Welcome To Paradise, Now Go To Hell

posted by / News / November 19, 2013

Welcome To Paradise, Now Go To Hell

There is a gun to my head. And I have a horrible haircut. I don’t know which is worse, having my head shattered by a bullet or living another moment with this truly awful coiffure en dégradé.

Those are the first three sentences of Chas Smith’s book, Welcome To Paradise, Now Go To Hell. As it proceeds, the book becomes less about lead and more about Hawaii. More specifically, the North Shore of Oahu. You may have heard of it. But how much have you truly heard of it?

Chas Smith thinks not that much. In his own way that we’ve all come to love (or hate), Chas tells all the hushed anecdotes, spills all the forbidden beans. The tagline says the book is a true story of violence, corruption and the soul of surfing. And it is out today.

You can buy yourself a copy here. Or, for the bold of the bunch, you can win a copy. All you have to do is write like Chas Smith. Chas dedicated Welcome To Paradise, Now Go To Hell to the one and only Mick Fanning so we figured it was only right to create an ad-lib about MF’s duel with Kelly. Fill it out and send it to buckley@surfingmagazine.com by the end of the week. Three winners will be chosen on Friday.

We were ________(noun) once, and young. But we have gotten slightly older, slightly less _________(adj) and we have seen many new, ___________ (adj) children come and dazzle us. We have seen John John and ___________(surfer name) and _________ (surfer name) and ___________ (surfer name). They are ________ (adj.) They surf so __________ (adv.) but our heroes are the same. Yes, Mick Fanning and Kelly Slater are the final two _________(noun) standing and their battle will come down to Pipe. The ________ (adj.) Pipe. The ____________ (adj.) Pipe.

Who will win? Katy Perry says _______________(Katy Perry song lyric) but what does Katy Perry know about our heroes? Mick has a commanding lead. He has been ___________(adj) all year long. Kelly, on the other hand, is (a) _______(noun). He is the only Kelly Slater. Kelly ________________ (phrase) Slater on the planet and if anyone can overcome wild odds it is him.

Who will win? Jessica Simpson says ______________(Jessica Simpson song lyric) but what does Jessica Simpson know about competing at Pipe? The_________(adj.) Pipe? Mick may paddle out, feeling better than ever but _________(Hawaiian wildcard) is lurking in his heat and _____________ (sound) Mick is finished. He throws his head back to the sky and yells, “_________________” (Australian saying).
Kelly may paddle out, feeling like a __________(noun) but ____________(Hawaiian wildcard) is hovering on the fringes and ___________(sound) Kelly is done. He glares at the sun and thinks, “_____________” (weird esoteric something).

Who will win? Kelly Clarkson says ____________(Kelly Clarkson song lyric) and maybe Kelly Clarkson has the clue. She competed on American Idol and won. It will be a(n) __________ (adj.) finish no matter what and we will all be on the edge of our ________ (noun).

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  • suck my balls

    I just ordered this bitch. Chas you gonna go to Hawaii and get your ass kicked by everyone this month? I’m sure they are frothing at the bit even though they won’t read the book because they can’t actually read.

  • Center Line


  • Jetty

    Book is more about Smiths egocentric life, with a very few stories about the North Shore. His writing style is choppy, & deals mostly with his issues concerning fashion. Wait for the paperback.

  • Mark

    I bought it on I Tunes, and read it in three days. I liked it because he gave some great details about some surfers and their attitudes, whether they were poor or positive which is always interesting. I do agree with centerline and Jettys’ comments though, he did focus on himself a lot, but at the same time made light of himself and his reasoning behind his thoughts. Overall, I thought it was a great read and it is something that we as surfers are always curious about.

  • Wrangler

    Very funny very enlightening profile article written ON CHAS, NOT by him, by a magazine in Portland. HILARIOUS. Maybe he will get his ass kicked since the chick who wrote the article pressed him. Real journalism.

  • Jimi Hunter

    Best book ever written about surfing!! Sarcastic and very funny. Chas says things nobody else has the courage to say but need to be said. He won’t ever be able to go to the North Shore again, but it’s just as well. He’s way too talented a writer to confine himself to surfing anyways. Keep on Chas!!

  • Frank

    A quick read that’s aimed at Mid Western kooks who want a brief history of surfing in Hawaii (Duke, Pipe, Rabbit etc.. the same old stuff). He has nothing new to add if in fact you wanted\expected gossip however he does offer up some tips on how to dress like a bi-sexual teenager. Bless.

  • Jonn
  • Chas is ballsy

    I wonder who the first guy to slap him will be? Any guesses out there??

  • Linda

    Grew up there. Loved this book… All true. Glad to see Eddie is still the warlord.

  • Brian H

    I read the book, and first off, Chas amazingly tells us he is on the cutting edge of fashion. What a laugh! Two of my nephews were wearing “skinny jeans” and pink shirts ten years ago. This guy is Waaaaaay behind the times. Chas, did you just discover skinny jeans? Where were you when they were hip, ten years ago?
    Also, don’t think for a minute that he (Chas) didn’t get the blessing of the North Shore characters he wrote about. Who would be crazy enough to not give them the script and okay it first? If he didn’t do that, well, he just has a death wish.

  • Jarrif

    Laughed out loud more than a few times! That shit about having a two thousand and whatever Ellen haircut was fucking. hilarious. I found his travels in the Middle East to be more interesting than the north shore stuff, but still a good read with plenty of juicy bits about the veiled world of professional surfing. I’ll probably search around for some of his Vice stuff.

  • okaydokay

    Look! its one of chas smith’s publicists! Jarriff get out!

  • Mahdi

    I loved this book. Looks like it cut a little to close for a lot of folks. Usually if it offended you it was probably meant for you. Surfers are mostly boring and sterile, that is no secret. The styles are wack and conformity is the rule.

  • Tells it like it is

    Just finished pouring through this in a couple days and have to say it was a damn good read. One critique is that at times it drifted between actual North Shore insight, such as Eddie Rothman’s personal history, and that of a surf primer for the Midwest (this is how a wave breaks kids, etc.). For all those focusing on Smith’s focus on himself and fashion, he’s obviously only half serious and being intentionally ironic. If you don’t get that you might be one of the “mainly dumb” surfers of which he speaks. He’s not as arrogant as he professes to be, that’s all part of the shtick. He’s obviously drawn to the North Shore because he loves to surf and it is and always will be the Mecca. He’s mixing it up with a “devil may care” attitude to enable the outside looking in perspective, to hear the stories as they’re meant to be heard. Definitely enjoyed the contrasting of characters, such as Kolohe and John John. What was that whole pig hunting part at the end though, trying to set up the reader to think he was going to get snuffed out? That was kind of weak and gimmicky. And for the sheer amount of times he used the word Moke, that alone will surely guarantee him some slaps and cracks on his post-release visit.