Stab Magazine | Koa Smith foam party! mainland Mexico (but it ain’t Puerto!)

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Koa Smith foam party! mainland Mexico (but it ain’t Puerto!)

“All you gotta do is die if you wanna fly,” wrote Jack Kerouac once upon a time. But this ain’t Icarus! This is Koa Smith, 17, from Kauai’s North Shore, dallying inside a 10-foot tube on a foam board, thoughtfully provided by his sponsor Catch Surf. Koa, y’see, was in Mex with his pals, chasing […]

full frame // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

“All you gotta do is die if you wanna fly,” wrote Jack Kerouac once upon a time. But this ain’t Icarus! This is Koa Smith, 17, from Kauai’s North Shore, dallying inside a 10-foot tube on a foam board, thoughtfully provided by his sponsor Catch Surf.

Koa, y’see, was in Mex with his pals, chasing a swell that peaked at 15-to-20 and, considering he’s an ambassador for the American soft board manufacturer, figured he’d light up their lives by stepping-off into a monster tube on their seven-o Odysea model. The promotional literature describes it thus: “More is better when it comes to having fun and the LOG delivers! In true Odysea form, the LOG has a classic look and feel with mega-float performance so you can shred with ease and style.”

Koa describes the wave. “I stepped off that thing, went to grab the inside rail and the thing boxed out and spreadeagled me. So obliterated! So heavy! But, surprisingly, I came up after a couple of twirls.”

But, ain’t that just Mexico? He describes being inside one monster, not on the soft board but on one of his tow clubs, and all of sudden, too deep and “before I could jump, I nose-dived or slipped off, slid down the lip, the lip hit me and I did three somersaults before I hit a drop of water. I was in this huge cavern and… three somersaults, man! I hit so hard on my back I got the air knocked out of me. Luckily, I had a life jacket right there!”

Koa likes step-offs in monster beachbreaks for its reductionist properties, making it a game between man and tube rather than dealing with the preliminaries of paddling in with a nine-foot mega-gun.

“It’s a whole different rush. When you’re paddling, half the rush is the drop and if you make the barrel it’s a double win. With step-off, you get on the wave so early positioning is everything. You gotta make sure you’re not deep, then you gotta survive all the breathing sections and then you gotta get outta there. So many times I got a 15-footer and the thing would pinch so hard and… oh my god… I would get so… pounded.” – Derek Rielly

This is from Stab issue 60, which you can buy digitally, right now, over here.

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