It was my last night in Hawaii when I met surfing photographer Matt Catalano at a Pipe contest after party on the North Shore.
I had spoken to Matt – who now lives in Hawaii – several times before via email, but it was good to finally put a face to the name.
After reminiscing on an amazing day of competition, Matt began telling me about one of his favourite shots that never saw light on the pages of a print magazine.
“It was during a trip to Australia back in April, 2011,” Matt began.
“It was shot moments before the first heat of the Box Pro. The sun had literally just peaked over the hillside and it was some of the most electrifying light I’d ever seen.”
With the sun’s rays creating a rare golden glow over the famous Margaret River reef break, Matt knew he had to capture this moment before it faded away.
“It lasted only a few minutes. But that is when a guy called ‘Duck’ paddled into a perfect Box barrel,” Matt said.
“I sent the photo out to a few magazines but didn’t hear back. It’s a shame because it is one of my favourite shots ever.”
A shame indeed, but I asked Matt to send me the sequence and we will try to find out who this “Duck” fella is and give the photos some life in the digital realm.
After some sleuthing, we found out Duck is none other than local legend Nathan Ducasse who spends his time shaping our youth as a school teacher, while also very dedicated to finding slabs of water around his home state.
WA photographer Mike Maxted had these nice words to say about Duck on his website:
“(He) goes by the nickname “Duck”. Much like the aforementioned bird, he’s friendly, patient, goes quietly on his way and loves to paddle on large bodies of water. I like ducks, and this one is no exception!”
Sequence by Matt Catalano
See more of his work at his instagram page