Stab Magazine | Stab’s 5 favourite Brock Little moments
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Stab’s 5 favourite Brock Little moments

Words by Tom Freed As shared on Instagram recently, legendary Hawaiian big-wave surfer and stuntman, Brock Little, has cancer. Which is horrible. Cancer kicks the shit out of people, makes them look frail, often times kills, but Brock’s a fighter and dammit, he’s had his share of face-offs with death in his time. Thus, we’re […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Words by Tom Freed

As shared on Instagram recently, legendary Hawaiian big-wave surfer and stuntman, Brock Little, has cancer. Which is horrible. Cancer kicks the shit out of people, makes them look frail, often times kills, but Brock’s a fighter and dammit, he’s had his share of face-offs with death in his time. Thus, we’re rooting for him to soldier on and survive this the same way he has survived so many situations that’ve been, frankly, death-defying. One of those surfers that guys like Shane Dorian and Kelly Slater look up to in the big-wave realm, he’s also just a hell of a human being and deserves more life.

Says Ian Walsh: “I have a signed poster from Brock from when I was about 11 or 12 years old, and all it said was: “Go Big! – Brock Little.” And growing up watching what he would do in big waves didn’t even seem real to me or my brothers. But to actually get to meet him and realise what kind of person he is and how he took the time to actually talk to me when I wanted an autograph made me almost fanatical about everything he had done in the ocean. Those simple words from him were burned into my brain forever.”

He has without a doubt paved a path for the progression of our sport in big surf. His approach and technique has inspired generations and will continue to do so. Combining his immense technical talent on a surfboard with the commitment he had in his head when the horizon goes black has helped our entire sport progress by leaps and bounds. Brock is the man. Yeah, we believe you can fight it, Brock, and here are five of your great moments that we’ve loved, which showed us all how to give it hell.

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Waimea, 1990 Eddie Aikau Invitational (above)

The photo doesn’t look real. The wave, so angry and fierce and windy and… fucking Waimea. Then 23-year-old Brock looks dwarfed, and no, he didn’t make this wave, but goddammit he tried and it was the biggest wave of the day at the event. One of those waves nobody was going on at the time. “Everyone in our contemporary group of big-wave paddle surfers looks up to Brock Little,” says Mark Healey. “His performance at that Eddie — that closeout that he air-dropped into destruction and then that tube he pulled into — it was all next-level for back then. We’re only now approaching that level today. He was so ahead of his time.”

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Waimea, 1990 Eddie Aikau Invitational

Not long after throwing himself over the ledge on the largest wave of the event—and one of the biggest waves ever paddled into at Waimea at the time – Brock deftly pulled into a barrel in the same heat. And nobody was doing that shit out there back then… but Brock. “That barrel at the Eddie…” says Mark Healey. “To this day, no one has gotten a better one out there. Even with all the progress in big wave surfing, that stands the test of time, and it was surely unprecedented back then.”

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INterview_MAgazine

Interview Magazine, 1991  (shot by Spike Jonze)

Back in 1991 (or end of 1990) former Surfer editor and current Encyclopedia of Surfing editor, Matt Warshaw, interviewed Brock Little for the very prestigious and swanky Interview Magazine. The interview was vintage Brock – bold, brash, to the point and brutally honest. Gems in it like: “It’s unfair, how much I get (paid from sponsors). It’s way more than other guys who ride big waves, and I feel sort of guilty about it. It’s not right. I shouldn’t get so much.” Like, who says that? Brock does. And the skater kid hired to shoot the portrait? Amazingly: Spike Jonze.

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Photo: Doug Acton

Brock ruling at Mavs in 2000. Photo: Doug Acton

Maverick’s, 1994

On December 23, 1994, accomplished Hawaiian big wave surfer, Mark Foo, drowned at Maverick’s. It was Mark’s first time out there, as well as Brock Little’s, who was surfing with Mark that same session. Brock and Mike Parsons actually took off on the wave right after Mark’s, not knowing that he Mark drowning. Mike even unknowingly bumped into Mark’s body underwater. Both Brock and Mike were then dragged and washed way inside and onto the rocks, the two nearly drowning themselves. Nearly. Brock’s a survivor that won, and went on to surf Maverick’s many times after.

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Brock_Little_Die_Hard

Brock, stuntman, 2007’s Live Free or Die Hard.

The Stuntman, 1998-Now

“A lot of these big-wave guys are like that,” says Mark Healey. “They’re larger than life. Brock’s a stuntman that likes to drive off-road cars and surf big waves. He’s like a Steve McQueen character. And to a boy (when I was younger) it was like, holy shit, I want to be him when I grow up.” Indeed, beyond the big waves and water safety, Brock’s an amazing stuntman. Which makes sense. The pic above’s actually him with a small cameo in 2007’s Live Free or Die Hard, but behind the scenes, Brock’s done stunts in Pearl Harbour, Tropic Thunder, Transformers, Battleship, Godzilla, and many, many others. Certainly, this larger than life daredevil –and hero of Healey’s – has got some more shifts to pull. Hollywood needs you back and well, Brock!

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And now, here’s Mason Ho: “My personal favourite Brock moment was, I don’t remember the exact year, but it was the year my dad packed the shorebreak in the Eddie. Long story short, the medics were trying to put my dad in the ambulance after the wipeout and my dad was trying to run away from them. I was so confused and freaked out, I didn’t know whether to cry or not, because all my heroes were telling me how sick it was. I didn’t pay attention to any of them because I was so scared but Brock grabbed me and gave me this look in the eye I’ll never forget it, it was like a dangerous looking smirk (or like a smirk with a little look of letting me know shit’s nuts), and told me: “It’s all good Mase, your dad just Hawaii 5-0’d it…” Then told me how crazy and strong dad is (laughs). Something about the way he looked at me and explained it made me feel better. Always loved uncle Brock more after that.”

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