Darrell Wong, the interview

Darrell Wong, the interview

In the right place at the right time, Darrell Wong is one of those photographers who immortalised the 80s in windsurfing forever. With no artistic or photographic training, he started taking photos of his friends surfing... just for fun. Several years later, in the early 1980s, with the advent of windsurfing, his career took off, and he became one of the sport's leading photographers. As well as working for major windsurf manufacturers, his work has appeared in advertisements around the world, with a client list that includes American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Hewlett-Packard, Discovery Channel, and Procter & Gamble.

How did you become a windsurf photographer?
I happen to be at the right place and time. I was photographing surfing on the North Shore of Oahu when windsurf waveriding started in the early 1980ʻs at Diamond Head. I grew up surfing Diamond Head and my family home was/is nearby so I naturally started photographing the sailors at Diamond Head. I was also lucky to meet Steve Wilkings who mentored me... Steve taught me a lot about the business of the surf/windsurf industry.

Over the decades, which windsurfer has inspired you the most and why?
Besides Robby Naish, Iʻd say it was Mark Angulo and Josh Angulo. Both were creative and had a natural Hawaiian style of fluid wave riding. Mark especially tried everything and anything but with style.

What do you think makes a good windsurf photo?
Good question... besides the dynamic action, I like to be able to see the sailorʻs face. I prefer shooting in the later afternoon where there is some depth to the photo.

What would define the Darrell Wong touch the most?
"Speed blurs"... I have been shooting "speed blurs" since the beginning of my career and I think most people recognize this style in my photographs.

How do you look back on your career as a professional windsurf photographer?
Iʻve been lucky... I have a wonderful family and I work with fantastic people on really amazing jobs in one of the most incredibly beautiful places on earth...

Photo: Darrell Wong

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