You kids don't know how good you got it. Digital has made the surf photographer's lot so much easier in so many respects, conversely it's kinda ruined the joint as well, but that's another conversation.
This post is a just a bit of perspective on swimming.
In the days of film you loaded your roll of film into the camera, a roll that would give you 36 shots, sometimes 37 if you were lucky, bolted it together and jumped in the sea. Knowing full well you had 36 shots to play with.
Now consider you are swimming and you have 36 shots (assuming you remembered to load a film). A decent fisheye hook up with an EOS3 shooting seven frames of film a second (at a cost of roughly 30 pence per frame) will be say six frames. Which gives you six attempts at getting something good.
When those six goes are up you have to swim in, somehow dry your housing off, open it and change the roll without letting a nose drain loose or flicking any sand in to the back of the sensitive film body.
Then you can swim out and do it all again. A real pain in the ring at say Pipeline.
We used to run two housings at the same time to get round this. I had an EOS 3 and fisheye in one housing with colour slide film and an EOS 630 and 17-40mm in another with Scala B&W slide film. Which was the perfect combo for Irish and British light. One in hand, one on a dive belt.
The wisdom of the time was: one good shot from a roll in the water is a good day.
Skip to today where you jump in with a 32GB card and have in excess of 1000 possible images to burn through. Sure does make life easier but it also makes it that bit less special. The wait for your processed slides to come back from the lab (or the two hours wait if you had a lab nearby) and the anticipation when you thought you'd nailed something special was like a mini Christmas. Now you can preview the shot the second you pop out the back of the wave. It also limited the now insane volume of generated imagery.
This shot of Samchop is Jails in the Maldives. Shot with a home made six-foot pole housing. It was a beast to swim and shoot with. I got two good shots on this roll, one of Sam and one of Robyn that made the cover of SurfEurope. That was a good day.
Things move on. We can't remain unspoilt by progress. We just need some perspective. There's a lot of discord in the pro surf photographer ranks. Many legends have left the business. Creating amazing images is a real skill. Creating 'okay' images isn't. Anyone can take a half decent surf shot. We just need to remember the difference...