Meet California skimboarder and photographer, Tyler Brooks. Photos are of Soulag skimboarders, Geo Reyes and George Bryan. Words by Kelli Bean
A: Tyler Brooks
Q: Where are you from?
A: Throughout my adolescent years, and going to grade school I lived in Laguna Beach, California. I currently live in Dana Point.
Q: Flatland, wave rider or both?
A: Wave riding
Q: How long have you been skimboarding?
A: I started skimming when I was 12 (7 years ago), on a foamie Victoria Skimboards board.
Q: How were you introduced to the sport?
A: Growing up, I always went down to the beach watching my brother’s friends such as Koty Lopez, Brandon Sears, and Noogie. They made it look so easy and fun. That’s when I really wanted to start skimming and they introduced me to the sport.
Q: Where do you normally skim and with whom?
A: I like to go down to 9th Street since it’s fairly spread out and everyone can pick their own little spot where it is not too hectic. If I do skim, it’s always a good time and smiles with Sean Malek, Jack Howie, and Jared Green.
Q: What is it about skimboarding that you love, as a rider?
A: I love the environment of skimming. Everyone is so calm and collective. You never see that guy who is angry and screaming at kids for cutting him/her off. Riders like Paulo Prietto, Austin Keen, Jake Stinnett and Teddy Vlasis stand out the most to me because they do so much for the sport and always have nothing but positive things to say. No matter how good or bad someone is, they are willing to give the rider a chance even if it’s the best wave of the day. It’s just a loving sport and everyone respects each other.
Q: Where would you like to see skimboarding go in the future?
A: I am overjoyed that skimboarding has taken a massive leap the past few years. It went from just Laguna Beach, the East Coast, and Cabo to Portugal, Brazil, Taiwan and other places around the world. Skimboarding has grown so much in the last few years, and I know it will continue to spread in the future. I’d like to see more Women skimming professionally in the UST.
Q: What made you get into photography initially?
A: When Skimboarding Mag and ForeverSkim were doing their issues, I would always see Joe Bailey’s photos. He really inspired me start taking skimboarding photos. Joe stands out to me because he is constantly looking for new perspectives and new angles which make them more unique than anyone else’s. I was already at the beach everyday watching these professionals shrewd, so I figured I would like to capture these memories for the riders and sponsors.
Q: What specifically attracts you to action sports photography?
A: When it comes to action sports photography, I mainly shoot skimboarding and skateboarding. Since I skim and skate, it attracts me to these sports specifically because I can relate to them.
Q: What is it about skimboarding that you love to capture?
A: I love capturing huge airs and connections. I like to see how stoked the riders get after they do something amazing. When it comes to the beaches in Laguna, my favorite beach for shooting is West Street. It’s so beautiful and all the Soulag locals kill it there.
Q: Describe Orange County’s skim scene through your lens.
A: The Orange County skim scene has definitely changed in my opinion. More skimmers out of state/county are coming to skim some of these world famous beaches the OC has to offer. In my opinion, it’s a good and bad thing. It’s great for all these people to experience what locals may take for granted, but it’s not so great when that one beach is firing and 5 people are going for one wave.
Q: What is your overall experience like shooting the pros?
A: It’s a great experience. These men and woman are some of the best in the world, and it’s awesome that I can show everyone how good these pros really are.
Q: If you could do a photo shoot anywhere in the world, where would it be?
A: East Coast Skimboards has some rad photos of Austin Keen in Chile and George Bryan in Spain and these spots look epic.
Q: What is the best way to contact you for someone interested in your work?
A: My Facebook Page is Tyler Brooks Photography (facebook.com/tylerbphotos) and my email is: Tylerbphotos@gmail.com
You can also follow Tyler on Instagram at: Tylerbphotos