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The Confession Box, with Chris Malloy

Stab magazine was re-attracted to Chris Malloy, the eldest of the Malloy bro’s, because of an online advertisement his multi-media biz Farm League made for Gerber knives. Ice that boar! Conquer that mountain! Phew! Chris Malloy straddles so many mediums: documentary films, personal expression films, performance films, commercials that look like film. And, he writes, surfs and climbs! Let’s climb ourselves! Let’s climb into his Confession Box!

Interview by Derek Rielly.

STAB: In an earlier communique, you told me you “whimpered like a little gal at Himalayas”, the big-wave left at Haleiwa. Is this true? Did you really whimper?
Chris Malloy: Well, a couple weeks ago I shipped the family over to the North Shore to catch a few waves before the circus shows up. Didn’t even check the swell forecast. I roll down to Kohl Christensen’s for a beer and the next thing you know we’re loading 9’6’’s into the truck. We check a secret spot and it’s solid but the buoys are like 17-17 (17 feet at 17 seconds) so its guaranteed going to be closing out by dark. So, the session went great but the next morning it’s still coming up, buoys still jumping. Mind you, I’m fresh off the boat after the worst summer ever in California. I paddle out with Keone Watson and Ross Williams to another secret spot. It’s really good but the sets are hitting and closing out. I get mopped up three sets in a row. Just clobbered. I didn’t actually whimper like a little girl but I think if I had the breath and the energy to, I probably would have.

How do you think you differ from other men? Um, maybe penis length?

What do you struggle with on a day-to-day basis? Nicotine. I chew tobacco and it’s the dumbest habit in the world. Nothing good about it.

What do you consider the bravest thing you’ve ever done? Shit, I think brave means when you do sketchy stuff for other people, right? All the sketchy shit I’ve done was pretty much for myself.

Are there any movies that you’d like to make, or have tried to make, but have found impossible? I’d love to tell Todd Chesser’s story someday, but Hollywood always fucks up surfing even if surfers are involved. They just did Jay’s story (Santa Cruz’s Jay Moriarity) and it seems pretty cheeseball from what I’ve seen. If I fucked up Todd’s story he’d come back from hell and haunt me for the rest of my life. He’d come back and piss on me while I slept. He used to love to do that.

Can you describe what you believe is the current cultural state of surfing? It’s whatever you want it to be. Surfing has pretty much become everyone’s and we cant do shit about that. I think it’s kinda silly to whinge about “how it used to be or that the other guys aren’t doing it right or that they don’t do it for the right reasons.” Yeah, its clear that there is some ridiculous stuff happening in surf culture but it’s also clear to me that theres some amazing new board designs out there to ride and waves to surf and there are some mind-blowing young surfers out there to witness. I’ve got friends that fish for a living and surf secret spots by themselves. When I’m with them on the boat there is no talk of anything other than fish and waves and maybe beer. I learn more from them about the current state of surf culture than the internet or our stoic surf scribes that cry on their keyboards as they lament the death of surfing.

Does this please, sadden or excite you? I’m saddened by crowds, but I’ve made a bunch of surfs films, that hasn’t helped, so fuck me, I’ve contributed to that and I have to live with that.

Now, tell me, what’s your finest childhood memory? When you camped on the beach, in a teepee, for an entire summer? Those were pretty good days. My Dad would help us set up his old canvas range teepee on the beach at the start of summer. He or my mom would come by in the evenings when he got off from his construction job and bring us food and firewood. Then they would go home for the night. It was pretty much a full set up. We’d just surf and chase girls and swipe beer from other campers. The rangers hated us.

What has been the biggest mistake you’ve ever made? We rolled a truck four times on the North Shore, I think, in 96. My back has never been the same since. Stupid. Big cliff on the other side of the road. If we had rolled the other way it’d been lights out, for sure.

What has been the greatest moment of your life? From 1990 until around 2001.

Chris Malloy has a post-pro tour body of work like nothing seen before or since. From the finest of surf films (Shelter, A Brokedown Melody) to the most evocative of advertising (Gerber Knives, Ford), Chris takes his craft very seriously. Treasure this guy.

What was the most life-changing thing you’ve ever experienced? When I was 10 years old my sister was born blind, deaf and with cerebral palsy. Dad was working full-time and mom had three small boys to deal with so I ended up being a nurse to my sister a lot of the time. It really sucked but I think that’s part of the reason I’m always moving. I think I’m still trying to catch up for those times I missed outside.

Have you ever felt like you truly hated someone? Yeah, for sure, but it just takes so much goddamn energy to hate people that I just sort of tried to give it up. Dan got into a fight at the beach a few years back (with a meth-head surfer) and right as he knocked the guy on his ass the guy’s mate came from behind and king hit Dan. The guy he knocked on the ground got back up and they double-teamed him pretty bad. For a week after that I was at that beach looking for those guys. I really wanted to kill them. I was miserable with hate that week. Then, one morning I woke up and just said, man, you gotta snap out of this! But, I wont lie, I hope those two stay on the meth and that they end up giving blowjobs to score their next fix.

In an interview, you once said, and you were referring to the perceived saintly nature of you and your brothers, “We get wasted and we get in bar fights and we do stupid things.” Do you, or did you, really get into bar fights? I don’t think any of us have been in a scrap in a few years. Shit, with all this jiujitsu out there you never know who’s going to choke you out. I’m afraid of old ladies these days! We were never into fighting. But, yeah, we had fun in a scrap here and there. And, yeah, I remember that interview. The guy was trying to build us up to be something we weren’t. So i just told him that fact so that he’d shut up. Over the years, we had good manners on the road and while we lived in Hawaii. It just seemed silly to get stupid when you’re in these amazing places surfing good waves. But, yeah, at home, over the years, we won a few and we lost a few. It’s hard to grow up in a giant Irish family and not have that side to you. There’s a little gem of Danny boy on the internet. Look up “surf rage” on Youtube.

What is the general provocation for a fight? It’s always different and usually not worth it the next day.

Do you have tactics? Our only tactic was to end up on top. It worked a few times.

Have you ever thought, hoo!, I’ve bitten off more than I can chew here? Oh yeah. I was in a restaurant in Waikiki with this girl I really liked. A Canadian hockey team walked in and one of them just started feeling her up. Right there in front of me! I was out-numbered but it drove me crazy. I jumped on the guy and got him good, three or four times with a beer mug. The rest of the team beat the shit out of me. I woke up in a cop car. The next week I was in G-land and my ribs were so sore I could barely surf. Perfect Speedies and I’m in the channel wincing. Another lesson learned.

In the same interview, you said that when you were sponsored you were like a “trained seal. Don’t say too much and everything will be fine.” Did you really feel that confined? We grew up cleaning Al Merrick’s shaping bay and we never thought we’d get the chance to surf for a living. So when that chance came we pretty much did what we were told. It was either make the surf deal work or drive a tractor.The surf industry was booming and we got swept up in it all. We were dumb kids. I don’t blame anyone. We should have understood that there was and is a lot of bullshit involved with the gig.

Did you really take a giant pay cut to go from Hurley to Patagonia? Can you explain the difference as a percentage? And, what lifestyle changes did you have to make to bring up the slack? Yeah, sure, we gave up about half our income. But, come on, no violin music here. Hurley was going one direction and we were going the other. Bob is one of the best people I’ve ever met and he helped us a ton. But, we were just on a different path and if we had stayed it would have been bad for both of us. Bob saw that as well and we left on good terms. And, how did I bring up the slack? For a while when I first got married and moved back to my home town I got my commercial fishing licence and also worked on a pack string hauling gear into the back country on horseback. I’d come home after two days smelling like horses or fish and always like beer and with 200 bucks to show for it. My wife helped me recognise that I should probably see if I could make a run with my film experience instead.

Chris Malloy has a post-pro tour body of work like nothing seen before or since. From the finest of surf films (Shelter, A Brokedown Melody) to the most evocative of advertising (Gerber Knives, Ford), Chris takes his craft very seriously. Treasure this guy.

What’s the best story you tell? We feed our kids beef, pork, chicken and venison. Sometimes they get picky but since I know they love chicken, I always tell them we are having chicken for dinner. Regardless of what’s on the table, they’ll eat it if they think it’s chicken. So, they start thinking that all meat is chicken. So, I take my four-year-old son Luke out on his first wild boar hunt. We get a nice one. He walks out to it, thanks it and says, “Dad! lets get the skin off this hog because I’m hungry and theres a lot of chicken here!”

Have you ever truly believed that you were about to die? At Chopes in the early days when we still called it Kumbaya. Mind you, this is years before Laird and the crew had towed it and showed the world it was possible to live through. Me and Keone Watson and Noah Johnson and Shaun Briley would go down every summer and sleep on Raimana’s grandma’s floor. We’d surf it six to maybe eight feet. I’d never seen it hit that size when it turns into the Chopes we know today. So I eat shit on a wave that, at the time, was big Chopes and I come up and I see my first real Chopes wave. It looked like a backless train, like something I’d never seen before in my life. I went to swim for the bottom but the bottom was right there! I remember thinking, what is that fucking thing? What was that? No shit, I thought it was a tsunami or something. I’m for sure dead right now! It blew me into the lagoon and I’m looking out watching the next three waves detonate on the reef and I’m just thinking to myself, we’re not in Kansas anymore!

When you lie in bed, at night, alone in the dark, what do you think about? I pretty much always hit the bed sleeping. But, if for some reason I don’t, it’s usually Beyonce.

What were your childhood dreams? I wanted to be a bronco rider like my uncles and cousins. But, I always got bucked off and I got stepped on so many times, so I traded dirt for water. I was in King City watching my dad in a rodeo and one of the guys got a bull horn in the groin and bled to death and then my cousin broke his neck riding bucking horses and it just didn’t look that fun to me after that. Then, I saw an article about Derrick Doerner surfing big Waimea and it changed my life. I was 15 and that day I decided I’d move to Hawaii and try to earn an invite into the Eddie Aikau. I’ve never felt like a competitive surfer but that was a big honour and I’m really proud to have gotten to surf Waimea, meet the Aikau family and surf in Eddie’s contest.

What is your biggest fear? Oh shit. More car wrecks.

What is your key, you believe, to a good life? Live outside as much as you can. In the water or in the hills. Live with your friends and family. Just do the stuff you want to do. Figure out how to make a living doing what you love and try to do it with integrity. Even if it takes you some time to figure out.

We sure love us some craftsmen. If you’re a MODERN CRAFTSMEN like Chris, click here and JUMP OVER to Ketel one’s MOdern Craft Project. WE’D LOVE TO SEE Your Work. AND, YOU COULD WIN $100K.

  • Reality

    He apparently cannot trim beard hair

  • tina

    that was a good read, thanks Stab

  • 77


  • corner shop

    that was kind of weird and flat ….

    where’s the epic footage of him ripping at some northern cal. mysto spot ?
    Or bareback bronco riding ?
    Was there a purpose other than to promote crackassmen ?

    • corner shop


      Funny … i’ve never thought of chris malloy as an epic, legend ….

      I would classify someone like Eddie Aikau as an actual epic, legend
      … not chris malloy. Guess i m just an uninformed idiot.

      Yep …. OK ……. chis malloy is an epic legend …

      who knew …. i feel so much better now.


  • Duuuuuude

    Thank you stab

  • hog

    fucking legend.. almost the first legit article youve posted in a long time. im not blind though, you probably took a huge paycheck from patagonia to post it

  • cheers

    Yep. Good read, honest guy, proper journalism. Wouldn’t mind seeing more of it.


    GREAT read! thansk boys!

  • 805

    That was rad

  • Bravo

    More of this kind of content please!

  • Orlo

    Best Ever.

  • Hulian

    Just saw Occys heat, it was great.

  • I’ll get me drums

    more of this stuff please stab! great read

  • yeahguy

    Sounds like a good, honest dude who loves his family and surfing. Respect.

  • spitball

    Chris has always been solid, always will be.

  • Karl L.


    Chis …….. Malloy
    that beard is so uber-hip ….. I must also cultivate one.
    Then maybe I might one day be as uber-hip as Chis …….. Malloy.

    Chis …….. Malloy his name is whispered in hushed tones at
    the hippest hang-outs in London, Paris, and New York.

    Chis …….. Malloy


  • I love heroes of today

    They are the good guys! You notice his brother was assaulted by a drug addict, a filthy drug addict, but he knocked him out, only to see the filthy drug addict’s friend coming from behind, of course, from behind! Those filthy fiends. In case someone didn’t understand, it means there are good guys (like those surfing gentlemen) and really bad guys (like those coward drug addits). Lord help me.

  • I love heroes of today

    “We grew up cleaning Al Merrick’s shaping bay”

    How many people actually cleaned this guy’s shop? Giving the number of interviews telling me exactly the same sentencer, I’d figure it’s really clean in there…

    “Me and Keone Watson and Noah Johnson and Shaun Briley would go down every summer and sleep on Raimana’s grandma’s floor.”

    I hope it was for cleaning the floor…

  • Bonga

    Al merrick is a smart mofo. Pays all his cleaners with surfboards.

  • Jim

    Was that the best read ever on stab????

  • Thimmy

    Stab, I’ll give you my story, for free!
    I grew up with my mom, dad went away when I was little. Me and my 6 brothers and sisters were very close together, and we helped mummy a lot. At the same time, we were bad boys and girls, of course, selling drugs, fighting, having fun, getting pregnant…But of course, at the same time, I was cleaning the floor of the local shaper, of course! He was my first sponsor, you know, and he was so kind and great and giving us boards…But we need for sure to stole other boards, of course!
    Then I travelled with very good friends, I had so much experience, everywhere, sleeping on the floor of various grandmother around the world. Eventully, I ended up on the couch, because I began the QS series, you know, I grew up for sure…
    And then I marry my longtime girlfriend, she is some kind of a pro champ, or a surfing model, you know, she’s so good at surfing, so kind, and all this, and we had a baby, and he eats, drinks, fart, you name it…
    And now I’m launching my underwear/swimwear/surfwear/sportswear brand, something really epic, of course, something you never ever really saw somewhere else, like swimsuit that are designed to fit your butt, Tshirts with my 2 years old kid drawing on it, and shirts with nothing written on them. I’m a normal guy, and I don’t want to be admired.

  • one eyed jack

    link to surf rage clip anyone?

  • nicholas

    Chris is solid as… True stand up guy and a gentleman. The world needs more people like this.

  • truth

    dan malloy , could have been top 5 surfer in the world.
    who was not supporting him?
    this whole eco patagonia business is tried, dusty, and boring. the whole grow a garden and make your own fuel and live off the grid is fruitcake and nutty. Tired of the whole granola beard niche in surfing. These guys, rasta, and donovan … the whole hippie surfer niche. Cowards of reality.

  • Surf RAGE!!!
  • stil

    Best read in ages!..Well done Stab!

  • chico

    i thought he was a bit of a know. this little article makes me like him more. more stuff like this stab please.
    “rasta – coward of reality?” – i dunno about that mate. his surfing video segments are pretty much the best shit out there. i don’t give a toss about boardshorts made out of recycled bottles, but you can’t go past his mad speed, flow and railwork

  • Tim

    Great read. Thanks Stab! And yes like many others are saying here === more of this kind of writing/journalism.

  • Magnum

    This isn’t journalism ffs.

  • Bret Howard

    The guys can bar fight with the best of em and charge harder than most of you arm-chair quarterbacking faggots!!!! These guys always man up, the question is ‘Can You’???? If you can’t, keep growing your spineless shit talking hairy virgin vaginas!!! MAD RESPECT to the MALLOY BROTHERS!!!! :)

  • adrian

    dont personally know chris, but I can tell you that both Dan and Keith are good guys.

  • trewf

    Keith was surfing better than 99% of the CT in his prime.
    Dan could have been a world title contender.
    I cannot stand the fact that they didn’t do the competition route. Guys like Rasta, Craig Anderson, Chippa..etc. would be interesting to see competing.

    • blue bay


      blah blah blah blah ….
      yep my gran daddy was a cattle wrestler and he once killed a grizzly with
      only a pocket knife, up in AK. Everyone said he could a been a contender
      for world champ, or at least one of the top five best competitive surfers in the world.
      But, he was just too wild and free for organized competitions.
      Damn, such a disappointment. But, he did have time to make millions with his
      organic, fruit juice business and everyone loved him. He was a hero to so many.

      Lots of … could a, would a, should a bull shit going on hear.
      Some people are very talented at crafting their own story for all to consume.
      Others simply live their life and actually stay away from media and
      the spotlight all together ….. so many people use words to try to convince us
      of their identities instead of simply letting their actions define them.


      • realist

        bullshit. wasted talent being called out for what it is… wasted talent.

      • conrad

        Its *here, not hear, you jerk off know it all…

  • jim @gggggg

    truth is back with his crap in toe

  • truth (the original )

    truth does not avocate cocks like comment 25

  • L8drop

    Any negative comments all come down to BEARD ENVY !
    ( which is likely similar to cock envy… but I wouldn’t know about that )

    That fuckin thing that Chris is sportin shows his mad commitment
    to the true art of growing facial hair.
    I give him massive respect just for that.

    I know my wife wouldn’t let me near the fuckin bedroom
    with somethin like that on my face.
    Yes indeed …. full respect for Chris’s mad beard !

    • reality

      quit kissing their asses. they would turn the other cheek if you came near “their presence”

      • conrad

        you obviously dont know shit bro…so shut the fuck up

  • The Gay Surfer

    I luv the feel of a man’s thick beard pressed against my cockles.

  • richard Fitzwell

    dan keith chris malloy dan reynolds dave rastovich craig anderson makua brad girlack rob machado all three gadaskas brothers koa smith taj burrow= overpaid overated journey men at best. I cant believe sponsors pay these guys $

    • I bet you know all the pros, hey Yank?

      Well they’ve obviously made an impact on you, Richard, so I guess they’re doing their job.

  • J

    Chris Malloy will always be a Babe.

  • jack

    i’ve known the malloy brothers for years. they’ve carefully manufactured every part of their personas. nothing about the malloys is genuine or organic. first they were pros, then photo guys, then pseudo rangers, then soul guys, and now… cowboys? their act is so laughable. selling this shit to the masses might work, but those of us who know them are all cringing. bottom line, they’ve been spoiled rich kids their whole lives. enough with the stories about sweeping out al’s shaping room or camping for 3 months. chris, you’re a chameleon, not a cowboy or a hunter. you’ve spent your whole life trying to pretend you’re something that you’re not, i doubt you even know who you really are.

    • conrad

      you sound like such an dumbass…manufactured personas? So someone with a lot of interests and and hobbies is a chameleon? So the Malloy brothers never like you cause youre a sissy little bitch who hides behind a computer and casts negative insults at people trying to have fun living their lives to the fullest. This is America jerkoff, you can be anything you want, you dont have to pretend. Chris Malloy makes more money than you bullshit about and he lives in a house in the middle of nowhere where he works as a ranch hand, because thats what make him happy. Actually, whats your name badass? If you know the malloys, tell me who you are pussy. Maybe, the next article will be about how the malloys kicked the shit out of a pussy that just talks shit over the internet. So come on Jack, whats your last name…its probably “off” so grow some balls or shut the fuck up.

  • hahahaha
  • truth


  • rcastanette

    sounds like a guy,interesting but still a guy!

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