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It has been about 5 years since I had been back to Santa Cruz after moving to NYC. Why would you ever leave Santa Cruz you ask? You can think of New York as the Whistler, World Cup, Post Office, and Rampage of the photo world all rolled up into one and constantly going full throttle. I think any photographer who hasn’t been exposed to the top of the commercial photo industry owes it to themselves to at least research some of the amazing work that has come from and continues to pour out of NYC.

That being said, I’m a Nor Cal kid at heart, and NYC will kill your soul. And your bank account. And your car. And possibly your liver if you like going out and about. Or you if a crazy pushes you in front of a train (not kidding that shit happens, put the phones down kids).

I’ve been meaning to get down to SC and shoot with the boys for a long time now, but that whole NYC killing your bank account thing kept coming into play. Thankfully A-Rev helped me make it happen when I visited Cali a couple of weeks ago. One Instagram post about being on the West Coast was all it took for him to hit me up, and me to borrow a truck and pin it to Santa Cruz.

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I rolled into a new house, and that’s it. Santa Cruz didn’t change a bit, and I love that. While catching up with A-Rev we made some plans to shoot the next day. Well, actually we didn’t do that, we just decided we’d do what we used to to every day when I lived down the street.

Breakfast with Julie and Dave the Loc, yard shred, DH bike shred, beach cruise, with a Post Office ender. You can’t beat a day of riding in Santa Cruz, I think A-Rev used the word ‘paradise’ to describe it and I’m going to go with that.

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Although now that I think about it, one thing did change: the Groms. Holy shit. They dig like crazy and ride even crazier, and it was pretty awesome to see the future of our sport out there killing it.

I want to throw out a huge thanks to Dave, Julie and A-Rev for the awesome couple days. It felt like I never left and it reminded me how amazing our sport and the people involved in it really are.

Time to make a lil comeback? Duh.

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Photos + Words by Tyler Mitchell.

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