Unlocked: Rolo Montes (Officially) Joins Octopus Team, Contends For Stab Edit Of The Year
If you hate mid-lengths and/or acoustic guitars, you will adore this.
In the first episode of Stab Highway California, presented by Monster Energy, Rolando Montes surfed Ocean Beach, San Francisco for 30 minutes in nothing but boardies on a frigid springtime day.
Not bad for a kid from the tropics — but Rolo didn’t make much of a fuss about it. As Stab Highway continued, the series shined a light on the Puerto Rican’s easygoing ways. However, we never really got to see how those mild manners juxtapose his ballistic tendencies in the water.
That changes today, as we launch Rolo’s Octopus Welcome To The Team clip and Stab Edit Of The Year entry.
Rolo — who’s baptism you may recall from Dane Reynolds’ Glad You Scored — is now among the ranks of Chippa Wilson, Harry Bryant, Mikey February, Dylan Graves, Dion Agius, and Nate Tyler on team Octo.
Without fail, Octopus’ videos commence with a bang. In Rolo’s case, it opens with footage of his viral shark encounter from 2021. From there, it’s all high-energy thrashing that will leave you scrambling to find the biggest air section your ligaments may or may not be able to tolerate.
And how about the versatility?
Rolstie looks just as adept at Super Sucks as he does doing straight airs in Ventura. With aggressive surfing and music to match, it’s an edit well worth bookmarking and keeping in your rolodex of pre-surf fire-starters.
Read on for an interview with Octopus’s latest globe trotter.
Stab: Rolo, congrats on the new video part. How long have you been working on this?
Rolo: The first sessions from the clip are from the past two years at home, and the second bit is from Indonesia last summer (2021) while filming with Carlo (Coral) which took about two months.
Can you explain that shark encounter at the start of the clip?
I was surfing about five minutes from where I live on the west side of the island. It was a really good, clean day and then this 10-foot hammerhead came at me. I had a friend filming and he somehow got it on tape. He posted it on Instagram and it just ended up on the news. I just paddled in, but it came up pretty close. I guess they’re common in Puerto Rico but I’ve never seen one before.
Can you give some background about yourself?
For the past few years, I’ve been traveling a bunch. I used to spend a bunch of the winter at home then a month in Hawaii, then go to Mexico or Indo. But before that, I grew up surfing with my dad and cousins in San Juan, which is the capital of Puerto Rico. Then I started going to Mexico in the summers starting in 2014. I’m lucky enough to travel more than half the year. I was just in Indo for four months and I got home about five days ago.
How has growing up in Puerto Rico shaped your surfing?
With the waves in Puerto Rico? We have reef breaks and slabs, lefts, rights, rippable waves, air waves, and everything in between. It’s definitely shaped me into the (well-rounded) surfer I am today.
How tight are you with the Ventura crew? Seems like you guys had a good time in Glad You Scored.
I met Eithan (Osborn) and Mickey (Clarke) in Hawaii in 2017. I just became friends with both of them and started going to Ventura to stay with them. Met Hunter (Martinez) and Dane (Reynolds) and all the boys from there. Everyone is super cool over there, and they can come over and stay at my place in Puerto Rico.
Were you filming these clips with the intent to make your Octopus part?
For the Indo stuff, yes. I got a little budget and went with Carlo, he filmed with me and we basically stayed in the same room as me for two months in Sumbawa. But all the other stuff I just had them in hard drives.
How were you involved in the editing process?
I sent a rough draft that I made early on, then Matt (Payne) sent me the closer version. We went back and forth a few times, but then it was all Matt. I loved it, I’m so stoked on it and how it came out.
How does it feel to have a part alongside Chippa Wilson, Harry Bryant and Nate Tyler?
It feels awesome because I really look up to those guys a lot. Being able to have a video next to theirs feels pretty sick.
How mental were those waves at Super Sucks?
That was when Carlo and I were staying in Sumbawa for so long. It was when Bali went into lockdown, so nobody could really move around and get to Supers. We got lucky on two swells. Those were good times. That wave is just psycho.
Have you surfed heavy lefts like that before?
Not really. I mean Desert Point, but that’s a bit different. This is just more hollow, and there’s no room for anything else besides getting barreled. That wave is pretty unique.
Get any island fever during your time out there?
Those two months in the same room with Carlo and my other friend Brad Flora, who also has a Stab Edit Of The Year entry, were good times. But it got heavy. We got into arguments, just weird stuff. It was fun though. I got really close with those guys.
Anything else on your mind?
I just want to thank Carlo for filming for so long and the countless hours spent on the beach. And of course my sponsors, Octopus, Quiksilver, and Channel Islands. And a big thanks to Joe G and Matt. I think they absolutely nailed this edit.
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