Mike Tyson, Jamie Foxx & Oscar Langburne Walk Into A Bar
How a 19 year old freesurfer from Newy found himself eating lobster with the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time.
Editors note: This interview took place yesterday. Minor parts have been edited for clarities’ sake. Words by Oscar Langburne.
I’d just gotten back from a trip to Mexico, fried from surfing eight hours a day and Pat (Tenore) invited me to stay at his place in Costa Mesa.
We’ve mostly just been hanging around the HQ, which has been awesome. The headquarters itself is a massive industrial space filled with art – it’s incredible. The culture Pat has built at RVCA is insane, I feel like a large part of that is the space itself. You have fighters, surfers, skaters and creatives around each other which makes for a lot of cool crossover. There is that ‘family’ feel to it, as cliche as that may sound. So often in surfing you can feel that divide where some people think they are the shit and above others. Not here.
Anyhows, Pat has been really good to me. Like going out of his way to make sure I felt welcome. Two nights ago he goes to me, ‘Hey, want to come out for dinner? We’re going to a restaurant in downtown LA.’ Of course, I accept. I’d never been to LA before and driving through Beverly Hills and seeing the contrast between the different neighborhoods in LA is wild. It’s day and night.
So we arrive at this restaurant downtown and it’s hectic. It’s a nice place and we walk up a couple of flights of stairs to reach the VIP area. The host leads us to our table and sitting there is Mike Tyson. I’m shell shocked, to say the least.
Mike gets up to greet Pat and then makes his way over to me. ‘Hey, I’m Mike,” he says, “Are you nervous?”. “Of course I’m nervous,” I reply. He laughs and sits down. For the next four hours we talk and eat. Appetizers, seafood of every variety and finally, this mental donut wheel for dessert – on the house of course (being Iron Mike has some perks).
Obviously, this whole scene is surreal and I feel super out of place. What is a surfer kid from Australia doing sitting at a table with Mike Tyson? Pat, being the legend he is, fills in the blanks and tells them that I’m a team surfer visiting from Aus for the first time. I don’t want to harp on about Pat, but the way he can read a room and bring people together is one of the most impressive takeaways from this whole trip.
When asked, Mike indulged questions about his past. He spoke at length about how at one point, he had three tigers living in his house. One of which slept in his bed with him. I just thought that was just some crazy made up shit I’d seen in the Hangover. But surprisingly, he actually seemed reluctant to talk about himself unless prompted, preferring to ask others what they were up to. He asked me about where I lived, the biggest wave I’d surfed, the places I traveled to and so on. It was super intimidating at first but the fact he was so open and forthcoming about his own past, disarmed.
Mid-way through Jamie Foxx turns up and pulls up a chair. We exchange pleasantries and then he starts pitching Mike a movie idea for the next forty minutes. He was very complimentary towards Mike, talking about his past accomplishments, his legacy and the rest of it. When he finishes gushing Mike responds, “I’m just passing through.”
At the end of dinner a woman walks over to the table and asks if it’s okay to get a photo with Mike. Next minute, the entire restaurant, all the staff, chef, patrons, everyone, comes over and asks to do the same. I’ve seen plenty of pro surfers get pestered for autographs and photos over the years, this blew anything I’d seen out of the water. That guy is a global superstar, and yet he had time for everyone. It was cool that he seemed like a genuine person in spite of the surreal life he’s lead.
Thanks Pat. I’ll take this one to the grave.
Be Yourself and Have Fun
An Interview with Jaleesa Vincent on her new film, 'Macaroni in the Pot'
Can Proper Surf Instruction Mitigate Chaos In The Water?
Here's why you need certification to earn the title "surf instructor" in 80 different countries.
No Contest Off Tour Heads To Thumping Fiji
Inside: Julian describes the mongo Cloudbreak milieu and AG does a Kava cooking course.
“I Always Had A Mega Chip On My Shoulder”
UnSound Surf's Mike Nelson and Dave Juan have been the backbone of New York surfing…
Unlocked: Leonardo Fioravanti’s Stab Edit Of The Year Entry
Watch 'The Cut' now, and baffle at the quality of both the waves and the…
The Pro Surfer Who Filmed A War Documentary In Ukraine
Damien Castera's got a story to tell.
Honest Review(s): O’Neill Hyperfreak Fire
Pushing the Limits of Wetsuit Tech for Men & Women
How Much Would You Pay For A Session Like This?
A cost-per-vision breakdown of Kian Martin and Tai Buddha's latest strike mission.
Ongoing Dialogue: Jack Freestone And Album’s Matt Parker On How They Get Sparks To Fly
"Nowadays, a standard thruster feels pretty alt to me." -Jack
Davo’s Death Strikes At Surfing’s Core
The underground icon battled demons til the end. His untimely demise is yet another cautionary…
Introducing A Brand New Travel Series (With A Familiar Name)
Watch the first New York episode of Stab & Red Bull's No Contest Off Tour.
Leandro Dora: Pro Surfer, Businessman, Punk Rock Festival Organizer, Spiritual Mentor, And World Title Winning Surf Coach
Meet one of the most beloved and effective individuals in the athlete's zone.
Long Read: An Angel At My Table
From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…
Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance
A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.