My Philosophy With Coco Ho
On dating, surfing, drugs, social media, travel, men and our modern climate!
Surfing is a very special culture and lifestyle that a lot of us get to share. It’s a sport, yes, but it’s really way deeper than that. It’s one of the sports that is truly a lifestyle. Everyone that is out in the lineup genuinely loves the ocean and what they’re doing. I love that we get to share the same stoke with people of all walks of life - cause when you see others in the lineup, you know they’re out there because they love it. I always enjoyed the excitement of people I meet in the lineup talking about clips they’ve seen or the comp they just watched. That’s what makes it so special to me, seeing how much not only myself, family, friends and fellow professional surfers care about it, but seeing how much everyone who is a surfer cares about it. Surfing is deep.
Social media is huge. It’s so good and so bad. There are a lot of positives you can take from social media, and be inspired by. You can also get completely absorbed by it. That’s the unhealthy part. As soon as I start being on it too much or looking too deep into things, I just throw my phone to the side and go surfing. I also feel like today the realness in people is harder to find because of social media. Through Instagram you can create this weird facade of who you want to be, and that kills me. Back in the day, when people were really loved and praised, it was solely off their spirit and who they were. Like Andy was adored because how he treated people when they walked by and asked for autographs, or for his pure heart and passion. Besides what you saw in magazines and in surf films, there wasn’t a daily view into his life.
The saddest thing about social media is how much time it takes away from us. I look at my screentime sometimes and am like, “What else could I have gotten done during that time?” You can get so lost in it. But I think we’re all becoming more aware of that.
Hopefully, it doesn’t get any crazier than this.
"I also feel like today the realness in people is harder to find because of social media."
Family is everything. You’re a product of your environment, and your family is the first environment you’ve ever been around. They’re what’s most essential to your being. The beautiful thing about family is that it extends beyond your immediate family. You make family everywhere you go. Your friends are essentially the family you get to choose. To me, Hawaii is family. It’s your community, your neighborhood, and the Hawaiian bloodline is history. It’s they way we’re raised in Hawaii, everyone is auntie or uncle. Everyone takes care of each other’s kids and there’s so much respect taught in the Hawaiian Culture. There’s something beautiful in that, you get to choose your family, and you’re also born with a bloodline.
Men are so necessary to women, I think. I feel like the male and female brains are totally meant to be together because what the men lack, the woman has and so on. I find that so true because whenever I need my dad, my brother, my boyfriend, they satisfy that low that I’m feeling. If that makes sense… Men and women just think differently and it makes them necessary for each other to exist. I don’t want to know what a world of all men or all women would look like.
Being born and raised in a small town, and seeing what drug addiction does to families, I hate it. I hate it with all my heart. But there are different degrees. Like, you can see how marijuana has positive effects and helps people heal. It helps people with their appetites and stomachs, helps with glaucoma, cuts down the pain and effects of some serious diseases, and that’s really cool. It’s weird that marijuana is still frowned down upon, when really there should be more grief given to the pharmaceutical companies. The pharmaceutical drugs are the worst, even the recreational ones that people use and take too far. I hate to see that, it’s so damaging to the soul.
"Men and women just think differently and it makes them necessary for each other to exist. I don’t want to know what a world of all men or all women would look like."
I think there’s a very fine line with alcohol. It’s essentially a poison, so it all comes down to how you control yourself with it. I do think there’s certain bloodlines or heritages that have higher and lower tolerances. It’s one of those things that can be good, like a few drinks to relax or celebrate with some friends is nice. But it can also go so wrong. It can be a demon for sure. It all depends on what mindset you’re in and what you’re using it for.
Travel is the greatest thing ever. It allows you to endure different cultures and see other parts of the world and how they work. Traveling teaches you to have a lot of patience. It teaches you every life lesson you need to know. It is one of the most beautiful things you can do in this life, for sure. Even the mishaps of traveling strengthen you in a lot of ways. It’s so eye opening and forces you to step out of your comfort zone. It just builds character and gives you a different perspective on what might be considered normal where you are from.
It’s a great way to figure out who you are and what you’re into. It’s an essential part of life and romance. Like, it’s a way to better understand yourself and your needs. It’s heart-opening. It allows you to be comfortable with your vulnerabilities. It is funny these days, with social media and like dating apps people are essentially handpicking their partners. It’s strange that that’s become a big part of dating, like checking people’s Instagrams as if they’re resumes.
It can go so good or so bad. It’s like a poison or an addiction. And, when it goes wrong, it’s really sad to watch. But I think that fame in surfing has been nothing but good. It seems like everyone’s using their platforms for a greater good. If you look at Kelly’s or Steph’s, they’re doing a good job just like promoting positivity and a healthy lifestyle or whatever. In other industries, you see how fame can destroy people, and they don’t get to live a normal life.
We’re lucky, as surfers, that it’s not as heavy. For us, the small amount of fame we get is a perfect balance. We can have a voice and there are cool opportunities here and there, but really we get to live our lives and go to the beach and surf. I think too, it’s because we’re surfers and anyone who recognizes us is also a surfer, there’s a similar mindset. You know, like you can just say, “What’s up?” to Kelly, and not like scream and cry and have a full freak out. Occasionally, you do see or get people that freak out, and if they’re little kids it’s cute and cool to see, sometimes. But it’s usually not like that.
"My secret hobby is longboarding. I really love it. I think it just slows me down, and makes me read a wave more."
There are so many levels to religion. I am religious. I do believe parts of the Bible are written as a structure or as like a moral guide in the early times. I think it’s good to have something to believe in – to believe there’s something else, a higher power or God, or whatever you want to call it. I consider myself Christian, and I know there’s some parts in the Bible that are a bit outdated, but there’s a lot of good in it. Faith is a powerful thing. It gives a lot of people a sense of peace. It’s important.
Well, my dad’s religion is surfboards. I grew up in a house with just boys and my dad is a surfboard freak. He taught me about rockers, vee, different tails, and every configuration of fins. Because of him, I’m very aware and in tune with what I ride. I also find great joy in the fact that you can change your equipment and get different feels.
I’ve been on tour for 11 years, so riding the same model forever can get boring. Your surfing can go stale. I’m starting to really appreciate the magic of changing your surfboard. My secret hobby is longboarding. I really love it. I think it just slows me down, and makes me read a wave more. Obviously, you read the ocean a lot when you’re surfing, but when you’re longboarding you’re really focusing on timing and positioning on the wave to nose ride. Or, that's all I’m trying to do at least. It causes you to really focus. Although sometimes when I get a good wave on a longboard, the shortboarder in me takes over. One time Kelia Moniz caught me pumping a longboard down the line and she rousted me. She was like, “Coco, you never pump a longboard!”
There’s a whole different book of rules in longboarding, and that’s cool.
Style cannot be bought or studied. It’s something that’s natural and that’s why I love it; it really exploits people. I think that someone’s style in the surf mirrors their style on land. You can tell when people are working too hard on their style, and that’s my pet peeve of 2019, people trying too hard.
"Style cannot be bought or studied."