Connor Lyon is a humble, articulate 17 year old who’s tested out of school early to pursue a life of surfing and making things with his hands. He makes money working at Ryan Lovelace’s Point Concepts Surfboards and explores a variety of creative outlets including the celluloid photography featured on this page. To follow what he’s up to check out www.pcprogress.blogspot.com.
Check out his hull surfing in Ryan Lovelace’s InnerView.
When did you start shooting in the water and what type of equipment do you use?
I started shooting in the water in 2009 when my grandma gave me her Nikonos I (1963 metal water camera). She has been a diver and photographer for about 50 years and decided to pass it down, I owe it all to her.
Why film over digital?
Mainly because I get a sense of pride when I get a good shot on film. You have to wait for the perfect moment to take the shot, so when you get a good one it means a lot more than the 20 perfect shots you might have taken with your digital. Film has a strange emotional vibe that is harder to attain with digital. Film has a personality that my eye loves.
What kind of boards do you ride and why?
I ride mainly displacement hulls, single fins, and fishes. For me, these boards are 1000 times more functional than the average thruster. They put me in the part of the wave where I want to be and the allow me to turn and surf exactly the way I want. When the waves get good, a quad fish is the only board I want. Every board that Ryan has shaped has been the best board I have ever ridden. They fit me perfectly.
How old are you and what do you do for work? Do you go to school?
I’m 17 and I work as a full time laminator for my best mate Ryan Lovelace of Point Concept Surfboards. We’ve been working together for about 7 months and he has taught me EVERYTHING I know. I tested out of high school early this year to pursue my love for surfing and building boards. I surfed epic Malibu the day I tested out.
What do you hope to do in future to make a living?
I hope to make a living laminating for the time being, and eventually I would like to start selling my own wood fins and shapes in that order. I love making things with my hands and the satisfaction and joy of riding something I’ve made. It’s even better when your buddies get that joy out of your stuff and you’re there to see it!
Talk about hand planing and body surfing, why do you like it?
I started hand planing after I watched your movie on Korduroy and said to myself, “I can make one of those.” Since then, I’ve been totally hooked and bring my hand plane with me every surf. I love the feeling of freedom when riding a wave with no board, I love to experiment with different arm leg and body positions to create different flex patterns and ways to sit deeper in the barrel. I love going out in ANY condition and having a blast, from 1 ft closeouts to 9 ft barrels at the islands. I love feeling a deep connection with the wave and being able to adjust the slightest bit to go faster or slow myself down. My body is the best board I own and I’ll have it all my life!
How do you balance protecting a spot that you love versus wanting to take pictures of it?
Being respectful is extremely important to me when it comes to shooting my home breaks. I will only share a picture if I feel like its not going to offend anyone or blow up a spot. I love the spots that I surf and I would hate to draw in more crowds than they already have. I would also hate to upset the old guys who have been surfing these spots since before my parents were born.