The South Pacific Surprise: John Responds

posted by / Video / September 24, 2013

Update: John reached out and kindly asked that we take down the video. The purpose of his video, and Wassel’s video, was to tell a story — not to start drama. So let there be peace on earth (or at least on Pacific islands) and read a letter from John below.


I feel that both Dave and myself were each given an equal opportunity to speak out and share our sides of this story. However, unfortunately it seems to have only created unwanted drama and tension, not only in my islands, but also, in Hawaii and internationally.

In my opinion, the best solution to this problem, would be to make peace between us, because I can’t see this going in a positive direction. I don’t hold onto any grudges because it’s not good energy to do so. What happened is the past already and what has been said, has been said.

So… what I am suggesting, is that both videos be deleted and we all just move on. I just hope that everyone can learn something from this story and just try and respect one other.

Aloha & Aroha

Mahalo & Mauruuru roa



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  • KC

    Even though I hate body boarders, I gotta side with this kid…someone like Wassel should know to show some respect to the local boys holding down a spot.

  • SurfingKook

    Watched both videos and heard both sides. Wassel is a weasel. I would be pissed-off too if out-of-towners showed up at my break using jet ski assistance to catch all the best waves. That crap ruins it for the rest of us surfers who wish to travel abroad. I think you need to publicly apologize Dave! You know if a mainlander pulled that crap at an outer Hawaiian reef a fight would ensue. A camera crew and a sponsor doesn’t make a surfer God. Even King Kelly shouldn’t be able to do what you did. Fix your wrongdoing so the rest of us don’t have to deal with the locals wrath. Thanks

  • Les

    Dave and John, you guys should meet and discuss your point of view openly and come to an agreement and put it online. In the end, we’re all surfers.. lovers of the ocean and not freaking free-fighters. The Tahitians feel burned and they probably are.. screw the personal and marketing greed, lets show some understanding and get to some kind of agreement about when to paddle and when to tow and then go out there and push each other into some big ass caverns. Let’s surf!


  • hawaii

    Wassel is just another attention seeking cuckold living off the un-sustainable cycle that the surf industry is, and if that requires being a hypocrite in someone else’s home, i see no reason for him to get any wherever he goes…Go back to Kailua and your ewok-trolling mentality.

  • Matt

    What a bunch of fag dickdraggers ,no one cares what they think or do foreigner or local . You ladyboys just stay out the way while the big boys are getting barrelled.

  • Duckdive

    Agreed. I thought the video with the knife was weird too. It shows poor taste and a lack of respect. It elevated a bad situation to worse.
    As far as John dropping in, I can see his side of the story. Just because Wassel can ride big waves and has a jet ski doesn’t mean he deserve any waves.
    Wassel should examine the message he wants to send. Maybe something a little more thoughtful, respectful and neighborly, with a hint of “you stuffed me in bad spot”.

  • bg

    i want to invite the douches here that hate bodyboarding for no reason to have a try in the boogie. Maybe in a hollow break, powerfull, short. doesnt need to be too big. youll be feeling like you started surfing again. have fun and enjoy the ocean.

  • Col

    Maybe if the bodyboarders could make it out of waves at teahupoo, when its big enough to tow, then there would be something to discuss.

  • wyatt

    Such a fun and exciting conflict! Can’t wait to hear this most polarizing and critical issue analyzed by the unemployed braintrust at my local surfing spot! And how will it play out in the coming North Shore season? Will the longstanding sense of Polynesian brotherhood (“aloha”) be shattered? Will the Hawaiian pseudo-mafia tangle with the Tahitian pseudo-mafia? And which one will make the best gangsta faces? And will mixed-martial arts be used in these skirmishes? And what about next summer at Teaohouhuooopouhouooo? Will jet-skis be sabotaged by Tupac-inspired island meanies? Will the local sponge contingent stand cross-armed and scowling at the dock, making scary faces at the haole invaders?

    I haven’t been this boner-fied for a surf-related controversy since Mick Fanning called the one dude a Jew. Very fun stuff! Thank you Surfing!

  • David Carvalho

    I will never understand this hate about the boogie. Is it that important what vehicle you use to ride the wave? Or the real important part is to be in the ocean?

    About the video I think John did well telling his part of the history in my humble opinion I think he is right and I stick by his side.

    Respect to all Tahitians.

    Cheers from Portugal.

  • L

    What a situation. The worst part was leaving the guy in the channel to try and get in on his own. Bad form.

    BTW amazing to watch the boogers pushing the limits. Respect.

  • Makooka

    Dave Wassel is an illiterate idiot with the worst crab stance style on earth. Hawaiians like him are worse than Brazilians any day!

  • yo

    this is good shit right here

  • James

    It seems to me like the Tahitians are much more friendly and welcoming than the Hawaiians. As some have posted before me, nobody could have gotten away with what Wassel was doing in Hawaii without getting beaten by the locals, so Wassel and the tow-in crew (most of whom are likely from Hawaii) should respect the Tahitians. People were paddling into those waves, so Wassel should have, too. Stop being so selfish and learn to share.

  • North Shore Paddle

    In Hawaii surfers that are paddling in have the right-of-way over tow-in guys regardless of who is deeper or what they are riding. Everyone knows that! If you want (and are allowed) to tow with paddle surfers in the line up then you know you may get dropped in on. Even then, you will still get 5 times the waves as the paddlers. C’mon Dave, show some class!

  • AlbyTRoss

    I wish John made that wave then…

  • jan key

    the local boy was spot on…. if the wave can be paddled into…. no ski-tows, end of story…..

  • Red

    Mad respect to the local Tahitians. It’s so easy to avoid this particular situation SHOW RESPECT.

  • Dagelf

    Shit happens. Nobody’s perfect, we ALL make mistakes. Don’t be a dick about it.

  • B guy

    Apologize Wassel. Hawaiian lifeguards should show the best etiquette in the water. Eddie Aikau was not a greedy dick.

  • Abe

    I have seen both sides of this story and this deal about being local or not local has been going on for generations. I remember this from when I surfed in the 60s and 70s.. The way I see it is Dave was already set in the wave before the local even took off so to me the local took off on Dave.It was Daves wave. And for all you locals Surfing brings a lot money and advertisement to your island. Now if Dave was taking off the same time as you (local) and being toed in that may be different, but again Dave was already set in the wave before you (local) even started to paddle for it..

  • Stefan

    If you drop in, be 100% certain you’re gonna make the wave. End of story.

  • jugalooooo


  • harry plopper

    wassel keeps his figure at Zumba class

  • anyone

    proving Hawaiians travel poorly.

    as if there was any doubt.

    JOB, are you listening?

  • 805Local

    Never thought I would side with a booger… But there was no respect given.

    Wassel shouldn’t have posted that first vid. His driver should have picked up the booger. They could have hashed it out right there in the lineup, now it creates drama and people want to see more. I think these two should come together and hash it out, show some maturity and spread the aloha spirit. Booger or surfer, when your in waves of consequence, respect needs to be given. Locals get priority and if they are dicks go find a new place to surf, like your own place. Respect gets respect.

  • ron burgandy

    milk was a bad choice

  • Ty

    Also,thank god most Tahitians don’t travel, if so fighting in Hawaii would be rampant this year-also yes most Hawaiians are so detached from reality it’s really impressive!

  • anyone

    Wassel is a Volcom stooge. Volcom has been sold how many times?

    Street cred out the window, stooge plays to the camera.

    “Counter culture” brand owned by big banks… hmmm, bring out the clowns.

    Comeon Woolly, show any edge.

    If the owners allow you.


  • anyone

    Its not indigenous hawaiians Ty, its the fucking white transplants.

    Rothman, Obrien, Wassel, Bruce, etc.

    I would say Andy, but half the surfing world would have to genuflect to Billabong first.

  • Pauly Boy

    Tahitians are the most magical and loving people left on earth! Hopefully, the surfing world doesn’t take advantage of that…..One Tahiti….One Love!

  • ckay

    look at this article:

    Is Dave Wassel a David Hasselhoff look a like or is it just me? Dave you look like a frat boy. When did all frat boys become surfers? Dave your a part time guard, part time trustafarian, man up bitch.

    Just so you know, John makes you look like a kook…..effortlessly…..reason being because you are frat boy. Don’t claim guard and leave someone out at sea….consider half of your jobs gone. I work fork USLA and your career is GONE…..frat boy go back to PA.

  • p

    “Such a fun and exciting conflict! Can’t wait to hear this most polarizing and critical issue analyzed by the unemployed braintrust at my local surfing spot! And how will it play out in the coming North Shore season? Will the longstanding sense of Polynesian brotherhood (“aloha”) be shattered? Will the Hawaiian pseudo-mafia tangle with the Tahitian pseudo-mafia? And which one will make the best gangsta faces? And will mixed-martial arts be used in these skirmishes? And what about next summer at Teaohouhuooopouhouooo? Will jet-skis be sabotaged by Tupac-inspired island meanies? Will the local sponge contingent stand cross-armed and scowling at the dock, making scary faces at the haole invaders?

    I haven’t been this boner-fied for a surf-related controversy since Mick Fanning called the one dude a Jew. Very fun stuff! Thank you Surfing!”


  • Mik

    What a bunch of non-sense. The bodyboarder should never have dropped in on Wassell. Period. Or anyone else who’s in a wave that heavy, that deep.

    This kid is trying to escape the fact that what he did was dangerous, and disrespectful of a guy who is one of the best big wave surfers in the world.

    Not to mention the fact that the boogie-boy had zero chance of making the drop. ZERO. It is there on film.

    This is why boogie boys aren’t respected. They dont have the skills to stand up and surf, and they can take off deepe, at times, only because they are on their belly, and stay there, like an infant.

    Sorry. No love for this BS.

    Wassell had the guts to take off that deep, had the wave set up perfectly, and this guy who was taking off on the shoulder, on his belly, just ignores him and goes anyway?

    Personally, I’m sure Dave will continue to be diplomatic, but this guy owes him an apology.

    As for all the haters on Wassell, and Volcom, gifted people all over the world earn a living from companies that appreciate their talents in every sector of life, so why not the surf industry, which is pretty damn cool? I speak from experience, not speculation. If you’re a surfer, working for a surf company lets u live that much closer to your passion.

    It can be rad.

  • ryan

    fucking wassel, no one would have made the wave he was on, thats bullshit that he thinks he had a chance. neither of them got close to one another on that wave. Its the same everywhere you show up at gnarly spot like chopes or pipe, you dont get to snag bombs and paddle right back out and do it again and again. Simple story

  • wtf happen?

    All countries will go to war with each other because of surfing. so just stay home at your surf break and be stoked on what you have. Hawaii back then was very welcoming just like the tahitians now days. but what the tahitians are going through now… hawaii has been through that already. no respect no aloha. goes like that everywhere

  • More Waves

    A drop in is a drop in, don’t sugar coat it as anything else. If you drop in, at least make the wave KOOK!

  • Dustin

    Wassel is clam, a shame to the Hawaiian culture, and fellow waterman. Shame on you and have fun with the bad Karma you have built up. Riding on his knee in the video anyways…I didnt’ know surfers did drop knee….

  • mateo

    if you up-the-line too many times, Wassel, especially blowing exhaust, you’re gonna get burned. deservedly.

  • tahiti

    i dobt any of you have been in tahiti or a tow vs paddle situation, First in tahiti they locals shake your hand and share their waves with you, so to see them like this is disturbing, in tahiti bodyboarding and surfing are equal, thats the rules. The tow guys do circles around the locals, immagine you wait for the swell and then some random guys come out with skis and do circles around you. RESPECT TAHITI before it is too late and the aloha is gone

  • skinz

    this is why tow surfers should not tow when people are paddling. no excuses. towing through a crowd is messed up and bums people out and this is what the out come is.

  • A.M.

    With all do respect to both parties…I believe Wassel was only yielding a knife in his video because he was in the middle of filleting a fish…I didn’t find it threatening or intimidating at all. I mean, he IS a waterman, lifeguard, surfer, Island dweller after all. Haole or not. HOWEVER, after reading the stories and watching John’s video above…I definitely think Dave Wassel was in the wrong. Especially when his ski-driver didn’t offer to give the guy a lift to safety. That’s some arrogant shit and definitely disrespectful to the local Tahitian. (Body boarder or not). In my travels I’ve always noticed there’s a group of local body boarders at most world-class waves…From Puerto to Pipeline(never been to Tahiti)… And yeah it can be real easy to bring that “Oh f%#kin Sponger” mentality with you when you travel whether they charge or not…but the bottom line is that THEY ARE LOCAL. Plus, THEY WERE PADDLING. Hats-off to John for manning up at his spot…I still don’t think Wassel would’ve made it! Sounds like that might have been his one and only shot now that he’s probably banned from that spot. Shame on you Dave Wassel…Apologize already!!

  • Ben

    Though the drop in itself was dangerous, I must side with the Tahitians on this one. Teahupoo has become a zoo with visiting tow squads, and the desire to keep Sapinus orderly is appropriate. Simply put, if the lineup is full and the locals aren’t getting waves, get in line, show respect, and you’ll get a few. Clearly this is the beginning of persona non grata status for surfers visiting Tahiti – let’s do our best to ensure that the place remains friendly to travelers.

  • Jack

    I’m going to tow in at Pipe this winter and get all the bombs. Stoked if I go out with the ski it will give me automatic priority. None of the locals will hop me because I’ll get on the wave first. So stoked!

  • Joey C

    Its nobody’s waves. Its the Ocean. For a man to say that it is “his” wave is ridiculous….no matter where you are from. Period. With that being said, there is unwritten rules in the water. Usually, if you drop in on someone, then you are at fault. But, if the person you are dropping in on is being assissted by a motor vehicle who is unfairly taking every choice set wave and not sharing the love, then the logic of dropping in goes out the window. I don’t know if the tow-in guys were or were not sharing because I was not there. If they were not, then he deserved to get dropped in on.

  • pistol

    Unmakeable and another glutenous kook on a ski. go home or have respect, leaving the boy in the channel shows where their soul is. Fins up weasel…stay in Oahu

  • Fran

    ”With all do respect to both parties…I believe Wassel was only yielding a knife in his video because he was in the middle of filleting a fish…”
    Nothing wrong with filleting a fish, but he could have put the knife down for the interview! He clearly wanted to send a message with that crap…

    Like someone else said, he is a lifeguard!!! and his towpartner let the kid on his own in a sketchy situation, thats unforgivable! PERIOD!

  • Rick Cane

    Dave was not going to out run that foam ball. John did takeoff forcing the wave to section a bit early, but dave was already to deep. Anyone notice wassel’s eyes are like a chameleon; meaning he can look straight with one and up with the other. Yes the collision could have been lethal but it wasn’t. We all know there is only few people that would have made that section, but Nobody listens to turtle…. In the immortal words of Rodney King, “can’t we all just get along”.

  • dustinf

    the last ten seconds of wassel’s interview are what count…

  • JP

    you would if you had robot ears

  • saps’

    get fukked MIK, fukkin kook. FAATURA

  • dont care either

    claims he lost his balance ? how the fuck do you lose balance laying down ? fuckin dick dragger all about you ! never mind you all most killed someone . fuck all you whinny bitches ! surfing is about riding a SURFBOARD ! not sponge !

  • Mike Murciano

    This is such a bummer to see on so many levels. Dave Wassel is one of the nicest surfers out there. If there is anyone out there that understands respect its him. In regards to the knife, thats be sharpened thats a complete misunderstanding and mistiming of the interview

  • fishnI.B.

    I can only wish that someone as humble and entitled (local) as John would have reminded me of the need for traveling manners , for I ,too , was a w ASS el hole for many years of my five decades of surfing. Do you cut in line ? Do you yell , “It’s THE BOMB !” in the airport ? Do you hit on the local woman while hogging the kava kava cup ? Do you wink a lot ? It’s my understanding that Allentown needs a lifeguard that yearns for a monarchy.

  • Care More

    Don’t matter if you’re on a sponge, a shortboard, a longboard, a SUP or a canoe! If you love the ocean, you have a right to experience it. Show respect for your fellow watermen. All you pussy’s afraid to paddle in??

  • GP

    Im pretty sure that that wave was not paddle able for obvious reasons ie the footage shows the boogie having no chance ever of making it, but that made for an epic wipeout! If dave did leave him out in a current to fight his own way in then he probably should be barred. Sickest gopro clip ever btw.

  • Q

    Hey “dont care either way” you may not like bodyboarders but your mamma does! =D

  • ignorancemustbebliss

    Kudas for sharing this

  • dont care either

    This ones for Q whats the hardest part of dick dragging ? It’s telling your parents your GAY !!!!!!!

  • Pete

    Wassel just burned his chance of ever getting waves at the spot again. Hope it was worth it.

  • Ive surfed that spot

    it get real after 6:15 i doubt da white weasel will surf there ever again. lol brah

  • john

    getting cut off at a spot that you are getting towed into that is not your home break is not something wassle should’ve bitched about esp brandishing a knife (i don’t care what the knife was for, think about how it will be perceived). good for these guys standing up for their spot.

  • Justin

    This would have had a completely different ending if the Wassel ski had just picked up the guy out of the water, asked if he was ok, and helped him to shore. He’d be the hero and increased his stock. And if Wassel would have simply answered, when asked about the incident, “That was wild, glad we are both ok”, he’d be golden.

  • Freddy

    Hey, this guy is a local and he is paddling! Doesn’t matter that he’s riding a boogie, rules of the road are paddlers have the right away, no matter what! Wassel is a madman; everyone know’s that, and is well respected but, he should expect to get burned if he is getting towed in. And them not picking him up and helping, well most guys in the lineup on Jetski’s are assholes!

  • michael

    It is really very sad on both parts… First to have to make these peaceful warriors (for lack of a better term) have to implement localism into their surf culture, but secondly by not sucking up your ego and not giving this guy (John) a lift to safety, I’m sorry but that is Not Aloha!
    These people have allowed (or put up with) Haole’s (foreigners, not just white people) to Share Their Aloha Spirit! Now You guys, instead of helping the situation just soiled it for every traveling surfer… Shame on you!
    Way to call them out Tahitian Crew!
    And for all of you posting these hateful comments? Grow Up!
    Aloha and I am sorry to be associated with such ignorance, We are not all bad people.

  • Noel

    Yeah thats right. But I don’t understand whz the tahitian guys just didn’t talk to the tow in guys and made it clear that this is also their spot. But by dropping in at big Teahupoo, you just put the other guy and yourself in real danger.
    But the video of Wassel really shows his arrogant Charakter…

  • noa

    Those Bodyboarders/Surfers are paddling in, you can’t disregard that. And the reason most of the locals do bodyboard is cause the traveling pros never gave them boards 10 years ago to learn on, so they road bodyboarders which actually last a season at a wave like Teahupoo.

  • Jacob Cruz

    I don’t get what the issue is. I think Wassel was too deep on that wave and probably got knocked off before getting to the sponger. It made for a shocking photo and that’s that.

  • Aloha Alex

    Would be a perfect time for Laird Hamilton to comment.

  • michael

    I was thinking the same thing Alex!

  • Q

    Hey “dont care either” you found out I was gay because you caught me with your dad in your parents bed! =D

  • Hereswhatwedid

    Here’s what worked for us in southern Oaxaca. ALL pro surfers and their film crews MUST enter the country on a work visa and pay appropriate income tax. They must have this visa on them at all times or be asked to leave. This visa is running about 800 dollars per person per trip. This seriously deters a lot of them from even getting their shit together enough to even come down here like they used to. Here in Puerto we had a guy just leaving his ski on the beach and giving make shift tow-in lessons and using his ski on head high days and weird things that really shouldn’t be going on. Just two weeks ago somebody broke the seat open dumped a couple gallons of gasoline all over the motor and set it on fire. Guess what, That guy doesn’t tow in here anymore. Guys wearing leashes get dropped in on, guys with gopro’s get hassled, and foreigners overstaying their welcome at out pointbreaks get dealt with. Let’s expose pro surfing for what it really is, what it really does to our treasured places, and the community puts up a wall and says THESE PLACES ARE NOT A CIRCUS ATTRACTION TO BE FILMED AND TALKED ABOUT! I dare a pro surfer making six figures to stop his rental car and walk up to a farming crew and come clean about not paying the proper taxes to be filming for their sponsors, money that can maintain the very road they are driving too fast down to get to the waves they came to surf. They won’t do it because they are Selfish, bottom line. Pros are here for their own egos, we are here raising our family’s. It’s time everybody becomes honest. Don’t surf with your friends who sell drugs either, let’s keep our surf spots for our kids, not these weasels, thanks!

  • mateo

    how are the taxes in Oaxaca collected? the government is requiring a work visa?

  • Lu

    When you go in someone’s home don’t go straight into the fridge !


    @HERESWHATWEDID why don’t you go surf professionally for a living? Believe it or not, this is their profession. They own the ocean as much as you do,regardless of what you say. If they don’t get the shots they need, they don’t have a job. And you’re completely wrong: the majority of surfers don’t even come close to making 6 figures a year. A lot of communities and spots with world class waves survive almost off of tourism and surfing. Lastly, deal with it.

  • Mik


    I respect Wassell for the deep line he took. He didn’t owe the guy who dropped in on him anything. What a weird group of comments. First everyone hates Hawaiians for being locals and harsh on tourists, then everyone stands up for Tahitians acting like locals.


    Don’t tell me to respect this guy for dropping in.

    I don’t respect this guy dropping in, and especially for not apologizing. Instead, he tries to blame Wassel? Since none of us were there, how can you all be so sure Wassell was burning people? Sounds like a lame attempt to twist the blame.


    I don’t respect boogie-boarders, I don’t really care where they surf. I tolerate them. It’s a free world… But unless you have injuries that limit you to lying down, then it’s not surfing. If u do have injuries, then cool. Do it. I respect that. That’s my opinion, and it will always be my opinion.

    It’s like a kid being towed behind a water ski boat on an inner-tube, and comparing it to an athlete doing high-speed slalom skiing. There’s no comparison. NONE.

  • Thin

    The Whistle has been blown, assume the position, Dave!

  • Hereswhatwedid

    …….That’s exactly what we do, we deal with it.
    We want the tourists, we’d can live without the pros, they are such a small percentage and bring in the same amount of money as any other traveler, yet they do the most damage to sell surf products made in China. The modern media buzz is all about sustainability this and keeping your money in your local economy, so why can’t these pros make a living solely where they’re from? Because they have to exploit places to get that clip that has that WOW feeling. We are open to tourists, we love cooking over campfires with new friends, we don’t however feel the need to film and post every swell, that’s not our vibration. Our family’s fish and grow coffee and we surf for fun, your dad’s flip houses in California where native Americans once lived peacefully. We aren’t interested in epoxy cutbacks, we just ride a few waves after the fishing nets are hung for the day. We don’t need the noise pollution of your iPod from your surf tour as you glob on your sunscreen 48 hours after yon flew from LAX. ALL ANYBODY ASKS IS THAT TRAVELERS TREAD LIGHTLY AND IT DOESNT HURT TO KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT ABOUT A DIRT ROAD THAT MAY OR MAY NOT LEAD TO A GREAT WAVE. I THINK THESE GUYS IN TAHITI ARE CLAUSTROPHOBIC BECAUSE PEOPLE CANT JUST GO SURF, THEY NEED THE PIC, THEY NEED THE EXPOSURE AND THEY WILL CUT IN LINE FOR IT. I INVITE ANYBODY TO COME TO MY HOUSE AND CUT IN LINE. And we are nice people, till you act filthy where our kids play. And it’s easy to sit up wherever your from and write a clever response, but guess what? I’m looking out the window and the winds starting to trickle offshore and there’s a warm tropic rain and my wife is cooking seriously good food and your pulling on to the I-5 and it’s gonna take you an hour to crawl the 12 miles home from work. My dogs are already in the bed of the 4×4 because they Know………what…….we…..have.

  • Matt

    I have several friends that were in the channel that day at Sap’s most of them on there first trip to Tahiti. All were in agreement that Wassell was taking all the bomb’s and out running the barrel every time. Its funny reading everybody’s comments on bodyboarders and how some on here do not respect them. I stand up, I bodyboard, I SUP, and I long board and I will hands down say that charging these waves head first and having to paddle in on a sponge is waaaaaaaaayyy gnarlier than Tow in surfing this spot. Secondly, you say its not hard, have you ever tried at a wave like Sap’s? I doubt it. It really comes down respect. Except in America; all other portions of the globe respect bodyboards as an equal playing field. Its two different aspects that truely are so different on every level. The heavy slabs that you all love to look at were all discovered by our boogie brethren. Get over yourselves thinking you are higher than them. Your not. I have been to several slabs and the surfers that are standing up are of the utmost respect to the boogies. So if you dont respect them. You most likely are surfing 3-4 foot trestles like waves and calling it “all time.” And I guarantee you are not riding waves of consequence. Wassel screwed it for alot of people by doing what he did. The Tahitians are united. There is no bickering amongst surfers and bodyboarders and who has priority, they are all friends and treat the visitors like friends. They could careless what you ride as long as you show them respect. What this will mean is the hospitality they show to all foreigners is now going out the window. Wassel being a true waterman and “local” of the North Shore should have understood this. Much Respect to John. Not to many people out there that really stand up for there spots anymore. Way to go kid. I do the same stuff at my local spot. You want to paddle around me after you just took a wave? Not going to happen. He could have easily been paddling in on these waves. How much more rewarding would it have been to have shaka’s from the locals looking down your Kaleidescope of a barrel then?

  • Wassdabigdeal

    Bottom line here: Towing while paddling is possible should be outlawed. Leaving someone (anyone) to die in the heavy currents/waves of that nature isn’t acceptable. Whoever was driving the ski should be arrested and banned. Wassel needs to drop his knives before a freaking interview like this…fkin dumbass. Locals are locals wherever you go. RESPECT!

  • dadou cool

    MIK u are a f*cking asshole!

  • drama!

    fuck yea hereswhatwedid. say it

  • sapboy

    MIK you are a fucking kook you guys respect us or stay in your fucking country john is a local dave is a gringo thats it FAATURA and dont distroy our paradise

  • Fred

    Tow in just sucks, and it. is only acceptable in a few places in the world like cortez bank.
    If real surfers are charging Take Your JetSki fucking home.

  • kane

    Hey MIK i am from hawaii and was there and saw everything go down in person! Dave was taking off on all the good waves and being supper disrespectful he was acting like he was in hawaii and showing off the north shore mentality.So tell me this if dave came to your home spot and started burning you on all the waves at your home break would you not say anything and then apologize to him??YOU must think dave is a god!!Also dave is a lifeguard and then he tells the jet ski to leave him to defend for him self what kinda lifeguard does that? I hope he gets fired for that shit!! I am so stoked john stood up to prove a point!! You must live in Michigan and surf in a river or some shit cause you don’t know what a true water men is it don’t matter what you ride!! You gotta RESPECT the people who live and surf in the places you are visiting you cant just show up and think just cause you have a name for your self that you can jus walk over everyone!!

  • Bill

    Hawaiians are assholes. That hole respect shit in Hawaii. Fuck that and fuck them. Some dumb uneducated grocery packing broke as fool thinks he’s the shit because he’s some haoli transplant and found his way to Hawaii? Fuck them fags. Also, the tow shit? That’s as gay as Laird and SUP’S. If you’re towing then get the fuck away from a place where people are paddling in. You shouldn’t even be there. Your cameras and jet skis embolden you. Bar the Hawaiian, I’m sorry the WANNABE Hawaiians, and their attitudes. At least the DICKHEAD Hawaiians. Could give a fuck about you, your rock, and your 3rd grade education

  • sapboy

    i was in the spot taht day wassel thought that was his spot so fuck that he come make money in our home no wayyyyy baddd in Tahiti we have no fight between surf and bodyboard we are all together we just want respect

  • sapboy

    thanks kane you are so true brother polynesian spirit those guys think they are everything because they are famous they think they are above everyone but they gonna fall deeper

  • Peter

    Justin hit the nail on the head. At the end of the day the bodyboarder went on a wave he knew he wasn’t going successfully ride, to make a statement. On a wave like that, he literally put his life on the line to make that statement. If may have been a bit overboard. The situation could have been resolved by talking to the dude on the Ski after a couple of good sets were nabbed from the spongers. Dave may have made the wave/he may not have. Either way had he let several of the bombs before go and let the locals have a shot than he we may have found out if that extra pump would have got him through without getting dropped. Dudes got to learn to control his amp.

    Normally the surfing public would be unfettered by such a small altercation halfway around the world. But the pictures in Transworld’s death issue and all these videos have us inebriated by it’s heaviness. Everyone knows Tahiti is holding plenty of life-threatening passes. But most are kept under guard from the public eye. However, this semi-recent swell shed light on a new surf area. Whoever gave the go ahead must have figured word had spread enough that it had become ok to give the coordinates/bring cameras. To give up the lock and key. Now the surfing public has a new Teahupoo/Cloudbreak combo to explore. The Tahitians knew it was there. It probably is a special place like Chopes but more local. But that’ll change now. Unless Tahitians start training MMA they shouldn’t get crazy. I would advise against it.

    Dave Wassel’s “full body erection” rightfully went limp when that man dropped him.
    Despite his buzkill, leaving a guy in the middle of the ocean with a 45 minute swim in life threatening conditions is just a dick move. I’m sure he analyzed the condition of the man being a a life guard in all, but he should have forgave and forget and ushered him in.

    I was thinking about having my honeymoon here next year but I don’t want to deal with localism. If it gets crazy can the guy from Mexican pointbreaks leave some info on here so I can book with him. Being men of peace is so much more respectable.

    Also Tahitians, not all American surfers are jerks. I’ll share waves with you at my homebreak in IB anyday. I used to be angry. It just makes surfing not fun. Stay chill trust me. All the guys that know you and have surfed with you respect you.

  • Peter

    Wassell, since this whole thing is so internet now. Let’s see a formal public apology video? I know, it’s so anti-Hawaiian to show weakness, and admitting you screwed up is weakness. But my oh my, you screwed up. DId you get permission to tow? Did you offer to tow spongers? Than you just left a guy who took your “full body erection” wave and another 18 footer on the head in the middle of the ocean to fend for himself while you had a jet ski. I can understand anger in the moment but the moment has passed. Do the write thing. Don’t Pull a G-Mac PR Statement. You are supposed to be anti-tow anyways and your bashing dude paddling.

  • Belxior

    come on dave asholle you’re a fucking pokemon, surfers don’t respect anything or anyone, you should be on baywatch, you’re no good surfer, you’re a dysrespectful mother ******

  • gabriel

    Here the problem its the ego of the surfer that they always want to be them in the mag or showing them shelfs bodyboarder like us ! we just enjoy getting heavy waves! and dont forget that bodyboarders show to the surtfers that all this waves in any size can be ride ! And i dont understand how you can not respect tahitians there are the best people in the world! and also how you can not help a guy that he wipeout having more balls than dave waseel (he have his sky , vest protection , pussy equipement like i like to call it)and left it in the middle of the channel that nbot even a good sign of being human , humble respectfull , there a lot of people is full of shit and the ego bigger than the size of this earth hopefully one day they will understand that life is diferent! karma is going to show them!

  • gabriel

    And mike start to respect bodyboarders ! if not we are going to get you and make the respect!

  • NotAnUglyAmericanSurfer

    Man, I really hope it’s not true DW just left John to try and swim in on his own power in conditions like that wether he had the physical fortitude to do so or not.
    For me, that is the pinnicle of several bad decisions he made.
    And he’s a lifeguard which makes that decision doubly disgraceful.
    Dave seems to come off as a really nice guy I thought after sharing the same hotel in Puerto some years back – we were a few doors down from each other – and having multiple chats with him about all kinds of things.
    He seemd like a cool, respectful cat in such a locals sensitive setting for sure at least to me anyways.
    Shocking to see all this shit go down where once again the rest of we USA born and bred surfers are all painted with the same Ugly American brush by the rest of the surfing world thanks to his less than aloha attitude and and actions.
    Dave, buddy, please get a PR person to help you think it through and not make such incredibly tone deaf decisions like brandishing a knife while giving an interview about a situation like that.
    And it might not be too late to do your penance humble yourself and try to make amends with the Tahitians- you might not win them all back but you can at least hold your head up by giving it a genuine, heartfelt try…

  • marcus

    If your paddeling you always burn the jetski, those are the rules everyone knows that.. he shouldnt be whipping in to waves that someone is scratching for..

    and like ONE person mentioned before, you run into a lot of boogies in places like tahiti and mexico becasue the people there cant afford 1 surfboard a year let alone 15-20, dont be such prejudiced cunts.

    that wave is fucking gnarly

  • Local689

    Just imagine a perfect day at Pipe with plenty locals fighting to get waves and some foreigners come on jetski to tow-in and get all the bombs , let me guess what would happen ?!
    Wassel would NEVER act like that in Hawaii so why does he think it is okay to to do that in Tahiti ? Got many friends that told me he is a good guy and waterman … i guess this is true but this day he didn’t show that , plus his video showing up holding a knife was totally stupid . Come on Dave it’s never too late to make the situation cool down …

  • Colin

    Wassell was out of line period. There is a lot of hateful and ignorant talk on here about bodyboarders which is total bull. Those waves were otherworldly and anyone trying to catch with their hands or feet deserve respect. Lets also not forget that Wassell wouldnt have made that wave no matter how many times he tried(which sounds like a lot). You think they would run any shot of him blowing a ridiculous huge bomb. I think not. John did him a favor by creating a shot of a blown wave. He should have shut the fuck up and hashed it out with him in Tahiti and no one would have known what a dick he is. People would have just seen that shot and been blown away, ego,dignity still intact.

  • Ok….

    @hereswhatwedid you make quite a few valid points but it’s obvious you are very narrow minded and have not traveled much yourself, if at al.l Speaking as a 5th generation California Native who’s parents do not flip houses for a living, you are dead wrong in your perception of others. Travel with that attitude and you will quickly find out how unwelcome you are as well. Sack up, be nice, be humble, be welcoming… But don’t be a jerk. Jerks get ‘dealt with’ real fast no matter where you are on this globe.. Aloha!

  • Ohava

    Hey Dave, da boyz here no want for you and dat crew come back to have surf at Sapinus. Dis our home and we are for protect it from dat guy who comes to steal da waves…from surf OR body! Both da same here in Tahiti cause of respect. reel respect for surfers here, not like in da islands where boyz are always make drink and chase gurls. Dis OUR place Dave, so take dat knife and shut up. Don’t come over to here never!

    JK! I’m a white guy from Los Angeles. Everyone involved in this debate has listened to way too much Tupac and needs to cool it with inflated chest gangster fronting. Suck my balls!

  • Tim from Tennessee

    Funny how the French Polynesians have to teach the Hawaiians about respect… Shoots brah. Take note Wassell, Dorian, and everyone else who is behind the scenes!! You guys are BLOWING it.

    Now look at what you’ve started: the very thing everyone doesn’t want to see at any localized spot.. FRONT PAGE OF SURFING MAG.COM… What a shame and what a joke.

    Shoots, brah, shoots.

  • Duckdive

    New slogan… “John would go” It would have been great if he went left towards Dave.

  • Duckdive

    In fact, I think the Tahiti crew should get some t-shirts with “John would go”, a pic of the wave, and FAATURA on it.

  • mark

    that last guy is full of crap i have always gone and will continue to go and surf where ever i want Period..i cant be intimated…

  • Matt O’Brien

    funny comments from all. some good, some bad, some ugly… and a few down right FUGLY! here is an idea, go to a wave in hawaii (won’t mention them… you know which ones they are) and try that crap there. It would not end well. The Pipe comparisons might work for Teahupo’o, BUT the wave in question is a “secret, local” spot, so really any one of the unnamed spots in Hawaii would be more accurate. Visitors aren’t even welcome to surf them, much less pretend to own them. Gonna be an interesting year on the north shore for sure. As somebody mentioned already – whistle anybody?
    Also, the anti-boogie crap is just BULL$#!T. the talk of a real piece of work.

  • Kenny

    Man – I have surfed that spot on a swell 50 times smaller than that and there was some crazy currents moving through the pass. You had to have some knowledge and timing to get back in to the beach as it was. I can’t imagine John’s swim back to the beach on a day of that size.

  • Mik

    Sap & Kane:

    Your responses (and many others to my amazement)here make it sound as if Dave Wassell is the only guy to ever tow at Chopes?

    And then you’re unloading on Wassel as if HE is the one who dropped in on someone?
    Or he’s evil for towing, when Raimana and everyone else tows, regularly….?

    Look, I am not endorsing any form of localism, anywhere…

    I am saying that it was lame for the “””Local””” sponger to drop in on Wassel — or ANYONE — in that position on a wave like that. PERIOD.

    And you’re saying it was a “Statement”???


    He put Wassell’s life at risk by dropping in on him. And all any of us have to go on is the photo that SURFING ran, and the film of that one wave, and Dave was deeper than ANYONE commenting here would ever be. That ride was amazing, and heavy.

    Did Dave burn people earlier? Show us the film. I dont believe ranters just because they are ranting.

    Beyond that, DW paddles heavy waves routinely, in spots that aren’t an easy paddle out, with a deep reef channel. I’ve never met him. But I def respect his big wave surfing ability, and the fact that he is a lifeguard on the NS. If he didn’t help the guy who dropped in on him, is that a surprise? He was hurt himself, and probably trying to control his anger.

    I think you’re all a bunch of pent up haters. Racist, culturist, whatever. Don’t put words in my mouth. I have no hate for any culture, but I don’t respect the guy for dropping in. That’s all I said, and I explained why.

    The sponger should not have gone. If he had an issue, he should have paddled up to Wassell, and stated his gripe.

    And as far as boogieboards are concerned, U can learn to ride one in what? 5 minutes???

    I’m supposed to respect that?

    Yeah, it’s cool if someone gets good at it, and charges heavy waves, but it will always be harder to do the same on a shortboard, so that’s my point of view, and it won’t change, believe me. It’s a fact.

    BTW: I’ve lived in Hawaii, surfed Pipeline, Cloudbreak, Indo, and over double overhead CA, so spout all you want, but I’m no kook. I travel often and am well liked because I don’t drop in on people, and I dont play the local card in my home break, either. And I’m definitely not a kook because some racist guy in Tahiti says so.

  • Tekken56

    This comment is for Mike. You do realize that Dave Wassel and this entire video is NOT about Teahupo’o right? Its about another wave where towing in really isn’t necessary. This is Sapinus. NOT TEAHUPOO. Also surfing is easier than bodyboarding you idiot.

  • Vetea

    Hi guys,

    As a local surfer from Tahiti, I am reading a lot of comments about how inappropriate it is to cut off someone, local-ism, etc..

    I agree about the manner : maybe John’s reaction was excessive. But like we say “desperate times call for desperate measures”. It was maybe the only way for him to express his frustration towards Wassel’s attitude. It was maybe not the most politically correct way to do so, but he definitely made his point across.


    Now, some people say that we are “claustrophobic” and/or “narrow minded”. Again, let me repeat : WE DID NOT ASK ANYONE TO COME TO OUR ISLAND.

    Finally, when I watched Wassel’s video explaining his side of the story while using a knife, I thought that was a pretty stupid move (if not provocative) to do in front of a camera. He is going to attract a lot of attention from a lot of locals here in Tahiti and they will most likely be waiting for his return. Something that a lot of people don’t know is that tahitians (maohi) can be extremely confrontational when needed. Again, we do not take crap from people,

    Finally, to end up my narrative, I read some comments about people saying that body boarders have no room here, etc.. I don’t know about Hawaii and CA but here, in Tahiti, we respect everyone – this encompasses 15 yrs old kids who want to catch a wave and just have fun. We do not discriminate based on how they ride a wave. Again, I don’t know how you guys do it in Hawaii, CA, etc.. but here, in our land, there is a simple and logic correlation between respect and reciprocity.


  • Vetea


    Obviously, because you are from Hawaii, you have every incentives to defend your pal Wassel. Whatever floats your boat.

    Before calling us Racist, etc .. maybe you should watch your language. I can detect a lot of anger .. this might be associated to your mentality of feeling like you have all the rights to be there and do whatever you want wherever you. Sorry to disappoint you but in Tahiti, that’s not happening.


  • SApinus boyz

    to all of you, agreed or not with this video, you have all rights to discriminate or congratulate my FRIENDS, BROTHERS, FAMILY, but before telling that WE ARE RACISM or whatever … men you guys from hawaii or anywhere else … i don’t think that we are more localist than you.. the vids is just saying that next time y…


    The last thing, when you guys came in Tahiti, did some of you already have problems with us !!!!!!! i don’t think so !!!!!!! WE ARE A WELCOMING PEOPLE AND I HOPE MY PEOPLE WILL STAY HUMBLE, GENEROUS, AN PEACE FULL AS WE ARE EVEN YOU ARE CRAPING ON US… 😛


  • two wrongs

    i have surfed big waves for decades and the first thing i thought when i saw the pic was, can’t believe a guy would burn someone else in such a life threatening position. as i watched both videos and read the background about the visiting tow guys taking all the nuggets at their local spot i could empathize with him….some. from the looks and sounds of things, it was a very heavy dangerous wave which could have lead to really serious injury for both, lucky nothin bad happened to either one. in my opinion, both were wrong….and two wrongs don’t make a right.

  • SApinus boyz

    @mik and others if you don’t trust the story

    WE ARE NOT LIERS , your hero DW pushed the limits and didn’t tried to SHARE and let sets for us. WE SHARED but we are just trying to say to every one, to all RIDERS (pros, surfers, bodyboarders, strangers, locals or whatever you want) TO NOT ABUSED ON US, ON OUR HOSPITALITY AND OUR CULTURE. WE ARE REALLY PEACE FULL, AND WILL STAY LIKE THAT BECAUSE ITS OUR CULTURE.

    @to all people craping on my bothers and family

    i totally respect whatever you want because i totally don’t care about what you do in life, BUT, I just want to tell you to STOP CRAPPING on my beautiful people, very hospital, lots of integrity .. it’s really sad to read your bad comments, if you come one day and try to know us, you will understand, you will be welcomed as far as you don’t abuse because we don’t abuse.

    MAURUURU (thank you)

  • Moana

    Hey Mik- because you travel a lot, next time you come our fenua (home) make sure to tell the locals from sap and other spots what you just say

    Wassel and co, stay home with your buddy Mik.You are not welcomed in our island

    Moana from Papara

  • To Mik


    number 1: this spot ISN’T teahupoo. You’ve completely missed half the point of this whole debate.

    number 2: I can only assume your position on bodyboarding comes from the fact you surf shitty waves wherever you’re from. Bodyboards are terrible in 3ft, fat waves. In 10ft slabs, they’re the best wave riding vehicle out there. Don’t forget they can hit sections and land airs off waves far bigger than is possible on a surfboard.

    number 3: I have been to Tahiti and this spot. I’ve stayed with the guys featured in this video, I would love, LOVE to see you say this to them, or even better, attempt to swim in through the currents at this spot on a 15ft day. Life exists outside the internet, go learn something.

  • NunoRastejante

    I think the priority to cactch a wave is always human against machine, and the machine is invented to provide help for the human.
    The respect is earned each day wether you surf or bodyboard.
    In Portugal, the vibe between surfers and bodyboarders are similar to Tahiti, Respect the human!
    PS: Fuck George Bush and Barack Obama! eheheh
    Nature rules! Stay United Ombak

  • Alx

    Mik , you really think in 5 minutes you can do what Mitch Rawlins Mike Stewart or other bodyboarders are doing , breaking limits? I think you traveled all those places playing youriding , with that mentality!
    So bodysurfing its not a form of wave riding too? Do dolphins stand up? Respect that’s it!

  • Hiro Purutu

    @ Mik, Wassel and his buddies,

    My name is Hiro Purutu and I am from Moorea. I am sharing my real name as I want you to know who I am – instead of hiding behind a pseudonym. By doing this, I want people to know that I am backing up my comments.

    Who are you to point fingers at us and say that we are racist. If you look at history, Polynesians never invaded any countries in order to have more land and/or to take advantage of people. How dare you saying this ? John’s reaction was logic. He is in his home turf. He loves his land and will defend it. Who wouldn’t ? maybe someone like you who hides behind your computer.

    Be careful with your words and your colonial manners (this includes Wassel). This is not Hawaii. You guys are not superior to us.

    Thanks for stating your name.

    Hiro Purutu

  • no name

    I’d like to start by saying I have been to Tahiti many times and am actually friends with most of these guys featured in this video. They have always been very welcoming at most spots and are very cool to share their epic waves. Also tow guys can be incredibly irritating buzzing around everyone and taking the bombs.

    But on the contrary, that “bomb” was not paddle-able no way in hell no if and or buts. Obviously!! John ate fucking shit on his face!!!! And put Wassels life in danger. Then the next wave also wasnt paddle-able as the other boogie ate shit also. In the video it says “if we can paddle then no towing”. Well you guys couldnt paddle, no one could. So why all the fuss. I love Tahitians but on this topic they seem to be crying over something that does not need crying over.
    Bottom line, Wassell says “im a visitor, hes a local, glad no one got hurt”. So stop whining Tahiti!! Done deal! And props to John to have the balls to even attempt to paddle a wave that heavy even if it was to no avail.

  • Manea Mati

    @no name – at least, we (tahitians) have the courage to speak up (or “whine”) under our real names. Because you have been surfing our waves and you surfed with us (aka “your friends”), tell us your real name ? or are you just a “keyboard warrior” like all these yankees ? man up !!!

  • no name

    @ManeaMati I can respect that. “Whining” wasnt the correct word to use. You guys are just speaking up which is actually a good thing as u guys have clearly gotten ur point across. I just feel it should be towards the surf community as a whole and not so much at one individual. I will remain anonymous as I am not trying to be a tough guy just speaking an outsiders opinion. And im definitely not a yankee sheesh!! 😉

  • no name

    @ManeaMati one last thing. After reading most comments it sounds like Wassell had got several sets before this one. Is that true?? If so then I dont have anything negative to say. Not my battle and im not getting involved. Plus its just an opinion from someone that wasnt there and doesnt have all the facts. And from my experience with u guys (tahitians) u must of had to do something really wrong to piss u guys off as ive met some of the friendliest people ive ever met over there. Anyways, everyone gets the point and I hope this carries over through the world at every break. RESPECT THE LOCALS!! Thanks for making me realize that is the message.

  • Bob

    I have visited Tahiti and spent much time on the North Shore. My family is from Hawaii. If you show Tahitians respect and kindness they in general will return it in spades. We talk about Aloha in Hawaii, but I felt so much more Aloha in Tahiti. However, I also know that they will NOT tolerate disrespect. “Hawaiians” have gone there and tried to bully them for decades. Wassel was in the wrong for towing in without respect at a spot where tow ins are not common or popular. I really don’t feel dropping in was a proper way to tell him to beat it because John could have hurt himself and Wassel. But for Wassel and his tow partner to deny him a water rescue because of that when he was swimming was almost criminal. And Wassel agreeing to that video was inflammatory and disrespectful. He should book a flight to Tahiti now and apologize to the locals and bring many gifts. I say this in my own selfishness because I want to go back to Tahiti and not be treated with animosity by the locals because of his selfishness. It’s already bad enough in other places around the world with violence and rip offs by locals to visiting surfers who show respect, let alone those that pull this crap.

  • Mik

    As if Californians invited everyone in? It’s a reality of the modern world that it has become transcultural.

    Look, i am neither angry, nor did i attack anyone. I only reacted to the photo, and my reaction was WTF?

    The drop in was not only blatant, but put Wassel in a life threatening position.

    So now the friendly people of Tahiti are threatening me with violence, because I said that?

    You’re only peaceful, it seems, if I, or everyone else, agree with you?

    I dont know Dave Wassel, but from what I’ve seen of him surfing Pipeline, Teahupoo, and massive Cloudbreak, he is a very high level big wave surfer. So that’s what I am reacting to.
    I sure as hell wouldnt drop in on him. I watch and see what I could learn.

    And having been burned by boogieboarders at Pipeline, and elsewhere, I dont respect that deal. I don’t look at boogie boards and think, cool! if the guy on it is older than 12 i think, hey man, learn to surf.

    and dont tell me riding a boogie board is harder than riding a short board. it takes YEARS to get good at short boards. Years upon years. Does that mean i dont share waves with tem?
    No. I know how to be fair. But respect? sorry. And yeah, Mike Stewart and Dave Sasaki are really good boogie boarders, but to me, it doesn’t register on my personal respect meter, anymore than roller-blading does.

    If I surf Tahiti, I will be sure to wear a T Shirt that says i’m Mik on it…

    So all of the locals can gang up on me for having the opinion I “shared”.

    Seriously, what a sad world you live in Vitea if you (and what, the entire Tahitian surf community?) wants to beat down someone who thinks it was wrong to drop in on Wassell on THAT wave, and who doesn’t feel compelled to respect boogie boarders for the simple reason that sponges dont interest me.

    Sad is an understatement.

    You should move to the MiddleEast where hating is a way of life.

  • Mwa

    Mik troll of the year.

  • NunoRastejante

    Mik man, Retard! You George Bush cousin? the example of a stupid american, victim of propaganda. Have u been to the middle east? or u just believe what TV sells u all day, fuckin ignorant.
    This is about respecting the locals and their secret spots, not about Surf vs Bodyboard. Top surfers and Bodyboarders influence one another, bboard is surf´s younger brother, man. Some of the best surf fotografers are spongers, some of the best spots were first ridden by bboarders, GMAC introduzed Nazaré to the world cuz local Boogieboarders contacted him, and so on…
    What a fuck is your problem? Are you sure u can surf? Did u get barreled yet? Fuckin couch surfer …
    Don´t try to kill it,Bodyboard is here to stay !!!

  • Mik

    You’re kind of over reacting. I never said don’t boogie board, i just expressed my opinion of it. The beauty of being alive is the freedom of thought and expression. And that includes many contrasting opinions, doesnt it?

    I also never said that anyone should show up at a surf spot and tow in, and piss off locals.

    I said that my reaction to that ONE photo was that Dave Wassell was amazingly deep, totally charging, and IMO the boogie boarder shouldn’t have burned him because it was potentially life-threatening. That’s what I said, and I still think that.

    Yeah, I complicated it by also saying that I dont respect body boarders that burn people in hollow waves just because they can takeoff easier— but that’s because its happened to me at Pipleline and I have had to eat shit trying not to run them over. (and btw I equally dont like surfers dropping in on anyone whose deep just because they dont think that the guy might not make a barrel out, of respect for their charging)…

    Suddenly, I am being being told to stay out of Tahiti, and threatened with violence, and equated to GW Bush… ?

    And i’m the troll?

    You have no idea about my political activism against Bush and violence in the Middle-east, or against racism, or against the destruction of the environment, or for art, etc.

    What you do know is my opinion about that drop in, and it isn’t altered by this video. for the reasons ive stated.

    have a nice day.

    go boogie boarding!

    but if u ask me if i want to do it too…

    dont be bummed if i say no thanks.

    that’s just me being me.

  • Matt O’Brien

    mik, your a funny dude, YOU said you don’t respect boogie boarders period. reread your ants. Don’t try to prentend to only disrespect “body boarders that burn people in hollow waves just because they can takeoff easier”! you said you don’t respect em at all. Just own dude. Otherwise it makes you sound/act/look like a pussy. Seems to me like you are holding on to Jurassic ideas concerning wave craft.

  • kane

    Hey MIK obviously you have not been paying very much attention and don’t know your facts that wave is not CHOPES!! and for you to to say that the reason dave left john to swim back to the beach was because he was injured him self and also mad that is some funny shit! you make like dave was dying and was on the ski by him self those ski’s had a rescue board on the back all john had to do was jump on that, dave never had to even touch him to help him. You should not have opened your mouth cause it seems like your digging your self deeper and deeper into a hole and trying to play catch up with everyone and trying to explain your self! and for you to say-But unless you have injuries that limit you to lying down, then it’s not surfing, and that it only takes 5 minutes to learn how to boogie board is so fricking stupid id love to see you try and even ride a somewhat heavy wave on a boog! Oh and you know those SURFING LESSONS all the tourist take?? hmm looks like it only takes them 5 minutes to learn how to SURF too!!!! I surf, i boog, i sup, i bodysurf its all wave riding and we are all there to have fun and it doesn’t matter what you ride so drop THAT HUGE EGO YOU HAVE MAN!!

  • Herenui

    @Mik (in reply to your comment September 27, 2013 at 8:12 pm)

    1/ threatening your life ? hummm …. I didn’t sense this from their comments. They may be a little bit over-protective of their land but i don’t think it’s unreasonable. You must be really emotional moreover extremely sensitive
    2/ there is a difference between being peaceful and being a victim – they are definitely not the later part. If defending a cause seems un-fair to you .. grow a pair (this is coming from a lady). Like you said “It’s a reality of the modern world that it has become transcultural.”
    3/ you insult people with various terms like racist, dumb locals, etc. and you don’t even know them – what should you expect from them. People sending you flowers, gratitude and love ??? maybe next time they should write you a poem.
    3/ kind of easy to say they are aggressive when you, rednecks, have a history of bullying other nations and going to war when it suits you. By the way, are you a Hawaiian native or from the mainland ?
    4/ middle east – was G. Bush a Tahitian or an american ? not sure you really want to talk about foreign policy
    5/ not sure what’s with your crush for D. Wassel – big wave rider ? big something else ? big ego ? big reputation in your neighborhood ? obviously you do like him a lot and want to be his buddy. You seem to admire him a lot … if he’s your hero, good for you. Don’t forget to ask him an autograph next time he will be at Macy’s promoting his sponsor. Make sure to tweet a pic of you onto his lap (with your t-shirt “mik”)
    6/ obviously, the way you write things, you seem really bitter. Really bitter. It might be your time of the month.
    7/ your disdain towards body-boarders (like me who is 1/2 hawaiian and 1/2 tahitian) – not sure what to say except you must definitely have an anger management issue. My theory is when you were born, the doctor might have let you fall, by accident, on your head. This would explain your anger management issue and how emotionally disoriented you are. Not sure it’s fixable. Ask D Wassel to help you out with his techniques. Obviously, you two guys have a lot in common (arrogant, disrespectful to the natives, full of yourself, using a knife in front of a camera, two guys on jet ski holding each other, sensitive and emotionally attentive to each other, etc.). …-:)


  • Spike

    Hello @Mik, troll of the Year.

    Hear me out.

    I also boogieboard and surf, and I am POSITIVE you’re a lame excuse for a surfer.

    The reason is that I have never met a good surfer that did not respect good bodyboarders.

    All the ones I’ve seen dissing it are either kooks or have serious mental issues. I think your the former.

    Bobyboarding has long moved into waves that are very difficult for surfers to take off on, let alone do tricks on. Wedges, slabs, shallow reefs, the gnarlier the better.

    That’s why you, and most of the brainwashed, McDonaldized, Orange County (usually) boogie haters, think you are superior to boogers: because you’re surfing waves that are fit for surfing and ultra lame for boogieboarding.

    If you think doing a backflip on a 8 foot wave over shallow coral is “easy”, you are the most moronic piece of crap idiot surfer that has ever walked the earth.

    And FYI, do you know who are the 2 people that CONSISTENTLY regarded Mike Stewart as the best rider at Pipe hands down? Kelly Slater and Tom Curren.

    The 2 most influential surfers of the last 30 years.

    I think surfing is a beautiful sport. Maybe even aesthetically more pleasing than bodyboarding.

    But if I were into aesthetics I’d be into Ballet.

    There’s a pretty hard sport/art for you too. Why don’t you try it?

    I have friends who surf that have made one or two world class barrels in their surfing careers.

    I have been inside so many big caverns I lost count.

    Guess who goes to bed happier after a big swell?

    (Hint: it’s not the ballet dancer)…

  • Mik

    @Matt O’Brian,

    UR right, I said that.

    I just don’t really “get” body-boarding…
    It’s a total disconnect for me.

    Kelly and Curren can say what they want, but I dont share their opinion.

    It doesn’t appeal to me as a surfer. Neither does SUP, or kite surfing, or whatever.

    It doesn’t bother me that other people are into it, but I have zero interest in it…
    And when I saw Wassell’s wave, and how crazy deep he was, I just was shocked to
    see the body-boarder drop in. Heavy heavy drop yes, but respect isn’t a term i’d use.

    I mean what if Vitea David (Poto) was in Wassell’s position on that wave and he got burned?

    So when people were throwing the respect vibe at me, that’s when it just seemed like it was the Tahitian crew in this blog getting into one of those hate haole deals, which to me smacks of racism. Another thing i dont really “get”.

    Where I live, it’s totally uncool to vibe anyone for being “from” somewhere else. Asian, Indian, Latino, black, white, we are all just here because we like being here. It’s not like, I’m a white American and you all are second class citizens because ur from somewhere else. Northern CA is the future. Hate haole doesnt exist here, generally…

    I learned to deal with it in Hawaii, and it seemed like it was being thrown at me by the people who seemed to feel it was cool that the bodyboarder burned Wassel in what looks like to me a life threatening position. One of the deepest positioned barrels I have ever seen.

    And I have seen allot of images,and I even helped promote Mike Stewart’s career, and Sasaki’s when I worked in the surf industry.

    But when asked if I wanted to Art Direct Body-Board mag, back in the day, I said no. Zero interest.

    So even when I could have had a cool design job, cause I really dug the crew at Surfing Mag, and actually I still think they are the most progressive group in the industry, especially Travis Farre’s era…

    I declined because I just wasn’t feeling it.

    I have never once looked at a body board and wanted to ride one. Same goes for Fishes, etc. My respect goes to high performance surfing.

    And I don’t see how that makes me a kook, or troll or whatever else I’ve been called.

    What it really means is i like what i like, and i dont respect dropping in on people, and
    it was lucky that no one got seriously injured.

    How all of this equates to me being a troll or a pussy, i’ll never know.

    when i look at a bodyboard, or see someone ride one, i ALWAYS wonder why they don’t get into surfing. yeah, it’s a narrow view, but it’s my view.

    And when a magazine posts an image, and has a blog, I am free to respond however the fuck i want.

    like everyone else, neh?

    I wish Wassell could have found out if that wave was makable from that deep…

    And that was an incredibly bad decision by the bodyboarder to attempt to drop in.

    Had WASSEL not been back there?

    Heaviest drop by a bodyboarder, ever, fail or no fail.

    Did he burn Wassell on purpose, of was he just so wrapped up in the moment that he didnt look?

    He’s the only one really who knows.

    In that light, I think Wassell should be welcomed in Tahiti, or wherever he goes because he’s a great surfer, with a great heart, and I dig listening to his take as a commentator. Hope he recovers fast.

    BTW: the knife/fish thang… There’s nothing sinister about filleting a fish. The interviewer is the one who decided to start the conversation. If it had been in a car, would we infer that Dave was implying he’d run someone over?

    OK. Hate on.

    no more from me…


  • Kika Tahiti

    Well, it looks like you guys (especially Mik) have a lot of time to loose on the internet writting shit about what happened that day.
    To drop or not to drop, that’s not the question,
    Bodyboard/Surfboard, Racism and other bullshit of yours,
    There’s no need to debate any longer, just a few things to remember :
    – Tahitians are welcoming and peaceful people, but also proud
    – Respect the locals, the spots, respect the harmony of our islands
    – We will respect you in return and treat you like family
    and to conclude,
    – Dave Wassel is no longer welcome on Sapinus – Period

    Thank you, Merci, Mahalo, Maururu

  • Matt O’Brien

    Mik: while I may not agree with your views, thanks for owning them. Not like you owed me anything, but ya did. cheers…

  • Matt OBriem

    Mik: by “ya did”, I was referrong to owning your views Not owing me anything. I reread my post & saw how it could’ve sounded like you owed me something. Still don’t agree with you, but hey that is what USA a great country: we don’t have to all have same opinions. Cheers…

  • Lad Turner

    To Vetea

    Weird? I remember you as a pro surfer who dropped in on more surfers in Hawaii wherever you surfed when you were their as a pro. Take responsibility for your actions as well bro? It was never fun to surf when you were in the water, but I still surfed!

    Aloha Bro!

  • sweeper

    I have never been to Tahiti. But I hope the Tahitians curb the circus that has invaded their islands. You Tahitians should get involved politically and ban the use of towing in the water unless it is for saving lives. Surfing is part of your culture and these people will take your lifestyle away from you making it unbearable to surf in your own country. I grew up and live in California, and it is hard to surf here because of this king of selfish mentality. The people I am surrounded by are grown men and they judge people by what kind of equipment they surf on, just like some of the commentators on this thread. I build and ride surfboards, bodyboards, and stand up paddle boards just like the ancient polynesians that had an expression of these same wave crafts. Stand up for your country now and for future generations, even with violence if necessary.

  • Vetea

    @Lad Turner – the only thing I have in common with the guy you are referring to, is our first name. I am not this guy. Thanks for generalizing.

  • Spike


    Well, it’s fortunate that we don’t all like the color pink innit? What would become of all the other colors?

    I personally don’t watch American Football, or Baseball, or the WCT, that’s because I prefer Rugby, Soccer and Bodyboarding comps. But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect all those sports and the people involved in them tremendously.

    Also, saying you don’t agree with Slater or Curren is fine, as long as you are conscious that that’s the same as a art student saying they don’t agree with Michaelangelo or Picasso’s views.

    It’s that kind of arrogance about some surfers (and their brainwashed wannabe kooks) that pisses me off.

    Surfing isn’t hard, I hate to break it to you. Look at all the cooks surfing Pipe and other well known spots. I learned to surf in one week, because I already did well bodyboarding, and in a month I was doing turns and surfing medium sized waves.

    It’s not brain surgery, even girls learn can it quickly if they want.

    To answer your existential doubt about Bodyboarding, he reason many thousands of extremely talented kids in amazing places like Tahiti, Hawaii, Australia, Reunion, the Canary Islands, etc. decide to make it their main craft (although most of the good bodyboarders like surfing a lot) is because it allows them to ride the heaviest waves there are on the planet on a daily basis and launch out of mental sections to mind blowing rotations.

    It’s a rush that you don’t get riding waves any other way. What’s NOT to get about it I ask to you an all the haters??!

    I don’t want to take the focus out of what is being discussed here, which is foreigners being respectful of other surf spots and cultures, like Tahiti.

    The thing is, for many riders outside the US, Bodyboarding is their number one passion and they dedicate their lives to it, and if some arrogant surfers keep perpetuating this kind of disrespect for the humble sport of Bodyboarding, they are going to offend many local riders in these countries.

    Just do me a favor. As one guy say earlier: try boogieboarding in a couple of heavy waves. Just try to make some barrels and hit a few lips. Then come back and tell us if it’s easier than surfing.

    See you in the surf @Mik, no hard feelings.


  • newesmyrnaburna

    wow i surf and even more so think this is stupid, surfers are so narrowminded, who gives a damn about anything else but respect , what happened happened , as stated two wrongs dont make a right, but if you preach LOCALS THIS … AND LOCALS THAT , WE HAWAII BOYZ ARE SO AMPED UP ON ROIDS, DONT GET OFFENDED PLEASE IM SURE YOU CAN HANDLE THIS….RESPECT LOCALS AS YOU SAY! issue is respect and none was given , i can say one thing on this post, the homeboys are respectful and talk about respect , while most surfers on here outside the surf spot just shit on them , get a FEN life you morons go surf or something

  • geoff mcandrews

    ok lets get this out in the open. david paid $$$ to this sapinus local named dediea tea sin??????? sorry can’t spell his name but whatever. That is the guy who drove the ski that is the guy who allowed this to happen. why is now one blaming him. without him or someone like him this would not have happened.