Images © 2011 Brent Lieberman
The Early Years
Around the mid sixties there was the first article in Surfer magazine about a trip that Robert August and some friends had gone on, into the wilderness of Baja and discovered Roberts Lefts, Cuatro Casas and other breaks. I wrote a letter to Robert asking him how to find these spots, and lo and behold he answered me with a map and details how to get there. I got my drivers license in 1966 and almost immediately started to plan for an expedition down into the Baja to find surf. About a year later myself and three or four of my mates set out, on the first of many trips to see what we could find also. Our first find was the brewery in Ensenada! It was pretty much, if you had the balls to ask, you could buy, so we stocked up on about 8 cases (in those days, I think it was about 3 bucks per case) of Mexican Liquid refreshment, and set off blindly into that no mans land, sometimes following arrows spray painted on the highway, pointing towards the ocean! The paved road ended not too far South of Ensenada, so we really were like explorers, or maybe even pirates! I have wonderful memories of those times, but not many photos, as I mostly surfed.
In 1969 I moved into Dogtown and put down some photographic roots, and really concentrated on my passion, photography. I soon met Eddie Underwood, who was a pro surfer, who surfed on the same team as Dru Harrison. Eddie introduced me to Dru and a friendship between us grew, and lasted until Dru’s untimely passing. Dru ripped right up to his departure from this world. Many people called me Dru’s personal photographer, because we were hitting the surf almost daily. It was in my Dogtown days that I started to shoot at all the WSA contests up and down the coast, and became a contributor to the mags. Dru introduced to me to all the influential people of the day, and really helped me with my career. It was during this time, my wife Julie, and I also lived in a tent in Baja for about three or four months, which was a totally fun time. I would jam back up to LA and get my unemployment check about every two weeks, get supplies and head South again. In 1972 I took on the job of running all the media and covering the World Contest for the WSA. It was during that contest, that was run in basically two foot slop, that Corky and I headed up to Newport and scored some of the best Point ever.
About a year later Julie and I decided to bolt from the city to escape all the trappings that were closing in around us. The drugs, smog, freeways, frenetic pace of life and radically crowded conditions. We moved North, to start a new life, in “the boonies” and raise a family. It was during this period that my photos became un-named or were give fictitious names to protect the part of coast that I have called home since. This coast is still very rugged and uncrowded for the most part, and has been a delight for me to shoot for the past 38 years. Over the years, I have discovered a few little jewels that have unveiled great waves and expeditions for me and my friends.
I hope you have enjoyed these tales and photos, and maybe they have invoked good memories for you as well.
Watch Brent’s Slideshow Please allow ample time for large 8 MB file to download.
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Music: The Amboy Dukes Journey to the Center of the Mind
»wrote on 08.11.11 @ 12:51 PM
Well Mr. Lieberman…I really enjoyed this “hot” little slide show of yours. It’s not often that an ancient dude like me gets to admire such a soulful catch in their prime. I can’t wait to personally welcome these little water walkers to their toasty future homes. You know, I once knew the original water walker, a super nice guy, but you know what they say about about nice guys…they always finish last last… in my world anyway. He disappeared, but left word with his buddies that he was comming back with a vengence. Hmmm, well anyway, I just wanted to congratulate you on your big fat juicy soul-brother show. I love the smell of barbecued “hot doggers” in the morning. I can’t wait to meet you in person. I have a little piece of paper I’d love to have your autograph on.
»wrote on 08.11.11 @ 08:21 PM
Thanks so much for this incredible piece of work Brent! If anyone want to see more of Brent’s work (modern digital images), please visit http://www.Photos805.com!
»wrote on 08.11.11 @ 09:52 PM
Hey Thanks Jon,
It was really fun for me also to take that stroll down memory lane. There are just way too many stories I would like to tell! If your readers would like to see some more oldies, click on this hyperlink and enjoy the ride: http://www.photos805.com/Surfing/Surfing-around-the-decades/10976921_swevn#767207330_FTvTU
Aloha Nui Loa…..Liebs
»wrote on 08.13.11 @ 02:17 PM
where is last ride #35
»wrote on 08.14.11 @ 04:18 PM
Rincon Jon, that spot is called Abalone reef, that shot was made around 1978.
»wrote on 07.18.12 @ 10:23 PM
hey i grew up surfing and watching dru harrison, eddie underwood, mike purpose, and tiger makin when i was a kid in hermosa beach. eddie inspired me most with his classic stance mike purpose could pull off the most radical round house cut backs i have ever seen even on the long boards and dru harrison was the the smoothist surfer i had seen. boy that was great seeing those photos thanks
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