Few athlete profiles rise to the artistic level of Morgan Maassen's portrait of O'Neill team rider Soli Bailey. It celebrates Bailey against a rich pallet of Antipodean hues, and with a mood that perfectly captures his roots and how they inspire his surfing.
Maassen is one of the best in the game, and it shows in this clip. There's also an undeniable understanding of and respect for his subject shining through, which Maassen explains:
"10 years ago, an Australian surf magazine editor handed me one of my first photography assignments and said "capture Soli".
"We had only a few hours together, shooting portraits and action on a small day in Hawaii, but I was immediately struck by the incredible demeanor of the teenager. Polite, quiet, but so fiercely determined to make his mark, Soli was rising through the junior ranks and dreaming of making the World Tour."
A lot has happened since then, including Soli realizing this dream of competing on the CT. Enjoy six minutes of one of the best clips you will have seen in a while.