Sherm Moments: Much Respect

posted by / Photos / January 5, 2012

Sherm Moments: Much Respect. Photo: Sherm


Sherm Moments

SHERM: This is Kala Alexander, shot at Herbie Fletcher’s doorstep, behind SURFING magazine in 2005. He came into the magazine, Evan [Slater] introduced us, but I’d kinda known him from before. So we did this portrait. And the thing that I like about Kala — and a lot of people don’t know about him — is how articulate and intelligent and really, just polite Kala is. I mean, these guys were raised really well. So polite, if you know him. And the thing I really like about Kala is that he calls me Steve. No other surfers or professional surfers ever call me Steve. Always Sherm. But Kala, he calls me Steve. But it’s cool. And I love this photograph; it’s cross-processed. And it’s cool to be down with someone like that — the hard crew. I have a lot of respect for him, he’s an incredible surfer and him and his brother are good guys. I consider him a friend.

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  • Yeah Right

    Yeah, I’m sure he’s SUPER polite to all the surfers in the lineup. I hear he’s a real sweetie. Ask him for a few waves at Kalihiwai and I’m sure he’ll give you all you can handle. What a FANTASTIC person he is!!

  • J-Bone

    Don’t kind yourself Kala is a DICK.

  • J-Bone

    oops … kid(spelling mistake)

  • Jeff

    Kala is an ignorant savage, and Sherm is a sycophant. Any other place besides Hawaii and the guy would be in jail.

  • jacko

    Sherwank at his finest!

  • Sliding Sense

    A couple of things.

    #1: If Sherman took his wonderful essential skills of photojournalism and applied them to issues that can have a real impact on the world and his viewers, I would have much more respect for him. Being that he travels around the world documenting the lives of privileged and narcissistic surfers, I feel as if he has short changed himself on his talent and breath and scope of his subject matters. I would love to see Sherman cover something that is much more heavier than say, Kelly celebrating his 11th world title.

    #2: As a fellow Hawaiian, I find it absolutely shameful that this magazine would glorify the attributes of someone of Kala Alexander’s caliber. While Kala has a few admirable qualities, the skeletons in his closet would make all of us jump back and re-think glorifying this person for pubescent teenagers who read this magazine. I’m a Hawaiian traditionalist, old school, and I can only think that the majority of my ancestors are doing back flips in their graves when they see the urbanite, hyper-punked, violent, covered in tattoos person like Kala. It is absolutely shameful to Hawaiian culture and philosophical thought. Auwe Surifng!

  • Jason Segel

    Yeah! Pretty much what everyone else said!

  • Mik

    funny how people live in ideologies, and if someone doesn’t fit theirs, they write the kind of judgmental nonsense inscribed above. Sherm’s reality is very different from ours. He is in there with the best surfers in the world. They are athletes as talented as any in the world, and many are far braver. If you (above) don’t respect surfing that’s your problem. Also, who would want to photojournalist of the wars of the world, when most are driven by greed, not nobility—and especially when your passion is surfing? What kind of a mindset makes that kind of judgement? Hawaii functions on a tribal undercurrent, and the local warriors are part of the equation. That’s just a reality. I have received threats in that realm, and as much as I don’t like it, or look for it, I get it. We invaded and took. Land, property, money, people. Took took took. It is a privilege to visit a tropical paradise, and the people there should be respected. Just because you are entitled soemwhere else, don’t think that you are entitled everywhere. Life is hard when your indigenous culture is marginalized by sophisticated business people with money and power. Holding onto what you have takes guts, when there is no law to prevent the loss of a culture. Pipeline is a zoo, and it is all the more dangerous because of that. If you are intimidated a bit, that might be a good thing. To me, Kala is a stud, and I admire that. So does Sherm.

  • the truth

    Kala and Eddie Rothman are responsible for most of the drugs in Hawaii.

    Sherm is average at best in the photo world. Actually a little below average.

    Not hating, just saying.

    The truth sometimes hurts.

  • Moke101

    @Mik. First off, yes the “haole” invaded and took the Hawaiian land. If Haole didn’t do it, I’m sure the Chinese, Japanese, or Russians would have done so. Otherwise it would be interesting to see how the locals adapted to speaking Russian, etc. However I’m sure all the “Hawaiians” also don’t mind collecting welfare money, WIC, Section 8, food stamps and who knows whatever else they receive from the Federal Government.

    Also, it’s amazing that you look up to someone like Kala. Really? He’s a stud to you? Are you smoking the same meth or crack as him? You might as well admire someone like Charles Manson. If that guy was living on the mainland he would be either in jail or who knows where. Sure he can get away with half the shit he does working as a henchman for his Jewish boss, but on the mainland he is NO ONE! If I were you I’d seriously sit back and think about who I admire and think of as a stud.

    @ Sliding Sense. Yes indeed Steve Sherman has some skills. However he has decided to put his skills toward helping big companies sell more boardshorts and he’s good at it. It would have been nice to see him put those skills toward some other form of photojournalism, but he chose to photograph surfers for a teenage audience. There is no doubt in my mind that he could have played on the same field as James Nachtwey or Sebastiao Salgado in regards to black and white photojournalism.

    Bottom line is Steve Sherman is a good photographer who documents thug surfers, world champs, and everything in between. I don’t know, but hopefully Quiksilver sells more boardshorts with one of those Kelly shots!

  • Mik

    I don’t live there, so I have no idea of Kala beyond the media. I base my view on what I did see when I did live there, and now on watching him surf. Which is pretty much more than whatever allot of opinion here is based on. If you know some things that are disturbing, ten thanks for straightening me out. At the same time, I do understand that people who get marginalized by power have varied responses… EG: you can’t understand Black America without understanding what its like to be enslaved and held down generationally. Things can implode. Things are imploding. I live amongst localism here. I don’t like it, but I also recognize a stud athlete. No one is all bad. Almost no one, anyway…

  • bufu

    Although I wouldn’t go as far as calling Kala a stud, Mike does make some valid points. Yes Hawaiians get Federal aid, but at what price? Seems to me like their whole culture has been exploited in return. From an outsider’s perspective I agree with Kala and the Wolfpack’s attitude on the North Shore. If it wasn’t for them the place would be a shit show. We Americans think that we are entitled to everything. Step back and consider the plight of others before being so judgemental.

  • Poop

    I would like to know the things he has done that you speak of? I know he has been in a lot of fights on around the area, but is there more? where they more severe than people think?

  • dman

    Kala is cool when he needs/wants to be otherwise he is a PRICK. Oh by the way he is half haole.

  • bobthebuilder

    everybody shut up, this is surfing magazine and he is a surfer. I don’t like/dislike surfers because of his/her “moral code”…If someone surfs well then I enjoy watching videos of them, I don’t give a shit what they do when they are not surfing. I don’t think that anyone is nominating this guy for Humanitarian of the year so calm down all you uptight conservative “holier-than-thous”. News Flash – EVERYONE HAS SKELETONS IN THEIR CLOSET, because humans are innately imperfect and driven by different desires/wants.

    P.S. This is SHERMS OPINION, and guess what… Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

  • Respect

    sick Photo Sherm and sick job

  • kala alexander

    Consider this. I can be a real prick to those who are pricks. Real disrespectful to those who are disrespectful. But besides all of that one of my good friend’s 6 year old son just died of cancer and my heart goes out to him. My point is, what you people who don’t even know me have no idea what is in my heart, my mind or my soul. What you say about me on your computer no longer angers me. All I can say to all of you is, cherish the loved ones you still have and try to be positive. We are all humans in this race. I am proud of all my nationalities. We all make mistakes. As long as you learn from your mistakes you are growing as a person. I have many friends all over the world and no matter what you say about me, everyday I wake up in the most beautiful place in the world with 5 beautiful children and an opportunity to influence children in a positive way. Who better to listen to than somebody like me who has made just about every mistake a person can make. If you see me don’t be intimidated or scared, but approach me like you would a normal person and you might be surprised. I remember when Steve Sherman was afraid of me, but he approached me and found out for himself. I wish you all a good day and God bless you and your families. Happy New Year. Let’s make it the best one ever. And if you wanna know how you can help kids with fatal genetic diseases go to or google the American Cancer Society. Aloha.

  • AlexanderTHEgreat

    The only reason these surf magazines glorify this man or anyone else from the North Shore (mostly Da Hui) is so they can get a few extra waves, not get bitched slapped at a Volcom party, or to help prevent their rental car from being broken into. Really, let’s glorify Kala? The Hawaiian, The Protector, The Wolfpak Leader? D-man is right. He’s a half haole just like all his other “Hawaiian” brothers. Look at Eddie, his almighty boss. A Jew from Stockton California who doesn’t have a drop of Hawaiian in him! The surf media is as twisted as the minds of Hawaiian surfers.

    Anyhow, Sherm is a great photographer!

  • fart face

    So seriously sick and tired of reading about how we exploited Hawaii. Here’s an idea…We give it back. What do you think would happen? let them be fully Independent. Those savages would be smoking even more ICE , killing, and eating each other for food within 6 months. Hawaiians like KALA (not all) are violent retards probably a small step above primates. Why you would want to glorify a culture of crack smoking violent neanderthals who probably didn’t make it past elementary school is beyond me.

  • called out

    we should have let Japan annihilate Hawaii…
    and take it over.

    what then>

    sadly, they relied on the United States.

    acting like separatists makes them look more insecure… and you can tatoo that on your left breast.

    celebrate “the culture” of a state that relies on a united collective for its protection. you minions that live in hawaii are small minded punks that deserve little attention for your hyped bravado to separate yourselves. you are part of the united states or feel free to be taken over any time.

  • bufu

    Fart you just showed your primitive ignorance with your comment. That shit is a joke. I guess FIJians, Tongans as well as the other Polynesian cultures are all ICE smoking, killing savages who eat each other for lunch. Maybe you should go back to school and take some history classes.

  • apphh

    wait did kala really write that response?

  • AlexanderTHEgreat

    “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn’t exist”. Kala, if you had any self pride or even common sense you’d free your shackles placed by Eddie. Hawaiians can argue or cry all they want about the takeover by the U.S. but you are a true slave! You have let a haole/Jew from the mainland to brainwash you. You’ve let a man like this help poison the people of Hawaii with all his drugs. If you were a true Hawaiian and stood up for the Hawaiian people you’d stand up to this monster. Never understood why the Hawaiians complain so much about Haole taking over the land, yet so many Hawaiian people poison eachother with their drugs. How about Tahiti Kala? True Hawaiians are descendants of Tahiti, so why are so many Hawaiians/surfers bringing drugs to Tahiti only to poison them as well. Kala, once you free yourself from Eddie and wake the hell up can you realize that you can do more for Hawaii starting with the massive drug epidemic!

  • David Potter

    I said hi to Kala and his brother in Foodland a few years back, me & my girl were behind them in the queue….he definately has an look in his eye that says he’s not to be messed with, but he was polite and cool….i was kinda worried but he threw up the shaka and asked if id been getting good waves etc….how many people on this blog have spent time on the North Shore in winter? It can be a real shit fight, and there are SO many egos walking around, everyone trying to out cool the others…its such a scene, and if i lived there in the heart of it and had all these yahoos rocking up every year leaving trash on the beach, id like to think that id be a part of the crew that tried to protect and preserve the place. i dont know any more about Kala, ive no doubt that he and his buddies are badass, but everywhere you go will have local dudes that you dont mess with….Durban, Goldcoast, Sydney beachies San Clemente to Santa Cruz, France, Spain, Brasil, Mexico….but they dont wake up and go to the beach and start busting heads….im as haole as it gets…blond hair blue eyes from the uk (live in Hossegor now); a full on descendent of Captain Cook, and ive been for several trips to the North Shore and as with anywhere if you tread lightly, wait your turn, respect the residents (i prefer that word to ‘locals’ which opens up a whole can of worms) and pack your trash i never had any vibes or problems…. people on this blog talking about Jews….whats that BS? calling the locals “ice smoking savages” who eating each other for food” ?? “Hawaiians like KALA are violent retards?”….dude how offensive can you get? why the hate? the scene at Pipe used to be WAY more of a shit fight until some rules were laid down….and if you consider that a lot of the crew there earn their living from surfing Pipe etc, you think theyre gonna just let any kook rock up and grab a set wave and a cover shot that would be otherwise be putting food on their table? and it happens every winter….i saw guys ( and chicks) paddle out at pipe and ignoring the hierarchy, people were getting hurt cos they were collapsing waves or worse blatantly burning people. a sign on the beach saying ‘please play nice’ wont keep order….Da Hui will…plus they do a ton of good stuff in the community that no one hears about….

  • the truth

    Quit acting like Hawaii is separate from the US.

    You’re islands rely on tourism… haoles. Too bad, my state doesn’t rely on haoles…. haha

    Some morbidly ba$tard from Kansas is what the Aloha spirit rests on, eating the food, watching the dances, paying for the rental cars, paying for the hotel….blah blah blah

    without haoles, there would be no islands… no protection and no fat ba$stards supporting your weak economy

  • bufu

    Why do all these people talk about protection? That’s B.S. countries that rely on imperialistic means are rare in the modern world. Small sovereign nations are protected by the international community and UN. Also don’t think the US doesn’t reap the benefits of having a place like Hawaii and it’s strategic positioning. Well said D Potter.

  • Brian

    I truly believe most of these comments are based on nothing but hype and an uneducated perspective. The majority of posts come from an uneducated (not classroom ed) California surf culture that has nothing left to protect and a history shorter than that of MTV. I am not hawaiian my dad left Oklahoma and the Choctaw reservation in 1949. We were the first peoples to walk the trail of tears and our land is gone forever. Kala has chosen to stay put and stand his ground. He is what he is , visitors might want to get used to it. No one is forcing any one to visit Hawaii or surf here. I chose to visit for seven or eight years and then moved here. (not from CA)I just happen to move in across the street from Kala, he is a good neighbor and has been welcoming and friendly. If you don’t like Hawaii and what it is go some place else on vacation and quit bitching so much.

  • Mike Anderson

    Humm I’d have to say Im with Mr David and Mr Brian. I lived in Hawaii 79 to 84 and again from 89 to 92 a good 1/2 of it on the North Shore. It was heavy then I can’t even Imagen how heavy it is now. In short “it’s FU($/NG HAWAII” it’s the North Shore it ain’t for winers pussies people with no respect or ppl who can’t pack their trash. Everybody who comes knows the rules and if you can’t Handel beat it. “Hawaii Love it or Leave it”

  • si senor

    I always laugh how the Hawaiians aren’t called Americans in contests. The most rediculous part is that 95% are not even of Hawaiian ancestry. The ones that have dark skin are usually just Philipino or of some asian background. I have been to Hawaii a few times and enjoy the beauty but could care less about proving myself on the North Shore(especially because I don’t stack up to any of those guys anyways). All the pros can have it as well as the Ice Heads and hanger-ons. If some of the local guys can make a living surfing pipe and backdoor more power to them. There probably isn’t another stretch of coast in the world that has the same power and number of Word Class spots and THAT IS FINE. I have been able to find my own slice of heaven in Latin America and even in California of all places. OHANA and MANA are as phony as PURA VIDA. It is euphoric, but I don’t care because I can find my own happiness. I can’t blame the companies and magazines for selling some kind of dream and phony Hawaiian centric ideals because lets face it we are all trying to make a buck somewhere in the world. People just need to realize it is all phony and figure out where their own personal happiness comes from.

    As far as ethnic issues go my wife is of Mexican/American Indian decent(which is basically the same thing) and I partly descend from Mexican origins. Her father and relatives(who are known and talked of in the industry) have been surfing a well known area of CA going back to the 50’s and probably deserve to plant a flag in the sand and complain about the take over…BUT you know what…they could care less!…Every culture or nationality beat other people down and has been beaten down through the ages. I am tired of all this crap of acting like victims. Get over it…find your happiness in the world and move forward.

  • UniverseDOWN

    There are basically three types of people in this world:

    one that sees the goodness, they are spectators
    one that works the goodness, they are the players
    and the rest, who don’t care, aren’t interested.

    this is find this true no matter where you are or who you are…you will find yourself in one of these three categories.

    There are two basic outcomes in life that lead to honest success:

    those that earn the legitimate respect from others, and thus “win” at living.
    those that attempt to force respect from others, and thus “do not live”

    These are the immutable universal truths…

    Another truth:

    Interestingly, evolution would suggest that humans evolved at some point in time from the ocean/water to the land. There is sufficient evidence this is the most probable journey that describes from where all humans first enjoyed life….

    It is not a mystery then, that we see how many people remain at the ocean, near the water..and deep down each feels the excitement, the energy and full life they feel …it is no coincidence, although they may not really know why precisely, they do know the feeling of the ocean is ancient and appealing.

    the irony, is this sacred environments to experience the ultimate discovery and re-discovery of who we are and from where we came from, can and does become for a small less than evolved people merely a broken down parking lot of drunk, drugged, angry, filthy fools eager to harm each other.

    I am not Hawai’ian in the sense of the DNA meaning.

    But when I go to the ocean and surf..this is my church…and it has meaning…it is a spiritual time.

    In time, the people who earn respect from others, who are to become successful by making other successful, the players, who honor others by cherishing the ocean….

    these people will remove all of the unbelievers push them away and reestablish the oceans ..including those in the North Shore of Hawai’ its proper place…

    and that will allow us all to once again marvel and truly respect each other.


  • PC

    There are almost no real Hawaiians left. Most died of disease when the Westerners came to the islands. The so-called locals today have ancestors that immigrated to Hawaii (for the work) from Portugal, the Philippines and China. They are more likely to have white/European blood than real Hawaiian blood.

    Most of the “true” Hawaiians who survive live the private island of Niihau, and have separated themselves from this nonsense.

    Kala and Da Hui drape themselves in culture and style themselves as protectors … but it’s just old fashioned localism. That’s ok to some extent, but they are all delusional if they think they’re Hawaiian royalty.

    Good luck!

  • Joao

    Most hardcore hawaians have Portuguese surnames. Most hawaians descend from Portuguese people. Example: Garcia, Lopez, Magallanes, Frederico, Moniz, Elias, Gomes, Aipa, Alexandre, Centeio, Silva are all Portuguese surnames. Portuguese missionaries and workers have been living in Hawaii for centuries well before Americans took over Hawaii and well before the USA actually existed. Study a bit of history.

  • Joao

    Most hardcore hawaians have Portuguese surnames. Most hawaians descend from Portuguese people. Example: Garcia, Lopez, Magallanes, Frederico, Moniz, Elias, Gomes, Aipa, Alexandre, Centeio, Silva are all Portuguese surnames. Portuguese missionaries and workers have been living in Hawaii for centuries well before Americans took over Hawaii and well before the USA actually existed. Study a bit of history. Even the ukelele is a Portuguese musical instrument but in Portuguese they call it ‘cavaquinho’.

  • leroy nascimento

    Kala is a cool cat…I have known him since I was a kid,as well as Eddie R. they all did me solids… everyone has the right to fall in sand and wash themselves off. better to talk s@$t about people who glorify Hitler,etc. Hawaiian style bradda… dont talk s@$t unless you can say it to his face..Kala say howzit to the Kalulu’s, Balbirona’s, Nahooikaika’, and all my family at sunset. Dont let these kooks who cant even leave their full names bug you. They are cowards

  • Ernie

    To all those Wannabe’s that have bad mouth Eddie R., Kala A. or our club ** HUI O Hee Nalu ** or any of our kin or members? Juss remember this! ** What ever BAD that came your way, for you to say disrespectful things about any one of us from the CLUB? ** You Fk’n probably deserved it! ** ” The word HAOLE to many of us, has nothing to do with ones color. HAOLE describes the disrespectful way’s that a one acts who is not a bloodline to the Aina HAWAII! Face it you cry-babies if the HAOLE’s neva invent the Fk’n “ding string” LEASH there would be a lot a less disrespectful wannabe crybaby idiot’s, in our Hawaiian Waters when the waves are good! People like Eddie R. Is Not A Haole, he’s more than shed his blood in preserving our LOCAL-CULTURE & WAYS as to what we have left here & so do I!
    Don’t come here with an attitude that your some wannabe PRO & act in their stupid ways, that you got from some place else, by reading and thinking that your all that!
    OUR TRUE CULTURE AS (Warriors) & OUR LOCAL WAYS will always prevail, when it has to do with disrespecting, or trying to make money and running off, to where ever you came from.. Hawaii Is Not For Sale nor are Her Resources & We LOCALS Don’t Take Crap From Anyone including our own kind who are disrespectful or are on some power trip of theirs..


  • g.o.

    Are you effing kidding me? This is the most pretentious, pussy-ass bs pic I’ve ever seen. mighty mouse on ‘roids. Eff you, kay-lay, you wanker. I see you out at sunset with you haole name and your whiney bitchin’ about whatevuhs. No ALOHA, whatsoevuh. Go back to your ancestral roots, wherevuh that shitis from. You not welcome on my islands.