|ESPN.com: Surfing||[Print without images]|
|"Pipeline on an evening swim -- by far one of the most beautiful moments I have experienced from the water. It was glassing off and the colors were perfect. Pipeline is truly an experience, whether you're surfing, shooting or just watching," she says.|
Despite the "Blue Crush effect" (that may be waning at the moment) surfing is dominated by X chromosomes. If surf photographers had their own clubhouse, there wouldn't even be a ladies room. And of the lensfolk who paddle into the ocean to shoot, you will rarely ever see a female treading a pair of Churchills at a heavy break.
And then there's Lucia Griggi, an Italian born, English-educated woman who doesn't much care about the gender-based status quo and comes back from epic adventures around the globe with solid photos to show for it -- some from the world's most unforgiving venues.
"Seeing Pipeline break big for the first time was a silent moment. I did not want to look through my camera and shoot, but just sit in silence and feel the wave break on the shore. I knew I had to go swim!" she recalls.
"The first time I swam Pipe was small day, several years ago, a better day of the Pipeline Masters. I had explored the reef when it was flat, so I knew how much room I had beneath me: not enough. After this I was ready for size. Well, probably not -- but who cared?" she says.
"I carried on swimming Pipe when Third Reef was feathering on larger textbook days in late January. I was scared of the swim out and getting deep enough under the wave as it broke. I was shooting an 85mm so had to sit further in rather than in the channel. Sometimes I was swept back as there is only a margin of room between the wave above and the reef below, and sometimes I would have to hold onto the reef to swim through. The sounds were like bombs exploding."
But Third Reef isn't even the biggest worry. As a female traveling the world alone with thousands of dollars of gear, she's been a target of attacks by dirtbags from London to South Africa. At J-Bay, she had to hide under the bed, terrified, while a thief cleaned her livelihood out of the apartment. There have been jellyfish, inexperienced surfers landing on her melon and camping in a Sri Lankan rice field with elephants, cobras, crocs and as she puts it "shagging mongooses."
|Lucia Griggi, independent woman with a lot of lens (and a lot of something else.)|
In addition to working with all sorts of clients in action sports, her work has appeared in Foam, Surfergirl, Carve, Mens Health, Cooler, and Maxim. The girl has it dialed.