“Before I Die” With Mason Ho & Friends

Life, and surfing goals from five influential characters.

If you don’t paint the bull’s eye how will you know if you hit the target? We asked five inspiring surfers from five different age groups to tell us their life and surfing goals. Here, they remind us that it’s never too early, or too late, to take aim and shoot.

Portraits by Peter Taras, Corey Wilson, and Steve Sherman.

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Mason Ho, 26

Life:
1. Learn how to teleport and then teach people how to do it: This would help friends and family — everyone actually — have fun faster.
2. Win a million dollars playing dice: My childhood dream and it would make my grandma really proud.
3. Nail an Egyptian goddess all over a pyramid in Egypt and have Egyptian warrior children: A great story for the grandkids.

Surf:
1. Sky dive into perfect slab with air section: Because this might get my friends and I into a Bond movie.
2. Kick out of perfect wave under the balcony of my house in undisclosed area and pull in through my living room: This is good living.
3. Win a world title and win all events that year: This would be funny — and good for Hawaii.
4. Paddle into a few bombs at Waimea, Haleiwa, Sunset, Pipe/Backdoor on some kind of board under 6’0”, and then score perfect V-Land, Rocky Point and Ala Moana Bowls on the same board. Get every second of it perfectly on film and make a section with some underground Hendrix: Best. Edit. Ever.

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Jett Schilling, 13

Life:
1. Bungee jump off the bridge in South Africa [highest bungee jump in the world]: I’ve seen Miguel Pupo do it on the Tour Notes video. He didn’t look too scared. He just went for it. I think my mom would be scared for a minute but then she’d be cool with it.
2. Always be nice to people and make friends along the way: Like the Gudang brothers. They’re so humble. You always want to be nice to people so you have friends all over the world.
3. Get better at golf so I can finally win a game: I just started playing a month ago, so it’s going to take some time. But I’m gonna get new clubs soon so I can play against my dad and hopefully get to play against Blair [Jett’s manager], Griffin [Colapinto] and Bart [Wilson] some day.
4. Start my own surf shop: Kinda like a Jack’s Surf Shop but with food — my mom’s food. She makes the world’s best enchiladas with Spanish rice and corn.
5. Get married and have kids: I don’t know who I would marry, but I’ll wait for a long time first. A loooooong time.

Surf:
1. To make the World Tour and win a world title: I’ve had that goal for a couple years now and I think if I work hard and keep on surfing then I’ll be there in a few more years for sure.
2. Land a backflip: I almost landed one already at Huntington. My dad and Eithan [Osborne] saw it on the beach. It doesn’t count unless someone sees it.
3. Surf the world: I’ve been to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Hawaii and Florida. I love traveling because the waves are different everywhere and you get to see new people and new places.
4. Get a cover of SURFING Magazine: That would probably be one of the best feelings ever because the whole world gets to see you on the cover surfing your best. I’d either be pulling into a huge Tahiti barrel or doing a huge backflip.

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Tia Blanco, 18

Life:
1. Learn to speak a second language: I’d love to speak French. It would come in handy traveling in Europe and the Caribbean and it’s a beautiful language.
2. Write a book: Inspiring others to live a healthy and happy lifestyle.
3. Open a vegan restaurant: I love to cook vegan food and share it with people.
4. Get a college degree: Education is power.
5. Start my own business: I’m not going to be getting paid to surf my whole life.

Surf:
1. Qualify for the Women’s CT: It would be so awesome to surf all the best waves around the world.
2. Surf in every country with waves: I love to travel.
3. Do an air: I haven’t really tried any airs, but it seems like all the other girls are going for it, so I guess I should try too.
4. Surf in the Olympics: The future of surfing is looking very bright.

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Luke Davis, 22

Life:
1. Backpack through Europe: I want to take one of these years while I still have lot of energy and want to do shit and take six months and travel through Europe and chase swells. Have boards shipped everywhere so I don’t have to travel with them. Actually, not backpacking. More like hotel hopping.
2. Have a son: I’m not thinking about having kids any time soon, but my goal is to have a son. I’m gonna make sure my sperm has a ton of testosterone.
3. Open a coffee shop: I enjoy a good roast. And I heard your chances of having a son are higher if you drink a lot of coffee.

Surf:
1. Surf Skeleton Bay: It’s the best wave I’ve ever seen. It’s the best breaking wave in the world. When I saw Koa [Smith]’s GoPro footage I knew I needed to go.
2. Get a 60-second barrel: Skeleton Bay is probably the only place that would happen. I think Koa’s wave was around 30 seconds. I don’t know if it’s possible. I think you might have system overload and pass out.
3. Breath underwater: Although you may not think this is possible, I’ve been practicing a lot lately and I’m very close to mastering the underwater breathing technique.
4. Acid drop off San Clemente pier into a wave: I’ve never seen anyone jump off the pier into a wave and actually ride out. It’d be pretty damn fun if you pulled it off without getting arrested.
5. Open a wave pool in Vegas: Just think about it for a second — wave pool + Vegas. Half the surfers I know would probably live there half the year.

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Nathan Fletcher, 40

Life:
1. Be on the bench when surfing’s in the Olympics in 2026: Surfing as an official sport is the complete opposite of what surfing is in my heart and a total different thing than why I became a surfer. But I’d like to be there watching when surfing is first in the Olympics because it’s intriguing to see that opposite side of it.
2. Get stronger and more self-discipline year to year: When you’re younger you don’t really appreciate your body. But as you age, you want to get better and smarter about how you use it.
3. Give more and take less with a smile from the bottom of my heart through eternity: I want to offer more of myself to people and not even have to think about it. To be kind and just have it come naturally and do it with a smile.

Surf:
1. Surf till I’m 100 years old: Surfing gives you a reason to wake up in the morning and gives you the joy and adrenaline to keep you young.
2. Bend knees and hips: Me, my brother and my dad are all real stiff and it really hinders your make ratio. Flexibility helps 100 percent and I’ve been working on that with yoga and stretching when I get home from surfing. It’s gonna take a lot of work, but the benefits are insane.
3. Raise two new generation surfers: My wife is five months pregnant now and our first son, Laser, is one and a half. So they’ll be two years apart. I don’t know what else to do with them, but if they don’t wanna surf that’s cool too, I’ll do it for them.