Saturday, August 20th, the 21st Annual Brendan Borek Surf Memorial was held at 30th Street in Avalon, NJ. One of the largest amateur surf contests on the East Coast, The Brendan Borek attracts thousands of people and is always a special day. Brendan died at a young age from cancer. The surf contest, and the charity that bears his name help the families who are still battling pediatric cancer.

[ADDED] I've had a lot of questions about what you're seeing in the video, especially if you're not a surfer or familiar with the Brendan Borek. You can read more below about Brendan and the fund that his family started in his honor. Personally, I didn't know Brendan, although we would have been roughly the same age were he still alive.

Around six years ago I attended my first event and took pictures because it was a surf event and something I was interested in. Later I was contacted by the Brendan Fund to request if they could use some of my photos. I've been shooting for them ever since.

To the uninitiated, the Brendan Borek is a surf contest, but it is so much more. As the father of a cancer surviving son told me, it's "a day of reflection, LOVE, JOY, SADNESS, FAITH, and a community like no other on planet earth!!"

A long time surfing tradition is what we call "The Circle of Friends" where the surfers who knew the fallen paddle out, hold hands in honor of that friendship, then throw roses and rose petals into the center of that circle. When they are done, they surf in celebration of the spirit of those no longer with us. That is the essence of the day and what this video tried to capture.

Another thing that the Brendan Borek does is annually read through the names of those we have lost. Unfortunately that list grows every year.


Original Motion Picture Soundtrack from Dead Poet's Society
"Finale Theme"

Long Miles
"The Burn"

Avett Brothers
"I And Love And You"

"Long Hard Times To Come"

Laura Marling
"Rambling Man"

A special thanks to Mike Meyer who not only runs a great show, but is always so eager to help.

Brendan's Fund
Brendan Borek loved life, and life it seemed, loved Brendan. An avid surfer, gifted artist, and an agile soccer player, his teenage years mirrored life at its fullest.

Diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma (cancer of the bone) at 16, he vied against death with courage and dignity until the disease claimed him in December 1991.

Because Brendan touched the hearts of many, the Brendan Borek High Tides Memorial Fund, Inc. (Brendan’s Fund) was established in 1992 by his family and friends.

For more information visit:

Canon 5D Mark II at 24fps.
Canon 7D at 60fps and conformed using Cinema Tools.

Canon 24-70mm f2.8L
Canon 70-200mm f2.8L
Canon 85mm f1.2L
Variable ND Filter

Edited in Final Cut Pro 7.0

Almost no color correction. 98% was done in camera.

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