Caigan Meade: Young, Free, Alright!

29 Apr 2014 1

The Rad and Creative Youth of Australian Surfing
Presented by Arnette

It’s Tuesday morning. A school day. Easter behind you and Winter ahead. Air is cold. Skies are grey. And your wetsuit hanging on the clothesline is somehow colder and damper than when you hung it yesterday afternoon. But, hey, your big brother is going for an early and wants you swim out at some dark ol’ reef and shoot photos. Stoked? Caigan Meade is – the 14 year old photographer from Phillip Island has been sending Coastalwatch shots of his surfing adventures in the East Coast of Vic, and after a marked improvement in his pixels over the last six months we gave him a call and welcomed him to the Young, Free, Alright! family.

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CW: Hey Caigan, how’s everything down south?
CM: Yeah it’s pretty good, we’ve been getting heaps of waves lately with all the Easter swells.

Yeah, I noticed your Instagram had been lighting it up over the last few weeks.
Yeah, it’s been going pretty crazy.

How’s the water temperature at the moment?
It’s getting pretty cold now, we’re in full 4/3s to swim in.

So how old are you now?
I just turned 14 in February

Wow. So how long ago did you start taking photos and what got you into it?
I started about a year and a half ago now. I started because my brother, he represented Victoria in surfing and he’s always wanted someone to take photos of him. So I’ve just been going down the beach heaps with him and taking photos.

What camera were you using?
At the moment I’m just using a 60D, and that’s what I’ve been using pretty much the whole time. Just a few months ago I got a housing, which is pretty sick.

And how have you found learning the ropes shooting from the water?
It’s pretty good, especially having someone like Nick (Alcock – San Remo photographer) around. He’s such a legend and helps me out heaps.

Tell me about a day in the life of young Caigan Meade on Phillip Island.
I guess if it’s a school day like today I’ll get up and go to beach super early before school, depends what it’s like if it’s worth taking photos or surfing. And then definitely straight after school, back to the beach again, probably around Express and Berrys Beach... all those places on the Island.

Do you have a particular type of wave you like to shoot? It seems like you’re getting into shooting little slabs around the place.
Yeah, definitely slabs and definitely tubes. There’s heaps of boogie-boarders down here, it’s real good to shoot them.

Express Point must be pretty good for that, do people mind Express shot?
No, they love it (laughs). They just want the shots off you heaps.

Have you set any goals set around your photography?
I’m definitely just starting to get into it and I don’t want to go too far yet. I’m keen to stay in school.

I guess being 14 and only in Year 8, you’re probably not even thinking about what you want to do after high school yet.
Nah, definitely not (laughs).

Do you have any photographers that you look up to and look to for inspiration?
Heaps of the local guys. So Eli Curry, Nick Alcock, Andrew Bennington, Simon Chipper, and Daniel Stark. I probably spend most of my time down the beach with those crew, just hanging out. They’re all locals who live on Phillip Island pretty much.

Tell us about the Phillip Island surf community. Is it really tight-knit?
Yeah, when you go out in the water you know everyone pretty much, it’s just a real good crew to hang out with. I live in Cowes, the main city, but we pretty much go all around the island looking for waves and we know what spots work on what tides and whatever.

Dream place to shoot?
Definitely around north heaps. Up the coast, I want to go on heaps of trips with some mates up Ulla Dulla way, heaps of crew from down here go up there and it sounds sick. I haven’t been up there yet.

What’s the best thing about being 14 and living on Phillip Island?
Definitely just surfing heaps when you’re 14, it’s sick. And hanging out with the older crew, a lot of my friends are 20 and 21. It’s pretty rad.

And what’s the worst thing about being a 14 year old on Phillip Island?
Not going out when all your friends are going out, it’s pretty bad (laughs).

Friday night, they’re all heading out and you’re waving goodbye, “See ya later guys, I’m gonna go and play Playstation.”
(laughs) That’s right, I go and play computer.

What about surfing yourself, what sort of surfing do you like shooting and what sort of surfing do you like surfing yourself?
Umm, I normally just surf when I don’t think it’s that good for shooting or filming. So the beachies I surf a lot. But when it gets to the reefs I like shooting the tubes and the empties, when it gets real good I shoot that.

Cool man, that’ll do it. I’ll let you get ready for school. What do you have for first period today?
We’ve got double P.E. which is pretty sick. Double P.E. and assembly!

Alright man, go to school.
Haha, sick, thanks heaps.

More Young, Free, Alright! profiles

Young, Free, Alright! is a fortnightly editorial series presented by Coastalwatch and Arnette showcasing and profiling young and up-and-coming photographers, filmmakers, bloggers, artists, musicians, shapers, surfers or whatevers that we've been digging. The rad and creative groms of Australian surfing. Alright!

Follow Caigan Meade on Instagram

Tags: young free alright , caigan meade , gallery , interview , phillip island , vic (create Alert from these tags)

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