An Interview With Mexico-Based Surf Photographer, Waterman, and Author, Nik West
Korduroy.TV: Nick, can you tell us a little bit about your background, and what brought you to Sayulita?
Nick: I was born in New Zealand and moved to Canada at 13 years. After graduating from University in Victoria, BC we (my now wife, Mariette) traveled through South East Asia, and New Zealand. We then settled in Australia where I got into surf photography. I shot a lot of longboarding and enjoyed working with the McTavish crew in the late nineties and early 2000’s. Mariette and I had two kids and then in 2006 we moved back to Canada where my focus switched to editorial and advertising photography. Nine years later it was time for a new adventure and so we came to Sayulita. Mexico. I really missed warm water and waves and missed shooting from the water. I wanted to make some surf art and Sayulita seemed like an great spot.
Korduroy.TV:Have you always been drawn to surf culture, and in particular the waveriding lifestyle rooted in Mexico?
Nick: and missed shooting from the water. I wanted to make some surf art and Sayulita seemed like an great spot.I don’t remember how I got interested in surf culture…I’ve always been drawn to the ocean and back in high school was looking through surf magazines. It wasn’t till we decided to move to Australia that I then decided I was going to shoot surfing. I got a water housing and just went for it. I was 28 years old at this point. I then realised some goals by getting work published in Nalu Magazine (Japan), On The Board Magazine (Japan), Pacific Longboarder (Australia), Longboard Magazine (Australia), and Surfer’s Journal. We had been to Mexico a number of times and even got married here. It wasn’t the Mexican surf culture that led me here but more the location and the fact that we just loved Mexico and it’s people.
- Korduroy.TV: For anyone planning a visit to Sayulita, can you offer 5 must dos or surfs while visiting the region?
Nick: If you’re coming to Sayulita there are many things to do depending on your interests.
- Fishing with one of the local guides.
- Trip out to Las Marietas Islands for snorkeling.
- Eat fish tacos (given)…many options.
- There are many surf spots. Sayulita main beach but also the many beaches in the Bay of Banderas. There are some nice secret spots but I can’t disclose those…unless you are here surfing with a local.
- Mexican popsicles (or Paletas) at WaKika Heladeria. So many flavors. My kids love them…and me. Try Passionfruit!
Korduroy.TV: Can you offer some a few tips for anyone interested in publishing a book, especially one rooted in surfing?
Nick: I’m no expert when it comes to publishing a book. I have been using Blurb for some time simply because they have many options for book styles and paper stocks. You can make a high quality book or even a magazine.The other plus is that they are print on demand so you can print one book or thousands, and people can order straight from your own Blurb bookstore.I have made a book that is heavy with surf imagery but I can’t say whether have have got it right or not. I think if you want to make a book, make the book you I have simply followed my own passion, style, and interests. I made the book for me but I do hope others will enjoy it or find inspiration from it.
I think if you have a passion for something…try to follow it. Make it happen. It doesn’t have to be Mexico, or a book, just follow your passion.