Four Coco Ho Stories Courtesy Of Her Big Brother, Mason
"Coco got on it, and the first thing she did was pull the throttle. Like, she just gassed the thing!"
Coco is seriously the dream sister.
She’s so inspiring. I always dreaded the day where she would get old enough to start liking guys. You know, how some sisters will hook up with your friend’s best friends, or whatever. She never did that. She was so into her school and so into her surfing that early on boys weren’t really a thing to her, at least as far as I could tell. She’s been with her first boyfriend ever since they got together—haha like, just the dream.
Seriously though, growing up we were kind of opposites. I was just this punk little kid and she was always studying and going to bed early. My earliest memories are just of her tagging along and supporting me.
Just being like, “I love you, Mason.”
If I lost in a contest, she’d be so upset at the judges. I’m about two and half years older than Coco, so I’d be like 10 and she’d be this fired up little seven-year-old yelling at people saying how I should’ve won.
As we got older, but were still young, I was always running amuck. We’d go to the Turtle Bay pool and she’d help me and my friends get girls. Like she’d go around the pool and sing to the girls about how me and my friends were cool, and the girls would come hang, then she would run off and surf, and be all proud that she helped her brother and his friends get girls. It was super funny.
Growing up, everyone was always coming over and hanging. In high school, we’d all be having beers and being loud and she’d be yelling at us from the other room, at like eight o’clock, because she was trying to go to bed. She was like a mom, she’d yell at Dad too if he was keeping her up. She was honestly just this little angel. But she was always a tomboy. She could surf and hang with the boys and run around with my little pack, and then she had her like booky, school friends. We were always together. She’s just seriously the best little sister ever.
I could go on forever with stories about Coco, but here are four definitely worth telling.
"And Coco was just like, 'Nah, I don’t even care. I don’t even want to win; it’s not about winning, I just want to surf it with you guys. I want to do contests too!'"
That time she “beat” the boys in her first surf contest.
One time we were at Turtle Bay for a surf contest. It was the first contest she ever did. There were two 13U divisions: 1A and 2A. The 2A division was for the kids that were better, like me and Dusty Payne surfed those. Then there was the 1A which was a step below.
Coco showed up with me and Dad and she wanted to do the contest. Then, girls surfing wasn’t a thing in contests yet; they didn’t have a division. She really wanted to surf the 13-and-under 1A division. Coco kept saying how much she wanted to do the contest and me and my Dad were like, “Coco, you’d have to do the 1A division, and they’re going to beat you.”
And Coco was just like, “Nah, I don’t even care. I don’t even want to win; it’s not about winning, I just want to surf it with you guys. I want to do contests too!”
Me and my dad were like, “Woah, okay, that’s pretty cool.”
So, we got her into the 1A division for her first contest. I think only five kids entered so they were just going to have one heat, a 6 person final. We were all sitting there and Coco was getting ready and she was sooo excited. Like, so stoked to do her first contest. I walked Coco down the beach to the beach marshall to check in for her heat; she didn’t have a clue what to do so, I was like, “Okay, you check in here, you get your jersey here.”
My uncle was the beach marshall, and he was like, “Oh, Coco! I seen your name in the contest, yeah. You’re goin’ to surf against the boys?”
Coco was all proud, like, “Yeah, yeah, I’m gonna surf!”
He goes, “Oh okay, well make sure you give these boys a beating.”
So all six of them were standing on the beach, waiting to get their jerseys. And, right after he said that, haha, I swear on my life this is true! She just turned and literally kicked one of my friends in the balls! Then at the same time, like right after the kick, she threw a punch and just blasts my other friend in the chin. She ended up dropping my two friends to the floor. And then Coco looked at the three other kids and went to run at them and they all took off.
Then everyone started losing it!
My two friends who got hit were kind of playing it off, they’re pretty funny. Like the one who got kicked was skidding around in circles on the sand, pushing his feet and spinning out on his side, like you see in the movies.
Then my uncle goes, “Woah! Woah, Coco! I never meant like that!”
Coco was like, “Oh. Okay.” Then she all cute and innocent she just goes. “I’m sorry guys.” She thought that was like how you started a surf comp or something. It was classic!
"She was honestly just this little angel."
That time she almost died on a dirt bike.
This is the gnarliest story. Okay, so when we were young, we’d surf but we didn’t really like surfing. Like there was too much surfing going on around the house so we weren’t thinking that we wanted to be pro surfers or anything yet. But we did want to be professional dirt bikers. My dad and my uncle were super into dirt biking, so we’d go camping up at the motocross track every weekend.
Then, I had been dirt biking for about a year and Coco would always wanted to dirt bike too. But my dad would be like, “No, no. Not yet. Just ride your bicycle in the mud and put on your dirt bike helmet.” And Coco would do it and think she was dirt biking.
My dad ended up getting me and Coco motorcycles. Like these tiny little dirt bikes. I was like 10, so Coco must’ve been seven. I remember she had this huge helmet. Like it looked so big on her tiny little head.
So at the track there was this berm, like the space where dirt bikers turn off; it was huge. Like over 10 feet tall. And we thought, okay, it’s probably the safest place to start her. So my dad got her on her bike and aimed her towards the berm and explained to Coco where the gas and brake were. Saying, “Okay, Coco barely pull on the gas, okay?”
Coco got on it, and the first thing she did was pull the throttle. Like, she just gassed the thing! And you know how when you gas it on a motorcycle the velocity will pull you back. Her hand got stuck on the throttle. She didn’t have the composure to push forward and let off the gas; she just held on and started fucking flying! She went so fast into this berm, and went straight up and off it. It shot her up and over. She went like ten feet over the berm, she must’ve been like 20 feet in the air. She just punted it.
It was so gnarly! Behind the berm was a junkyard with abandoned cars, old bicycles, grungy dirt bike parts. We thought for sure she died, or broke her neck or something. We ran over, and my uncle GP was with us. We were all yelling “COCO!”
She was just in the middle of all these crazy sharp metal poles and somehow she’d missed them. And then we just heard this little voice go, “I’m okay!”
Seriously, I don’t know how she didn’t kill herself. She went like 20 feet in the air. It was heavy. I wonder her side of that story nowadays. Haha, but yeah, she was gnarly. Like if I was dirt biking, she had to dirt bike too.
"I remember she’d be like, "I’m going to this party," and I’d be like, okay cool, I’m not going there."
Those times I sent Burger to keep an eye on her at the party.
The first couple of times Coco started going out and stuff, I didn’t even want to be around it. I remember she’d be like, "I’m going to this party," and I’d be like, okay cool, I’m not going there. The North Shore is so small, and if it’s a party that everyone is going to, it’s the biggest party on the North Shore. I wouldn’t want to go because I knew that if I went and some guy looked at Coco wrong next to me I would just blast them. I was still on ...Lost then, so like it wouldn’t be a big deal if I knocked someone. You can’t really do that shit now, or at least, I can't.
But Burger would always go to the parties, and I’d have him keep an eye out for me because I really didn’t want to end up getting into a fight with some competitor or company staff member or something.
There were a couple times when I wouldn’t go to the party and all the sudden Burger would be in my room at like 3 in the morning. He’d come home and tell me stories, like, “Yeah man, this guy was fucking with Coco and I just blasted him!”
I’d be like, “What? No!”
He’d be like, “No, no. This guy was trying to get with Coco. So I blasted him for you, bra.”
I’d be like, “Yeah, Burger! That’s actually pretty funny,” and give him a high five. Then be like, “Okay, now get the fuck out of my room, it’s like 3 am and I’m sleeping. I’ve got a little Triple Crown Contest tomorrow morning.”
"Then I’d go down there, and all the sudden I’d get a call or a text that says, 'Me and Dad are coming.'"
That time she got a bomb at Backdoor.
When Coco was really young, she was super into big surf and shit. I don’t know if she was just dumb still and didn’t know what she was doing, but she’d always end up at like huge Sunset or something. She’d be this little girl on this tiny board at giant Sunset just because my friends were going there.
She had a lot of friends that were boys growing up, like there’s not too many girls on the North Shore that got down the way Coco did. And, if you’re a boy growing up on the North Shore there are a few things you gotta check off your list. When you’re a kid you’ll end up surfing 6-8 ft sunset when you’re ten. Then you got to paddle out at Pipe. Then you got to skate this one curb. And drop in on the sketchy part of the ghetto quarter pipe and stuff. Coco was always there doing it with the boys. Like she’d eat shit on the quarter pipe and get up and do it again. She’d go take a beating at Sunset. There were a couple times where I didn’t even want to go out because it was so big. Then I’d see Coco out, and be like, Fuck, I gotta go surf that now…
Then she started traveling and doing the tour, so she started surfing whatever waves were on the tour. And surfing more high performance. Like for years, she showed up over a month early to the Gold Coast to train for Snapper because she did that one year and did good. So, she figured that’s how she would do good again the next year.
But in the past two years, I’ve noticed she’s been asking me a bunch about Backdoor. We’ll wake up and she’ll be like, “Mason, how’s Backdoor today?”
And I’ll be like, “Woah, it’s really gnarly today Coco.”
“Gnarly like I can go out? Or like too gnarly?”
“Like it’s too gnarly.”
Then I’d go down there, and all the sudden I’d get a call or a text that says, “Me and Dad are coming.”
This last year, she surprised me a few times. She went out this one day, she didn’t get any clips or anything but it was fucking big and psycho. I honestly didn’t want her out there. But I didn’t want to tell her no and like throw the curveball on her. Especially because she wanted it.
A little bit after that she got that gnarly Backdoor wave. Earlier I was giving her a talk. I was saying that honestly, you don’t really even have to put in any time out there, well you do a bit. But like if you go out and you really want one of these, the boys will clear the waters and get you into a bomb. When she got that one, I was running down to the beach because she said she was going out with Dad. And I was like, fuck, it’s kind of gnarly. It was one of those days where it’s not like big but not small. Those days there are the scariest. Like the day Dusty got hurt.
So I thought, fuck, I gotta paddle out so there’s one more person to help supervise. I ran down and I was waxing my board and watched her get a little right. Then right as I got in the water, boom! She strolled into a fucking bomb! She just pulled in and it spit around her. And then she was all happy and she just came straight in, psyching. We were all happy, just hugging each other and laughing and I was telling her she should get back out there and get another one. Because at Backdoor you get on a roll.
But she didn’t want to.
I tried one more time to get her back out. And she’s was like, “Fuck that! One and done.”
I was like, “Oh my god, you sound just like Dad!”