cancelled in consideration of infection to the outlying islands. It was a pity.

No event will be held on Tanegashima in 2022

The Tanegashima event was held by the local government of Tanegashima as an invitation to hold a professional surfing event, but due to the three-year budget for the event and other circumstances, there will be no JPSA surfing event in Tanegashima in 2022.

I am looking forward to the pro surfing competition in Tanegashima.

JPSA Tanegashima Announced for 2023

In 2023, the first rounds of both shortboard and longboard will be held at Tanegashima!

And the shortboard pro trial will be held at the same time at Tanegashima for the first round.

It is scheduled from 4/10 to 4/13 (with a preliminary day on the 14th).

What about general photographers shooting at JPSA pro surfing competitions?

General photography is of course possible. However, there are still some restrictions.

General photographers cannot get the best position

It is practically impossible to find the best position for surf photography, such as in front of the tournament headquarters.

It is also difficult for general photographers to shoot because of the presence of official photographers and videographers.

Since priority will be given to official filming and live broadcasts, general photographers will have to shoot from a position that does not interfere with the competition.

Position moves also require unusual detours

As a photographer, I wanted to avoid crossing in front of the cameras for the important JPSA official filming and videotaping, so I had to make a large detour to walk behind the headquarters.

The coast where you usually take pictures will change

However, in the case of a professional tournament, there will be a tournament headquarters tent (judges' seats, narration, etc.), a booth for the contestants to receive their bibs, a special tent for waiting athletes, a tent for photographers, sound equipment, and various stakes, etc., which are not usually present in a tournament. will be set up.

There will also be food booths for athletes and tents for local spectators, which will completely change the usual location of the event.

It is necessary to change the shooting location flexibly according to the situation at the site.

Competition schedule and location changes due to wave conditions

For the Tanegashima competition, the venue is designated as the main venue and the sub venue.

In both of the two Tanegashima surfing competitions I participated, the first day was at the point in front of the Takezaki Coast Hotel, and the second day was at Yokino point (Kumano Beach).

Appropriate points are selected based on wave conditions and other factors, so the locations change, but it is difficult to move around and find a parking lot if the distance is too far.

In the case of Tanegashima, it is important to gather information the day before.

The schedule can be overcrowded, with competitions taking place in the early morning hours before sunrise in the dim light of day

In the case of Tanegashima, the sun has not yet risen at 5:00 am.

Surfing competitions have a fixed duration, so the daily schedule may be overcrowded to accommodate the competitions.

In this case, the competition starts early in the morning before sunrise, which is dimly lit and can be visually confirmed, but it is a very bad condition for photographers.

It is too dark to photograph surfing before sunrise.

Photographers fleeing from a squall peculiar to Tanegashima

Even when the weather was clear, squalls would come suddenly on Tanegashima Island, and photographers from other parts of the country would rush to retreat under their tents or other shelter.

I am used to it, so I continued shooting in the rain, but when the squall came, I was a little surprised to see no one but me on the beach.

It rained heavily both times at JPSA Tanegashima, which was held at Yoki no Point. It was standard equipment for me to always carry a towel, a plastic wrap, a kappa, and an umbrella to take pictures in case of squalls even when it was sunny, but it is important to have a plan for sudden rain when coming from inland.

But if you are coming from inland, it is important to be prepared for sudden rain.

The pro surfers are friendly and nice!

Even the odd photographer from a remote island that you meet for the first time, the pro surfers are friendly and helpful. They greet you properly, which is really great.

I don't like to talk to them before or during the competition, but when they were relaxing after the competition, I asked them if I could take a picture of them. They were very kind and agreed to allow us to take pictures of them.

When we also check their posts on social networking sites, some of them even ask us to post their photos.

After all, they are professionals, so I guess it is an important strategy to sell their name and face.

While filming the competition, I searched profiles of pro surfers on my smartphone and was surprised to see how young they are.

Many pros started surfing at a very young age, and I admire the fact that they are aiming to become pros at such a young age.

I picked up only one photo of him because he posted multiple photos on his Instagram.


JPSA Tanegashima Pro Pro Surfers

This photo was taken at JPSA Tanegashima, Yokino point.

From left to right, Shinna Kawase, Juli Nishimoto, Ai Watanabe, and Emiri Nishimoto.

I have a lot of photos of pro surfers on my instagram, so you may want to look for them.

The crowd cheering for the JPSA Tanegashima Tournament is loose and GOOD!

Tanegashima is a place where life is slow, so the spectators are also very laid-back, which is also a nice touch.

This is a photo of the spectators during the interval of the competition, which gives the illusion that time is passing slowly in Tanegashima.

You can also see how far back I am from the beach.


Spectators of JPSA Tanegashima

Professional surfing competitions are a great opportunity to take dynamic photos, summary

In this article, we have tried to show you that there are other big opportunities to photograph surfing at JPSA and other professional surfing competitions, not only the main competitions.

If you are interested in surfing, please try to go to surfing competitions with your camera.

It might change your life.

I would also like to thank all the surfers who have appeared on this blog.

Thank you for reading to the end.

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