Written By: Thomas LaGrega
Intro By: Jack Ventura
To kick off 2024, we have a new story from another close friend of mine, Thomas LaGrega.
You have probably seen Thomas' photo and video work in mainstream TV commercials, but being one of the most humble individuals I have had the pleasure of knowing, you most likely won't see his name attached to those advertisements.
If TV isn’t your style, you have definitely seen his work on Instagram—Thomas can often be found on the beach filming some of the most talented and graceful individuals in surfing. This is probably where his effortless surfing style comes from.
I love seeing people leave all the stresses of modern life on the beach when they enter the water. Whenever I am lucky enough to surf with Thomas, you can feel that the only thing that matters in those moments is surfing, and it's the full dedication to the art that makes it a pleasure to witness.
Thanks for writing this Wave Slider Journal Entry, Thomas. I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did…
- Jack Founder of FARO
A reminder to the mind, number 1 of many:
1.2.24 - Emily and Jordan's House - Haleiwa, HI
A common higher-than-normal anxiety for me is when I am somewhere beautiful, and there is a memory or moment I want to capture, but I don't have my camera, perfect lens, drone, tripod plate, etc., with me. I can mentally overthink myself to physical exhaustion, running through all the shots I could, should, or would have been getting if I just had my camera.
Rewind a few years ago. The plan was to rendezvous with a small group of friends down south for the '5th of July Baja Classic' – the second annual, super official surfboarding competition. As I started to pull out of the north county, headed to the south country, my van wouldn't start.
Luckily, friends Chandra and Chimay had not crossed the border yet and had space for Chewie and me. Chewie never misses a road trip. For some unknown reason (perhaps to not take up too much space in their van?), I chose to leave all my cameras behind, except for my trusty 35mm, a few rolls of film, and an unknowingly dead battery. We crossed the border, drove a few hours south down Highway Mexico 1D, took a right, drove another hour down the dirt road, and finally, we arrived at the crew's campsite way past Baja midnight; it was 9pm.
The following morning, I lay in my tent, patiently staring at the dark sky, waiting for Earth to spin to the point where the sun starts to reach our portion of the world. I loaded a roll of film into my camera, excited to see the wave conditions, have a coffee, take a few early light photos, and then hop into the ocean with only a few friends.
As I tried to take photo number 1 of the weekend, I learned that my camera battery was dead. And then, I remembered I was hours away from any store and many more hours away from a store that would sell the battery I needed. Immediately, I felt my mind accelerate with internal dialogue, asking myself, "How could I not bring a spare battery? Why did I not bring my digital camera? Why did I not pack my drone? Why did I not pack my super-8? Why did I not...etc., etc., etc." My anxiety was peaking. All I could think about was all of the photos and memories I would not be able to capture…
As the holiday weekend went on, every now and then, I would see Jack's camera hanging around or Emily's camera out and about. So, I did what anyone in my position would do. I shot a bunch of photos on their cameras. :)
The borrowed cameras became a metaphor for letting go and making the most of the present, rather than fixating on what could have been. As similar situations and anxieties seem to happen very often for me, I should remember the 2nd Annual Baja Classic. Looking back now, I don't remember the lack of my cameras but more so the good times with friends and the reminder of letting go when things are not perfect.
Jack took home first place. Chimay won Best Barrel. Sydney brought the biggest disco ball. Chewie chilled. And I logged great memories even without my cameras along for the trip.
What Thomas is Stoked ON!
In Thoughts And Quotes:
"If the seas were always calm, we would never build a better boat"-
In The Faro Workshop:
My new FARO Dry Bag!