Jake Osman - Smashing The One Eyed Monster
A short tale by Vagabond Photographic Creative Guide - Andrew Semark.
Capturing local community member Jack Osman's journey to surfing wave's of consequence.
Sitting in a remote community in Halls Creek, Jake Osman watched a video clip on the “right”, a heavy slab off the Western Australian coast. He recounts having chills run down the back of his spine as he admired what was being accomplished before him. 5 days later Jake had resigned from his job and set off on a journey to conquer a personal goal of surfing this incredibly unique place.
Jake was born and raised in the coastal town of Geraldton. His surfing was shaped by his surrounds and he has a happy-go-lucky attitude that has contributed to his warm character. His love for the ocean and surfing began here before his focus shifted to the youth in aboriginal communities. Jake began work as a youth worker in remote Aboriginal communities in the North West of Australia. His passion for experiences and telling the stories of the unique characters he has met has him currently publishing a book called “article one” (due for release soon). His heart lies within the kids that he was surrounded with. Their unique characters and way of life gave Jake a feeling of purpose and direction as he grew and developed in himself.
After investing time in the North West Communities, Jake set off to accomplish some personal goals in the oceans of the southwest. This is where my story with Jake begins.
Jake split costs with his mum and purchased his first jetski, and set off on his way to getting into some large ocean. I was there on the second swell Jake was a part of. It was a huge early season swell that drew a massive crowd, everyone wanted a dig on some of the biggest waves I have ever seen land on this piece of reef. I remember shooting some frames of him and he looked right at home. Over the following days we connected and I sent him some images. He got one printed, huge. After hanging out for a bit his character began to shine through. He was a frother, amped and excited for more swells and the chance to push the limits in the bigger surf.
Jakes style in big waves has always stood out to me, it’s like watching a younger Chris Shannahan. He has said to me on a few occasions that he’s not a big wave dave, but over the last few years watching his surfing it's apparent that he’s found something unique that compliments his surfing. This last year I have seen him ride two of the most memorable waves I’ve ever seen. It’s like a drug, an all-natural adrenaline high that leaves you wanting more and gives you a desire to push the limits more and more. It leaves you with FOMO when swells are missed for other commitments.
This winter season had some incredible moments for Jake. He had a goal to be published, which he was, in several magazine spreads and even the cover of White Horse magazine. It only seems like there are 3 waves that have really stood out for him, engrained in his memory. I could see after the last swell he had accomplished something that he could be content with, like a sense of relief that he not only conquered his goal, he smashed it. So once again, Jakes focus shifted direction and he set off back to something that means just as much to him as riding monster oceans, the aboriginal youth of the Northwest.
This time, to Halls Creek to be a part of more stories and development in this incredible part of Australia. Polar opposite worlds, he is a long way from the ocean but the stoke is just the same. I have no doubt he will be back. An addiction too strong to stay away from. That’s the joy of the ocean.
Story and photos: Andrew Semark
"I am incredibly lucky to capture moments in people’s lives that probably will remain with them for most of their days. I want to share more about the people I have met along my journey. Taking time to relay the stories of those moments, and people I capture." Andrew