Born and raised on Vancouver Island, surrounded by the coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean, Adam DeWolfe was inspired to show his experience in and out of the water by getting behind the lens. Alternating between Canada in the summer and Mexico in the winter, he has compiled an impressive portfolio of photographs and video which he contributes to the website GotSurf.ca as well as various international magazines and media outlets. Recently, Adam has taken to designing and building handplanes from old surfboards and recycled materials.
What is your role with the website, GotSurf? For those who don’t know, what is GotSurf about?
Gotsurf.ca is a Canadian based collective of Surfers and Filmmakers who are aiming to show off Canadian talent and caricatures in our surf scene. I am a part of its collective as a filmmaker but also am an avid surfer on all types of craft, and have a very open mind when it comes to ways to ride waves. Gotsurf is the first website of its kind in Canada and I see it going far in the future. We are having an open Canadian video contest from east coast to west and the lakes and rivers in between over the next couple months. Super excited about this and hope it brings out some interesting unknown talent, stay tuned for that for sure.
Growing up on Vancouver Island, there is a pretty strong surf culture. What makes the island so special?
The west coast of Canada has very limited road access to the beach so if you’re a avid surfer you are pretty much forced to live on Vancouver Island. Tofino is the most know surf destination up here and has a solid year round surf culture for sure. I grew up spending winters away in Mexico since I was a kid so this was my first winter at home in a long time. When the weather and waves cooperate there’s nowhere else I would rather be. It’s a magical place. The natural beauty up here is nuts…
How did you get started in photography? How would you describe your photographic style?
I have always had a camera in hand since I was a little kid but have been taking it more serious in the last 5 years. I’m all about the in water artsy stuff. I love swimming and if i have the choice to swim or stand on the beach I’m in the water. I’m not really sure of my photographic style, the main thing I’m always going for is to learn and stay inspired.
When did you start body surfing?
I was pretty much born in the ocean. I was raised on a sail boat for most of my youth so water was just a stone through away, and my parents would take me out of school and book it to Mexico in their van for the winters. That’s where I started getting into body surfing, Boogie boarding, surfing, fishing anything to stay in the water…
How did you get introduced into using hand planes?
About 5 years ago, a good friend from France/Santa Barbara Yohan started making them in Mexico. He was pretty intense about his little shapes. They were pieces of art and they worked so well, I needed one. We had a rad pack of handboarders that season and they have forever been with me. It’s nothing but fun.
Seems like more and more people are making hand planes. What makes your different?
The biggest thing is the fins. We were glassing in keel fins or FCS side bites and also using broken leashes for the hand strap which works great, super soft on the hand and keeps broken leashes out of the garbage. The fins really made a huge difference, you can push hard off the little board and get your torso out of the water also your head nice and clean from spray to get a good view of the close outs from within.
As much fun as body surfing is, do you have any recommendations for making it bearable in COLD water?
A good wetsuit is key up here. I have tried a lot and Rip Curl’s 6/5/4 is crazy warm. Stoked on it for winter but summers we can get down to a 4/3. The swim fins are the tricky part. If you have size 11 feet you need an XL set of swim fins with a 5mm bootie. Basically, just get a swim fin with as big of a foot pocket as possible.