Dog the Bounty Hunter Captures Hawaii Surf Legend Buttons

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In an episode they’re calling “The Big Wipeout”, reality TV bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman tracks down Hawaiian surf legend Montgomery “Buttons” Kaluhiokalani. “It’s Dog’s turn to play lifeguard,” says the television promo, but the reality of the situation is far less sensational.

“I was in my addiction,” explains the ’70s surf icon. “I was doing heroin. I had jumped bail, and he found me, caught me, and slammed me to the ground. Now the world is gonna see that, and all I can do is apologize; let the world know, hey, that’s not me anymore. I’ve moved on.”

“I was doing heroin. I had jumped bail, and he found me, caught me, and slammed me to the ground.” – Buttons

Speaking with SURFING from his home in Hawaii, Buttons regrets that his mistakes will be aired on national television, but also confesses that being caught by the prime time bounty hunter may have saved his life. “I’m going to look at this as a positive,” says Buttons. “I’ve got friends helping me. I’m staying focused, keeping the sobriety that I’ve had since the time I got caught. I’m moving on, but it’s gnarly, brah. National TV — super gnarly. What can I say? What happened, happened.”

See more Messages from Buttons on

Since his release, Buttons has been surfing twin-fins around Town, scoring some Outer Logs tow sessions with Garrett McNamarra and mentoring local kids to help them stay off drugs.

“My life is joyous now,” says Buttons. “I’m having the best times of my life, so I’m just going to keep moving forward and doing what I’m doing. I train, I go to the gym, I’m buff…but stuff like this happens, and unfortunately, it happened to me.”

“The Big Wipeout” on Dog the Bounty Hunter will air Tuesday, May 15 9:00 PM ET, (and Wednesday May 16, 1:00 AM ET) Go to for more.