Breaking Tents

posted by / Blogs / December 15, 2011

Kolohe Andino braves Pipe. Photo: Taras
Kolohe Andino braves Pipe. Photo: Taras


Baby Take It Off!

The circus has left country. The North Shore. It is quiet here but waves still pump and wind still blows and menace still floats in the air. Many of our top surfers dragged themselves in from the sea and required stitches or shoulders to be set back into torsos. Slaps.

The whole of the Triple Crown was, in fact, amazing. Amazing to see an airshow at Haleiwa. Amazing to see Sunset turn into 1940s naval films. And those first two days of Pipeline? Beyond amazing.

John John deserves to wear his glory with pride. He surfed like none other. But every soul who paddled out at Pipe during those first two days is equally worthy of our praise. Julian Wilson, for example. He is a pretty blonde from Australia known for aerial prowess. But he. My goodness. He sat out the back during his heat and waited for bombs. And when they came he elevator dropped down down down and set his rail and got barreled. Bombs. Waves that made those witnessing from the beach wince and turn away in fear. It was not enough for him to survive. When he came in after a close loss he was angry that he did not win. Julian Wilson became a fully-fledged hellman on the North Shore.

And Evan Valiere. He teaches surf lessons during his off time but during the contest he defeated stand-outs Fredrick P., Owen Wright and Taj Burrow. He raced all the way to the quarterfinals with gorgeous wave selection and a perfect tube stance. A working-man’s competitor, even though he is certainly the most handsome of any surfer in the top two hundred (minus Julian Wilson).

And Kolohe Andino. The biggest set of the day, and maybe ever, washed up just as he was to paddle out for his Pipeline heat. He had to stand there and feel the thunder through the sand. But paddle out he did. And drop in he did. And get pounded he did. He braved and he surfed and he surfed well. I want to see Kolohe surf more Pipe. I want to see him paddle out with Jamie O’Brien (who continues to make any size Pipe look playful) and take Jamie’s waves and learn to own each and every ripple. Jamie would get compensated, of course, for letting Kolohe have his waves. The rare win-win.

Yes, the circus has left but we have memories and what sweet memories they are. Men were made. John John was crowned. Kieren Perrow stayed on tour with the gutsiest win and became a hero to underdogs the world over. Syrians carry banners featuring his visage. —Chas Smith

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  • chuck buckets

    Top notch drivel…

  • SteveO

    Did Kelly just buy a house @ pipe?

  • Mik

    RE: Kieren Perrow: “Syrians carry banners featuring his visage.” Indeed Chas, indeed. You have yet again articulated a million increments of experience into a single, artistically written column. Me like.

  • Mik

    BTW: how about a column on all the reasons why “WaveJet” ads have no place in Surfing mag??????? Here’s a few to start with: 1. We do not want or welcome kooks who need jet assist to get out, or to catch waves. 2. We do not want or welcome idiots who don’t need jet assist to get out, or catch waves, but use it anyway because they think that they are being clever. 3. Surfers who whore their names out to promote this crap have lowered their position in the minds of the surfing world. It is even worse that being an endorser of an SUP. 4. If your jet assisted plank hits someone, or their board, be prepared for punishment of some kind: tribal, or legal. Surfing is a pure sport. A communion with nature. Using a board with a jet engine is not surfing, and it is not welcome. I for one do not want to see the line-up at any break turned into a motorized traffic jam. That is exactly the opposite of why I surf… And all of the surf magazines are hereby put on notice. Keep promoting this crap just to make some money even though you know damn well that WaveJet is a bad idea for our sport, and we will not respect you, or pay you. There needs to be a line drawn, and the sooner the better.

  • Mike Anderson

    @ Mik’s 2nd post THANK YOU Fak me WaveJet? I can understand Nike “sort of” and we really don’t have a choie, but f ing WaveJet? At least the SUP guys can justify a great workout core strength bla bla bla, but A FUCKING WAVE JET!?! You wave jet guys are Killing me man, that’s embarrassing man embarrassing….hahaha…… What’s the world coming to Viagra Pecker Pumps now wavejets…… Funny shit man, funny…

  • michael

    Great read! Beautiful work Chas.

  • ChasSmithMakesMePuke

    Chas loves writing about how guys look. He never really writes about surfing. Oh yeah he doesn’t surf. That’s why. It took you this long to write that piece of crap? Now go back San Francisco and suck some wang you poser.

  • Mario Maggio

    Good stuff always a smile and makes me proud of my chosen lifestyle. Keep bangin the literal ivory Chas.

  • Blizz

    Agreed re: Julian. That shit was fucking gnar.

  • Cpt Kook


    This wavejet thing sounds great, I think it will look great between my quiver of SUP’s and nipper boards. I can’t believe a simple advertisement has got you so mad! Maybe boycott the internet if advertising sh!ts you off so much. I’m sure you can put the internet ‘on notice’.

    Anyway, isn’t better to leave the judgment until you’ve actually used one of these things.

    That aside. This years pipe was great and yes Julian was charging!

    Hang ten!

  • Mik

    Cpt Kook: I’m not mad. Either you get it or you don’t. I do not welcome motorized surfboards into the sport. IMO, if you need a motor, you don’t know how to surf. Might be fun on a lake… Same with SUP’s… I do not like seeing 50 pound paddle boards in the line-up… I don’t like seeing those beasts advertised in a surf magazine. I lower my opinion of guys who make or ride them… It may take skill, but not the kind of skill that I respect.

  • Sliding Sense


    thank god I am a bodysurfer. Forget all this crap and hit the vertical shore break!

  • Mik

    @ Cpt. Kook: appropriate choice of pseudonym. BTW: I’m not mad, more like: appalled… disappointed… sensible… spot on.

  • Big Robbie V

    Chas you fucking gay wanker stop writing about how handsome surfers are and go learn how to surf you fucken soft cock. Come over here to beautiful, northern Spain. Where the culture is something that you would love to write about but never really understand. You pretend you´re some cultured fuck but really how many languages do you speak fluently?? Have you ever actually lived anywhere where people don´t speak English?? Integrated into another culture??? Come over here to Mundaka and I´ll drown you in the harbour because Chas doesn´t surf and probably doesn´t even swim.

  • The Boyz

    Kolohe got a freakin walk through with laurie and he didnt even charge you can kiss his ass all you want but even the locals were laughing at him you got to give more respect to M Ho he was charging with style and got low scored a couple of times but of course the real surfers never get the attention