“The Log Was In Two With A Halfway Decapitated Nose” - Stab Mag
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Remains of a Ricardo Garcia hand-shaped log.

“The Log Was In Two With A Halfway Decapitated Nose”

An American Airlines true crime story.

news // May 10, 2022
Words by Coral McDuffee
Reading Time: 2 minutes

This morning, we woke up to the graphic video of Mahina Akaka’s mutilated longboard at the hands of American Airlines. The story is unsettling, and hits too close to home for all traveling surfers, as this type of quiver destruction seemed to be a reoccurring calamity just a few years ago. 

In 2016, John John Florence paid JetBlue $500 for a reconfiguration of his Pyzel quiver. In one of the most uniting moments of the global surf community, everyone from Sydney to Sao Paulo banded together on social media demanding reparations for the soon-to-be world champ’s damaged craft. 

About a year later, Alex Gray received $3,500 from American Airlines after four of his five boards were broken cleanly in half. There were several similar incidents in a short time frame. 

Lately things have seemed to improve. We’ve seen less of these board-bashing incidents on IG, and several airlines* — AA included — have taken steps to welcome surfers on their flights by dropping excess baggage fees for boards. We appreciate that. 

But this morning, American Airlines broke that sacred bond. 

Today, we chatted with lifestyle model and logger Mahina Akaka about what happened to her beloved Ricardo Garcia log. 

Mahina was flying back to San Diego from Puerto Rico where she was part of a surf, fish, and lifestyle shoot with Salty Crew womens, when her board bag came out of the carousel obliterated. When Mahina opened her coffin, things only got worse. The scene was straight out of a Ted Bundy tape. 

“It was a mangled mess. The log was in two with a halfway decapitated nose, and the board bag was just fucked. The craziest thing is my board — or what was left of my board — was facing the opposite direction. The nose was by the tail.” 

Mahina says that the log, which was hand-shaped by Ricardo Garcia in Ensenada, Mexico, was her first board that really worked. She even rode it in her competitive debut at The Mexi Log Fest this past April.  

Her last dance. Photo: Yoshi Tanaka

“A few years ago I was introduced to logging, but I didn’t really love it until I found this board. I know it’s cliche to say, but it’s the magic stick.” 

Sadly, her Garcia log has faced a level of destruction that no amount of resin can fix. 

Mahina has contacted the airline and sent over the requested receipts. Unfortunately, she can’t afford the time to sit in limbo as she will be taking off for Australia tomorrow, sans magic board. 

*In the US, American Air, Virgin, Delta, and Alaska Air all fly board bags for the same cost of a normal piece of luggage. United doesn’t charge extra for boards on flights to and from California, but they do when you’re flying to/from anywhere else. Jet Blue always charges extra, as do Spirit, Hawaiian, and most others.

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