STAB ISSUE 73, 2014
All Those Juvenile Regrets
After four-and-a-half weeks of deliberate loafing, this magazine was completed and duly shipped off to the mostly Buddhist (but not Jehovas Witness or Unified Church for both religions are banned) staff in Singapore, an island nation just north of the equator.
Jehovas are banned in Singapore ‘cause they ain’t into the obligatory military service or saluting that ascendant little country’s waxing crescent moon flag. But we love the Jehovas! The Unified Church are loons, of course, a 60-year-old cult founded by Sun Myung Moon whose playlist includes a jam on the Jews being annihilated in World War II for their part in the crucifixion of Jay-Z Christ.
Phew. Y’still with me? Despite the preamble, this magazine is, mostly, about surfing, not fringe religion, so let’s wet our feet in the so-called editorial pool.
Our major profile this issue is with Mason Ho from Hawaii. How many times can we make reference to “Hawaiian royalty” in one magazine? Very occasional Stab contributor Tetsuhiko Endo is the writer of this piece, and it is a written piece, and not the laziest of Question-Answer interviews that we usually serve. Mr Endo, who is Japanese-American in case the name piques your curiosity regarding the writer’s ethnicity, rides in Mason’s truck, visits his childhood hideout and talks drugs, fighting, his famous dad and uncle and his feisty sister. Insightful? Hold out your bowl while I cut off a slice.
“Playing dumb is an expression Mason uses to refer to things he doesn’t really want to think about,” writes Endo. “He will play dumb if there is someone on a wave when he wants to drop in. He played dumb when he realised Coco was dating someone but hadn’t told him yet. He still likes to ‘play dumb’ when he thinks about the death of his friend and hero Andy Irons. ‘I still tell myself that maybe he really did have a weird sinus or a heart thing,’ he says.”
When a swell was seen heading toward Panama, Stab staff photographer Tom Carey sent a telegram asking whom he should take. We responded with the names Alex Knost, Ford Archbold and Andrew Doheny. But mostly Alex, we said. Does that make us predictable and a little sad or bold visionaries? Our sycophancy paid dividends when an email interview with Alex was delivered. I asked about his close friend Ford and he wrote, “He’s going to be broke one day because he’s more than giving to anyone of his friends. Even a bum gets a pocketful from Ford. Actually last night we went to a Pink Floyd laser show, we took a cab, then Ford invited the cab driver to the show. He paid for the 60-year-old dude’s ticket and everything. He’s really into camaraderie and finds the competitive crowds in the line up unsettling and overall brashness in the surf world unsettling. He loves laughing and beer and weed and Pink Floyd and his little sister and Kiss.” The Panama spread has nine pages of Alex, as well as his words. So many heterogeneous qualities!
Taj Burrow, meanwhile, comes in strong in the first quarter of the magazine housed within the department What I Think. What do you think, little champion? Perennial top-five performer? Let’s talk killin’ sharks, a warmish potato in WA at the mo.
“First of all,” says Taj, “I don’t think culling is the appropriate word for it. We fish everything that is in the ocean and I don’t really see why it’s any different for the great white. We rape the ocean already and because none of these creatures have ever been caught it’s out of balance. So I don’t think it should be called culling. We fish everything else so what’s the difference.”
So many buttons to invoke! Of course, everyone will interpret Taj’s comments as incendiary, as obscenities. Personally, I rather like it.