Baby Cobras: On Location in Hawaii

posted by / News / December 6, 2012

Words: Beau Flemister
Photos and Captions: Mike Killion

Unidentified blurs into the night at Off The Wall.

Unidentified blurs into the night at Off The Wall.

Baby Cobra, Matt Payne scopes the sunset at Pipe, looking for gold.

Baby Cobra, Matt Payne scopes the sunset at Pipe, looking for gold.

Baby Cobra, Garrett English taking it all in after a long days work.

Baby Cobra, Garrett English taking it all in after a long days work.

Kiron Jabour pulling into one of the many gems at OTW Tuesday morning.

Kiron Jabour pulling into one of the many gems at OTW Tuesday morning.


The winners in film, photography and essay of the 2012 Baby Cobras contest are here in Hawaii. Them…and Carlos Motherf–king Santana. You know, just cause. All of them are killing it. Almost all of them have never been to the North Shore. Our winner in film, Matt Payne took the initiative within the first few hours. I’d dropped him off at the Nike-Hurley or whatever-it’s-called house, blinked, and he was already off filming Kolohe at Off The Wall. Lately he’s been walking around with his camera and a 1970s tape recorder like a one-man production unit and his audience is eating it up. Even Slater. The Great Lake’s Mike Killion traded in his winter parka for a tank top and hasn’t looked back since. Just last night I saw him catch a candid moment in the $5 parking lot behind the SURFING house with Vans World Cup winner Adam Melling. Adam and his babe paid $5 to park with the rest of the tourists. Go figure. Our writer-cobra, Garrett English had strict and specific directions from us to “get amongst it.” And amongst it he is, gonzo on Ke Nui with a moleskin and a dream, black nail polish and all. Last but not least, Carlos Santana’s been getting his frog legs wet out at fairly solid Pipe and Off the Wall, gettin’ those toe knuckles blistered. He is excited every second of every day and we like that. Yes, they’re here, enjoying their prize and living aloha. By 5pm today they should all have their glistening new Maika’i cards. —Beau Flemister


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  • L. Camilia

    Excited every second of every day! That’s our Carlos motherf-ing Santana! Yeeewww!

  • Sliding Sense

    Too bad you don’t have King Cobras on staff anymore. No Flindt,, Hornbaker, Chang, King, Van Lennep….the list goes on. You invest in a surfing photographer from the Great Lakes. That’s like hiring and rewarding a guy from Hawaii to shoot the finals of an NHL hockey game he know nothing about. Can the guy swim? Will you be responsible for his death if his pinky toe hits the water at Pipe?

    In the words of Gandhi, “Actions express priorities,” and in your case, your actions continue to undermine the integrity of this once fabled and legendary magazine.

    Break out the skinny jeans and black rimmed hipster glasses, let’s get dancing!

  • Ben

    Where’s the video then?? Shit is fuckin wack as hell!

  • Kaipo Gomes

    Sliding Sense nailed it perfectly. “Actions express priorities”. The fault is not with these green, inexperienced photogs. Who wouldn’t jump at a free trip to the North Shore during the World Tour circus? It is the decision makers at “ING” that are taking what was once the benchmark of surf photography under Flame to a place of free, or inexpensive buyouts by amateur photogs. “ING” reaps the cheap photos and lowers their costs for the North Shore coverage. No more A-plus photogs on retainers so they get the goods this way. Is it a sign of the times or a planned and orchestrated strategy to lower their costs. Either way it sucks. “ING” should be embarrassed. Can you really say even one of those photos was good? Hell no………………………….May Flame rest in peace.

  • IsoceleseTriangle

    just laughing at sliding and kaipo bagging on a couple of lucky groms who could turn into the next flindt, va, the man et al.
    grumpy old warhorse photogs out to pasture?
    you telling me the photos in surfing mag and their flipbooks on their website suck?
    well, their website doe spretty much suck given the general weak sauce conten v. corporate teet they get to suckle but can’t deny the brilliance f-books.
    Ing is still state of the art surf print imagery, period.
    and i think flame would embrace some of these kids as he did me ( and maybe you ) way back when.
    time and technology march on.
    move forward, embrace the new with all it’s attendent foibles and failings or have a fuckin’ seat at the old photogs / writers home.
    geeve ’em groms!

  • Calif

    Get the great lakes guy out of there!! Never been in surf over 2 ft. why should he go to Hawaii?? We want Carlos Santana!!

  • freddy P

    wheres the video? where’s Shaun Lesh’s north shore webisodes? lets see it bah, hope you still got that kid on da payroll?! saw him take some bombs on da head last year, kid can surf too. baby cobras, haaaaa

  • Mike

    At Sliding Sense and Kaipo, you kidding me? These arent the guys on staff shooting editorials, or even contributors nailing spreads. They are young, inexperienced kids who took their allowance, bought a camera, and submitted some c-grade photos to an online contest aptly named “BABY COBRAS” with dreams of getting a chance to experience the super bowl. They arent on a trip to the mentawais with Dane, or responsible for shooting “the” portrait of Kelly when he wins 12. No, they were given a plane ticket to join the other 450 photographers on the north shore and see what it’s like to be involved. Stop being sour that youre 50 and have been unsuccessfully submitting photos since you were 15 and be happy opportunities like this exist for young up and comers.

  • Jimmicane

    Hey Sliding Sense, if only Larry Bird still played for the Celtics. Man they would be good! Fuck their GM is an idiot.

  • Kaipo Gomes

    It is pretty obvious that both “Mike” and “Isocelese Triangle” don’t read too well. Did you read the part where I wrote it is not the fault of these photogs? You DID NOT. You are defending a horrible business model as well as lowering the bar and saying it is the Future. Give us all a break. Also what the hell does it have to do with what age you are ? Is Brian Bielmann a kook because he is in his 50’s? How about all the Legends on the North Shore you photograph and give respect to? Have some respect and know your place in the world. Do I need to point out the pathetic spelling and writing you both have? Sure I do to just put you both in your place. Read the topic not your emotions when discussing something. Good for the young photogs. Great for them. Just calling out the business model that “ING” has embraced. Watch who you call out with your lack of respect as you know nothing about where we have been and where we are going. Keep in ming the greatest surfer ever is 40 years old. In your world you’re calling him a kook. Wake up.

  • IsoceleseTriangle

    @ Kaipo- you mean “keep in ming” as in ming vase regarding the champ?
    just curious ….

  • Karoo

    Kaipo, you are the ultimate old man kook. You should be ashamed of yourself. Literally ashamed.

  • Sean Lesh

    ha, gotta be a family member @freddyp