The Stories Behind The Most Curious Instagram Names In Surf
A handle tells a thousand words.
From the vocal to the nearly dormant, there has never been such an accurate depiction of self-perception. Instagram has made the ability to speak to millions of people through a single photograph and caption possible. For most, it’s a narcissistic play to scoop attention. But famous personalities have never been more accessible. And there’s something curious in that. From passionate debate, celebrity trolling, biased wit, to the story behind one’s Instagram handle, every snippet of social media is exemplary of that individual. So, we asked a few the owners of our favourite IG handles where their names came from…
Mason Ho aka @cocom4debarrelkilla
“My sister made my account way back,” says Mase. “I would have just named it ‘BarrelKilla’ but we figured we’d put Cocomade (the 4 is an a) before just in case Instagram turned out to be for bitches. That way I could blame it on my sister if I had one. But then Insta blew up and I was too shy to change it to straight ‘BarrelKilla’.”
Noa Deane aka @ilovetables
“Well, I just didn’t want to get it so I named it something really dumb,” Noa tells us. “I chose ilovetables because it means nothing at all. Aside from the required sponsor surf posts, I post whatever is in front of me or anything funny because I feel you shouldn’t take it so seriously. After all, it’s pretty much a game that you play on a phone.”
Luke Davis aka @lukedavisthegrey
“A few years ago I coloured my hair grey,” says LD. “It was in the beginning of Instagram and I was like ‘oh I’m gonna make my Instagram @lukedavisthegrey. Some people think my last name is grey because of it. I just never changed it.”
Dylan Goodale aka @dylangoodtimes
“I don’t know if he knows this, but Kala (Alexander) came up with @dylangoodtimes while he was calling me out for partying too much,” says Dylan. “I was 21 or 22 and pretty much had been blowing it and letting partying and girls and all that take over my priorities. As you do at that age, I guess. But anyway… Steph and I were leaving Kono’s in Haleiwa one morning just as Kamalei and Kala are getting out of their car to get breakfast. We stopped to say hello and Kala just kinda gripped my hand as I shook his and said “Dylan fuckin’ Goodtimes” then told me how much I’ve been blowing it. I can’t really remember because I was scared and started thinking, “woah, am I fucking up?” Later that day I told Koa Rothman the story, still kinda tripped out. He immediately started laughing and has called me Goodtimes ever since. So, he was the first one to use it as a nickname and was the only one for about a year, but then this past year in Tahiti I was staying with Billy (Kemper) and (Danny) Fuller and that story came up. They convinced me to change my Insta handle. Now most people just refer to me as Goodtimes. I think now it’s kind of evolved from a party persona to an all-round, fun in-and-out of surfing vibe. Either way, it stuck.”
Koa Smith aka @koatree
“I actually started out on Instagram with Koasmith and ended up getting deleted,” says Mr Smith. “So I had to start from scratch. A Koa Tree is the Hawaiian tree that I was named after; I’ve always had a connection with it. The ‘Ah, hey why is your name koatree?’ question always comes up, it’s funny.”
Creed Mctaggart aka @creedencecandyxx
“Um, well I used to follow this porn star (laughs), and her name was something candyxxx,” says Creed. “I can’t really remember. But yeah, it spawned from the porn star… and now everyone calls me Candy. So I kinda nicknamed myself, which is pretty lame.”
Ryan Miller aka @badboyryry_
“I was in Bali with Carissa (Moore) a few years ago,” begins Mr Miller. “She had about eight songs on her iPod and about six of them were Rihanna. You know the drill in Bali. Everywhere takes an hour in the car so we would listen to the same soundtrack four times on the way to surf and then the same soundtrack four times on the way home. Rihanna was quite exciting on Instagram at the time and her handle is @badgalriri. Carissa started calling me Bad Boy RyRy and it stuck. The next week I went to Durban with Julian (Wilson) and he started calling me Bad Boy RyRy out of nowhere – it wasn’t connected to the Carissa trip. I figured I couldn’t fight it so I just went with Bad Boy. Now, there isn’t a single person on tour that calls me Ryan. They all refer to me as Bad Boy. I’m certain that there are a few surfers out there that have no idea what my name is, but they know ‘Bad Boy’.”
Lee Wilson aka @royalbeachbum
“I started making tees with my art on them and needed to give them a name,” says Lee. “At the time I was spending a lot of time at Kuta, where I grew up. There are a lot of tourists under umbrellas, some just in the sun, cooking, drinking beer, putting their hands up and having their empty ones exchanged. A large Bintang is like 25,000 rupiahs which is the equivalent to $2.50.
“I tripped out one day and thought to myself, ‘Man, these guys are living like royalty. Suns out, beautiful ocean breeze and waves are fun. Homeboy over here is smashing beers while his babe is getting a back rub and mani-pedi and they’re spending no more than 50 bucks.’ Then I was on my last sip of ICP (ice cold piss), put my hand up and it was exchanged in 10 seconds. And I realised I was just living like that too. So I came up with Royal Beach Bum. When I first got Instagram I just wanted it to be Lee Wilson but that was taken.
“So I thought, fuck, might as well just go with Royal Beach Bum. That way I had a name for my tees and a cool name for my gram. After all, I spend all day surfing or bumming at the beach, waiting for the tide or wind to come up and feeling blessed.”
Honourable mention, Albee Layer aka @johnjohnslater… even though now it’s @just_albee_
“My friend Tanner Hendrickson and I were just laughing about how funny it would be to do,” says Albee in relation to @johnjohnslater (RIP). “He likes to think he made it up but I’m pretty sure he said Kelly Florence and I said John John Slater, then we laughed pretty hard and decided fuck, that’s funny enough to run with – plus every time someone searches those guys I come up too (laughs).”
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