The Last Crusade: A Limited Edition Hardcover Worth Your Attention
A behind the scenes tell-all of Kolohe Andino’s COVID opus, “Reckless Isolation.”
All photos by Nate Lawrence
During the height of the United States’ COVID lockdown, Kolohe Andino, Luke Davis, the Colapinto bros, and Ian Crane were somehow in the Mentawai Islands on a near month-long boat trip. They were celebrated and chastised by both sides of the pandemic divide, but they couldn’t care less. They were scoring.
In an era when Ments trips often feel overrun with traveling surfers, the crew found themselves in unblemished perfection without a boat in sight. It was just the five of them, Nate Lawrence (photog), Jacob Vanderwork (film guy), Scotty Hammonds (another film guy), Dino (Kolohe’s pops), Cpt. Ricky (er, Captain), and Pete Matthews (Bali-based ex-pat). The footage from the trip became Reckless Isolation, which they toured it around the US to great fanfare. Reckless Isolation won the 2021 film of the year, as voted by some of the most influential names in surf, in our Stab Surfer of the Year poll.
The film that came was largely the what of the trip — five best friends surfing their brains out in the Indian Ocean, or as Ian Crane put it, “It was like a houseboat family reunion trip with our weird Colapinto cousins.” The limited edition The Last Crusade, is a peek behind the curtain of one of the greatest modern strike missions. When Stab found out they were in the Ments, we were scratching our heads. In a travel era defined by restrictions and stay at home orders, these five were out in the middle of the Indian Ocean, abandoning their beer for ice cream and coca-cola, surfing for eight hours a day, and documenting the whole thing. They barred all surf media and kept it DL, other than a photo Pete posted on Instagram, which we may have reposted…
As Pete Matthews wrote in The Last Crusade, “When Stab immediately stole that photo of mine and posted it, here we all are, standing in front of a goddamn Mentawai boat like the Seven Dwarfs on the way to work…and well…
The haters were immediate.
Dino came to me right away. Pete, don’t say nothing about nothing to fuckin’ nobody! No Beach Grit or Stab or Surfline or whoever. Nobody post nothing. Don’t do that, dude. Shut the fuck up. That’s the rule. We got a good deal here. Let’s not fuck this thing up.“
The book — written by Matt George, Lewis Samuels, Derek Rielly, Travis Ferre — gets into the how of it all: how Dino wired $14K to a man in Indo who could get them the correct visas; how Pete Matthews, owner of the famed White Monkey Surf Shop at Pandang Padang and the primary narrator of the story, ran off with a Tinder date’s blender in the name of bullet coffees; how Luke Davis waits for and almost always gets the wave of the day; Griff’s dual goofball on land, surf assassin in the water personality; the beer bong that all of Florida and Crane shared a few days before the trip; Kolohe and Dino’s relationship and careers in their own words; fine storytelling, photography, illustrations and, much more.
As Matt Biolos writes in the foreword book that he himself produced:
“In the summer of 2020, when the entire planet was on lockdown and freedoms were restricted to limits never seen outside of war time, while most of us were hiding in our homes and sanitizing our groceries, Kolohe Andino and four of his closest friends risked everything and embarked on a surf trip for the ages.
A rally against repression. A Crusade.
In the face of relentless logistic, social, and political roadblocks, they were the first international surfers to enter Indonesia, just in time for a relentless run of swell. They were rewarded for their audacity with some of the best surf ever seen in the Mentawai Islands.
This book, a companion to Kolohe’s forthcoming film Reckless Isolation is the photographic documentation of that trip.
The Last Crusade.”
You watched the film, now you can read the book. Pick one up in a surf shop near you, or order online, here.
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