Tahiti based photographer Domenic Mosqueira describes securing page one with one of Tahiti’s best – the freakishly talented Matahi Drollet.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, where did you grow up?
I was born In Mexico City but moved to Puerto Escondido at a young age. My cousin and father own the infamous BarFly there. I also lived in Montreal, Canada for many years because my mother is from there and that is where I went to University.
How did you get into photography?
I was always around it when I was little as my father did a lot of shooting, including for Playboy back in the day, haha. But, I really got into it through watching Jaque Cousteau episodes on TV, that really fascinated me. It made me want to get into photography – specifically in the water. With the move to Puerto, came my love for surfing, and I wanted to put surfing and photography together. Funnily enough, it took many years of photography work – from Canada to the Caribbean- to finally land in Tahiti where I would marry the two and make a career of surf photography.
Can you please talk about this wave and how this photo came to be?
This wave was one I can easily remember as it was one that bent so hard at the west bowl that I thought I might miss the best moment. In the end it made the image look that much more unique, as you can really feel the weight and turn the wave has at that spot on the reef.
It was a super fun morning and Matahi Drollet was, as usual, catching many of the best waves in his stylish fashion. It was a consistent heavy 6-8 ft with the occasional bigger sets and I was shooting with a 17-40mm lens so I could zoom in and out depending on the wave. I was trying to be in the west bowl, so when the big west sets came, I was sitting on top, looking down to get the feel of how top heavy the waves were. Matahi was driving so fast through the barrel, I had to swim really hard trying not to miss anything, and I was worried it would drag me over.
What is unique about it to you?
I love how you can feel the pull and hard bend of the west bowl. The wave hides most of Matahi from this angle, but you can feel the weight and draw of the wave and the intensity of the ride.
Tell us about Matahi, what makes him special as a surfer?
That is an easy one. He seems to be so in tune with the wave that he flows naturally with it. He’s super-relaxed when the wave allows it, actually even when it’s heavy and heaving he’s pretty relaxed, racing smoothly to make the deep sections, and insync with the best sets. His style is so complementary to the wave, it’s really beautiful to watch.
He is definitely not your average human, haha. He is so skilled at whatever he puts his mind to, music, fishing, foiling and obviously surfing. A truly talented amigo!!!
What an amazing feeling getting a cover especially with a good friend! We have had a lot of fun along the way, and it’s been amazing to watch and shoot him progress so much along the way.