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Shooting the American Dream wavepool with Dylan TerMorshuizen

Dylan TerMorshuizen has done most of his photography in the tropical wilds of South Sumatra and the cold slabs of Ireland. That is, until a recent trip to America that is producing stellar images from a very unique and controlled environment. TerMorshuizen recently took a dip in the American Dream Mall in New Jersey to shoot the wave menu for SkudinSurf.

In the process, he discovered, along with five different surf settings, that both surfing and snowboarding can exist within just a few hundred meters of each other.

rob kelly at new jersey wave pool
Rob Kelly lives nearby and is one of the most visible surfers on the American Dream scene

You’re transitioning from Europe to the USA, is that correct?

Yeah, my wife and I decided to come back to the USA at the start of 2020. We were both studying in Ireland before that.

What’s your background as a photographer?

Photography became a necessity when a friend and I built a surf camp in South Sumatra in 2009. Shooting guests was an ideal way to increase the beer fund. Since then, I have been slowly collecting equipment to keep me shooting in the water. After my wife and I got married in 2015 I had to study something in order to be in Ireland with her. At which point I finally took the plunge to educate myself properly in the craft. My three years at Griffith College, Dublin totally reshaped my photographic practice and allowed me to really understand everything from the history of photography to the modern-day business of photography.

Will Skudin of SkudinSurfAD runs the wave pool and invited Dylan out to shoot images for the company’s wave menu

How did you come into the gig shooting the American Dream wave menu?

Will Skudin of SkudinSurfAD and I met at an Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club meeting the night before a big Mullughmore swell last winter. I let him know that my wife and I were thinking of moving back to the east coast if he ever needed a water photographer. At that point, I had no idea that he was going to be running the wavepool at American Dream, but I sure am stoked he gave me the call when the time came!

Was it easier shooting a wave pool than bobbing on the back of a ski in the channel at Mullaghmore?

The fact that the pool is indoors would be the biggest difference and is obviously a huge plus come January in the North East. As far as bobbing on the back of a ski at Mully I wasn’t lucky enough to find a willing driver and ended up having to just swim it. Something that would definitely not have been possible if it wasn’t for the chaps like Dylan Stott, Barry Mottershead and Peter Conroy running safety.

Dylan’s well-known for his captures of breathtaking Mullaghmore in Ireland

What were your first thoughts on the American Dream wave pool – is it very “American?” I mean, Shrek is standing over you while you surf, right?

It is very American, yes, but I think that’s rad as no place does it bigger or better and that’s exactly what we’re looking for in a wavepool experience. Its just fun, from start to finish.

What’s the most unique thing about the wavepool at American Dream, the proximity to NYC?

I think the most unique thing about SkudinSurfAD is not its proximity to Manhattan but rather the fact that you can surf and snowboard on the same day, 12 months of the year in the same building. This to me is a game-changer for the future of extreme sports cross-training. It is not something I think can be done anywhere else in the world.

From indoor snow park to indoor surf park is only a few hundred meters

What waves do they offer at the American Dream wave pool and what was your favorite?

There are five categories of waves at SkudinSurfAD, which makes sure that there is something for everyone. Either the Vortex or the Sections (which is a rad air-section wave) would have to be the go for me. Splitting the peak with about ten mates was ridiculously fun as no one was waiting longer than it took them to catch their breath before it was their turn again. This happened only after I had filled a few memory cards for the chaps.

Dylan TerMorshuizen

You can follow Dylan’s work on his Instagram page here. If you’re planning a trip to American Dream Mall you can find more surf information here.


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