In case you don’t know him, meet lensman Danny Stockdale of Ocean Grove. Danny has been shooting the Belmar Pro for eleven years. After the first few events, it just made sense to bring him onboard as the official photographer of the Belmar Pro. So every year, you see him running around the beach for four straight days capturing all the action.
With the Pacifico Belmar Pro just a week away, we asked Danny to send us some of his all time favorite shots from the Belmar Pro and he took us on a great journey down memory lane. Here are Danny’s most loved shots from the last decade and his own words:
One of two of the most memorable waves – both in the same year in heavy conditions. This one was from the Womens finals. This wave in the end of the finals pretty much sealed the deal for Jamie DeWitt.
Michael Dunphy, now a two-time winner, got this wave and double barrel in the last minute of the finals in 2010. I included several from the sequence but the one I like the best is the last one where he looking. You could tell he knew he sealed the deal with that wave.
Best looking board caddy I’ve ever seen! Taylor Jensen.
John-John. He was 13 years old and just signed with O’Neil. It’s special to me because his mom grew up in my hometown of Ocean Grove. His brothers have been here more visiting their grandparents as John John was touring. This was taken on morning when Eastern Lines setup a “Groms Surf with John-John Session” The local groms were super stoked.
These are a couple personal ones. I go down to the Dominican Republic in the winter. This is a “double shot” of two of the Dominican boys who were staying at my house while competing in the Belmar Pro – Zion Balbueno and Brian Coutu . Love the double shots, but to get one with two friends up from Dominican staying at my house is just classic.
And of course, Dean Randazzo. Nothing else needs to be said for NJ other than Dean. I like the ones with his kid, Dean Anthony, the best. He’s been at the event since he was a baby and now he’s at the waterline supporting his Dad in the Pro and the Masters.
From 2010. Jody Davis St, Augustine, FLA. Besides liking the black and white (it’s what I learned photography with long long time ago) this one is really special t me. When they announced Jody’s name and St. Augustine, after his heat when he came over to the judges stand, I called down to him, “Hey St. Auggie, my son went to Flagler College.” He said “Yeah, what’s his name?” Knowing that some animosity can exist between the townies and college kids, I wasn’t sure how he would react. I said, “Trevor but everyone calls him TJ.” He looks up at me and says, “Stockdale?” I surfed and hung out with him some. “I liked that kid. He was funny as hell,” he told me. I still remember that conversation word for word. Jody might have advanced if he hadn’t broken his board and spent half the heat looking for a backup.
And Cecil Lear. This was the year they dedicated the beach with a rock and plaque with his name. Cecil is special. Never met anyone with other than “real gentlemen” comments. And if it wasn’t for C, surf competitions might not have taken off in NJ. Cecil is very distantly related to me through two marriages. This day we sat on the beach and talked about surf competitions. It’s funny to hear from someone that started ESA but he said he really didn’t like surf competions, “Its not be between you and the guy next to you, its about you and the wave.” He told me when he was trying to get towns to accept surfing and open up beaches, he saw competitions as a way to attract interest since NJ was so into sports. It worked. He also told me his only regret was he didn’t surf enough, he was so busy with getting things going and his work with Surfing. Every NJ surfer owes Cecil.
You can’t talk about Belmar Pro with talking about Tony Silvagni. He’s a three-time Longboard Pro winner. But sometimes the best photos at a contest are had in the free surfing area. This one was Tony warming up hanging heels.