Now… This: Eric Koston Gets Pinned Down At Haleiwa - Stab Mag

Now… This: Eric Koston Gets Pinned Down At Haleiwa

“I breached the water like a dolphin.”

style // Jun 13, 2021
Words by Jack Mutschler
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Surfing spread its legs, clutched the side of the hospital bed, and gave birth to skateboarding many moons ago.

Boredom on flat days led to a form of surfing that involved sidewalks, drained pools, and excessive road rash. Skateboarders since then have karate chopped the umbilical cord and rolled away from their water-based home, waiving a counter-culture flag of their own.

I recently and intentionally bumped into skateboarding mogul Eric Koston at a surf contest in Texas (this sentence would have been hilarious five years ago). Even if your skate knowledge is fuzzy, you’ve definitely seen Koston’s name before—maybe on the tongue of some Nike SB’s or while selecting a character in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 (1999). Koston was a household name for anyone with a skateboard the past twenty years, and he hasn’t speed wobbled since.

Koston even poked his head into our precious surf bubble, making appearances on surf vlogs with those entertaining Catch Surf bandits. I hit him with the hard questions to find out his intentions with our precious aquaculture.

Check out his answers below:

What’s your spirit animal? Make the noise.

How did you get into surfing?
I learned how to surf when I was 19 but was pretty off and on most of my life. My roommate and I just decided one day, we wanted to learn how to surf. We got used boards from Val Surf Shop, went down to El Porto, and taught ourselves. We would talk to people in the water for guidance and learned about etiquette the hard way. There were times we’d fuck up, and people would yell at us.

What’s more intimidating, a skatepark full of teenagers or a lineup full of teenagers?
A lineup full of teenagers is pretty rough. They’re fast, nimble, young, and energetic. At least at a skatepark, you can find a spot and get away from the crowd. Some waves only break in one spot, so you have no choice but to sit there and wait.

How come I never get a W on the SNKRS app?
Oof. If I could answer that question, I’d be rich.

Favorite podcast?
S Town, a weird murder mystery podcast. It’s interesting.

Worst surf experience?
At Haleiwa, during a hold down. I was tumbling for a while and getting dragged backwards. I was trying to relax, but there was a point where I realized I had been under for a long time and needed to get to the surface. I went down to the bottom and pushed off the reef. I breached the water like a dolphin.

How many clones of me could you take in a fight?
I don’t know, probably just two. Maybe a third if I started kicking.

Eric Koston’s worst nightmare.

Do you feel like you’re spending more time in the water now?

Yeah, my kids are the main reason. My son is super into it, and my daughter is picking it up as well. I’m glad they’re picking it up early, opposed to me trying to learn at the age of 19.

Also, for me, surfing is less taxing on the body. It depends on where you’re surfing, I guess—but I don’t paddle out on days when I think I could die.

You can only choose one for the rest of your life: surfing or skating?
Skating. I still love doing it, and it would be awesome if I could skate for the rest of my life.


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