Stab Magazine | Must See: Mason Ho Boogies All Over The North Shore On Tiny Mayhem Fishies
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Must See: Mason Ho Boogies All Over The North Shore On Tiny Mayhem Fishies

“The fish makes you sit in the pit.” – Mason Ho

cinema // Jan 3, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The day Stab arrived on the North Shore, we immediately checked in with our favorite wild-eyed ambassador of aloha, Mason Ho, for a surf and scene report. There was fresh north swell in the water, Pipe was starting to clean up, but it was still pretty big. 

“I’m paddling out at Backdoor on my fish!” Mason said. 

A few minutes later, while scrambling to get fins in personal boards, and fighting bitterly over the only bar of Fu, Sam Moody texted us a screen grab of Mason streaking through a cerulean cylinder across the Backdoor bowl. 

IMG 2766

Photography

Sam Moody.

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Local ear-lowerer, Martin, giving Mace his “Pipe Masters Cut.”

Photography

Sam Moody.

At the beginning of the winter, Mayhem whipped up a few of his new Round Nose Fish Retros for Mason and his Pops, Mike—tiny, fun boards to make the most out of the North Shore season, and for Mason to go bananas on at all his weird little novelty wedges. 

Walking into Matt’s San Clemente office last month, Mayhem sat us down and played a few clips Rory Pringle had sent over that day, of Mason hooking into proper Sunset teepees on an orange fish. 

“That’s a 5’2″,” Matt said. “That’s his dad’s board.”

The surfing Mace was doing on the tiny little winged, double-sidecut quad was revelatory, as thoroughly impressive as any of Cory or Andy’s performances at Waimea Shorebreak, or Rockpiles and Rockies, on the iconic 5’5″ 19 1/4. 

Here’s Mason on grabbing his RNF Retro, regardless:

“I usually like to ride a fish or something really, really small, when I want to practice my position. How do I explain it?

At a place like Sunset, I usually love riding my bigger board and just running away from never really getting caught inside—doing the older guy theory, catch the wave at Point A and ride it to Point C, kick out, then go all the way wide back out to the top.

Then you don’t use too much energy and can surf as long as you can.

But sometimes I get this urge to ride the tiniest board I can possibly I ride out there…because everyone else is on a really long one. So I’ll ride a small one just to get on the opposite side of every one.

There’s something so fun about not being able to run away. When I’m on that fish or anything under 6’ at Sunset, you notice that when you position yourself you have to sit more inside than you usually want, which is already a little scary. I’m not the super gnarly fucking charger that’s ready to get caught inside all the time. I like to sit a little outside, be safe and runaway.

But the fish makes me sit in the pit. Then when the bombs come I can’t really run, I have to sit there, so it’s kind of teaching me how to sit and stay calm when you want to run.

Eventually you learn that you don’t have to run and the wave will be right in the perfect spot. Then, when you do get back on your bigger board, you’re way more ballsy out there. You’re so much more calm. You’re not running any more. You’re just sitting there waiting. You learn the lineup more on a smaller board.

It’s a workout. Everyone’s trains around here and they’re in their gyms and shit, so I just figure, fuck yeah, a 5’2”! I’m just going to paddle harder than every trainer guy around here. I’m training today. That’s my theory.

The climax of riding the small board is that once you stand-up on one of those big waves you’re just fucking flying. It’s easy to maneuver. There’s no better feeling. I always thought that if you can paddle into the wave, you’re set. I try to tell myself that I can ride anything on the wave, but catching them is the trick. But with the fish, you ain’t running nowhere…”

“The climax of riding the small board is that once you stand-up on one of those big waves you’re just fucking flying.” – Mason Ho. Photo by Sam Moody.

You can check out the Round Nose Fish Retro in Mayhem’s myriad constructions and composites, here. 

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