For the past five years, Dom Padua has turned his lens on Mavericks, one of the biggest waves in the world. He documents the international pros and local surfers who brave the surf each winter.
Padua’s latest work is a passion project called “Mavericks: A New Perspective.” It’s a series of short episodes documenting both the surfing and behind-the-scenes aspects with his friends. The 20-year-old El Granada resident has made three episodes so far, shot during large swells that hit the Coastside on Dec. 13, the day after Christmas, and in early January.
Surfing a wave as physically and mentally demanding as Mavericks takes a toll, so recovering and preparation are key. With talented local surfers like his younger brother Luca, Thomas and Peter Lundgard, Hunter Murison, Thomas Agromonte and Michael Joshua in tow, Padua is there for more than their surfing. He wants to build a platform to showcase faces and personalities of lesser-known surfers to both local and wide-ranging communities.
“I’m going to do other films as well. This stuff is pure passion,” Padua said. “It makes me happy to be around the boys. When they’re (surfing), it just puts a smile on your face.”
When Luca began surfing Mavericks at age 13, Dom didn’t immediately start to document his every move from the channel. He waited a few years.
“During that time, I was building and accelerating my technique and my filming on land with the understanding I would be able to go out to the water to tell this story,” he said.
He first filmed there on the back of local surf videographer Curt Myers’ Jet Ski nearly four years ago. Myers, a co-owner of Powerlines Productions, which has been filming Mavericks and other big-wave spots for over 20 years, has become a mentor and close friend to both Padua brothers. Through the quality of his work and a distinct style, Padua has earned a good reputation with a crew of professional photographers twice his age.
“It’s just about building and developing these skills, Padua explained. “Even though they may not have been useful in the moment, right now it’s all coming together.”