DROP INS with... Damea Dorsey

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Bodysurfers aren’t just bodysurfers.

Most of us have full time jobs from which the ocean provides a welcome sanctuary, but for a lucky few, like Damea Dorsey, bodysurfing and career choice go hand in hand. Damea grew up on the Southern California coast, revelling in the waves from infancy, but now calls Canggu, Bali, home and his career has taken him around the world to many of the best waves on the planet.

A world-renowned surf, ocean and fashion photographer (and part-time barbershop owner!), Damea has become both renowned and celebrated not only for shooting great surf images, but also for capturing the ocean’s nuances, its beauty, but also its ferocity and power.

We talk to Damea about his passion for bodysurfing, with or without a handful of camera gear.

What is your home break?

DD: My home break in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia. That has been my local spot for the past 6 years now.

When did you start & why do you bodysurf?

DD: I started bodysurfing the day I was first introduced to the ocean. I was born and raised on the beach and bodysurfing was taught to me just after I began walking upright. Dad was a lifeguard, mom loved the beach, and they both surfed so it was inevitable that I would grow gills soon. I was born in Imperial Beach, California and moved to Encinitas with my mom when I was 6. I pretty much lived in every beach town in San Diego my entire life, with a couple sabbaticals in Australia, Switzerland, Indonesia, etc.

Best bodysurfing experience?

DD: My best bodysurfing experience would have to be getting spat out of a good sized barrel at Puerto Escondido. Warm water, fins, board shorts, and gliding at high speed through that thing was a rush.  Getting a good wave in at Pipeline with my camera in hand is right up there as well.

Weapons of choice?

DD: My weapons of choice would be a pair of DaFiN and my Liquideye Water Housing. I don’t use a hand plane that often cause I’m usually carting my camera, but when there’s one nearby I love taking them for a glide.

Secret tip to better bodysurfing?

DD: My secret tip to better bodysurfing would be to share the stoke. Bringing a friend or teaching someone the joys of bodysurfing makes it that much more fun.

Best/favourite wave in the world?

DD: My favourite wave in the world would have to be a secret spot on Lombok, Indonesia. I’m not going say anything more about it. 🤫🤐

Who is the person who has inspired you the most?

DD: The person who has inspired me the most would have to be Kelly Slater. I would see him bodysurfing at Pipeline and think, “why isn’t he surfing on a board?” Then I’d see him get barrelled on these waves that none of the surfers wanted. Genius.

 What are your bodysurfing aspirations?

DD: My bodysurfing aspirations are minimal: enjoy and love the ocean and waves.

Best amp-up track?

DD: My best amp-up track changes all the time. Right now I’d say anything by Led Zeppelin.

What is your best advice for protecting our playground?

DD: My best advice for protecting our playground is to do whatever you can no matter how small it may seem. Whenever I’m in the water and I see a piece of trash floating by, I grab it and put it in my pocket. Or when you’re walking up the beach I try to grab a piece of trash or two and drop it off in a nearby trash bin.

To see some of Damea’s amazing imagery, be sure to follow him on Instagram and check out his website:

@damea_dorsey | www.dameadorsey.com