A little espresso. A small bottle of Mexican cola. And away we went. Kolohe hobbled into the brand new Zebra House Café in San Clemente with me last week. He wore Oakleys and they dangled from a pair of Croakies. He had on one sandle and he was on crutches. His left foot in a massive boot black boot. It looked serious.
And while we spoke on the obvious, Kolohe and I gabbed on many things. He is still revved up about the Mentawai boat trip for Dear Suburbia that he went on with Dane, Taj, Evan G. and Freestone. Some large things went down. He’s also doing some competing but it looks as though that is on hold for a few months. Then there’s his new infatuation with photography. We spoke to all of this one afternoon, at a checkerboard table at this Zebra House Café. Kolohe on the Mexican Cola, myself on espresso. —travis
Travis: When did you get so psyched on this? [I’ve helped him carry a massive new Hasselblad into the small café and it’s resting on the table between us.]
Kolohe: What, shooting?
Shoot, I don’t know. I’m just psyched that there’s no right or wrong, and you can do whatever.
I never learned that, and I think that’s why I was so over it, or I was always too intimidated, because people were like, "You have to learn all this and do this." But really, it’s like when you get the pictures back, if they look cool, then cool.
If you think they’re cool, then they’re cool.
It’s so crazy, like Nate, and Dion, and Craig and Blake and Dane and you and John John and everyone have just been sending us photos and shooting them all on film cameras. Nate shot more film than I’ve ever seen. We spent a lot of money just developing film for the first issue. That’s crazy. And film takes so much time to work on.
I think it’s cool to go through it, even though it’s a pain in the ass.
That’s what I mean; it’s like what we do all day. Instead of just going over to the machine and being like, “OK, slideshow, yeah that’s sick, that’s sick…” We are so into it. Like so into it. Can I ask you about your foot so I don’t have to ask you ever again?
I did an air, like a backhand…[a truck pulls up outside full of San Clemente guys, Kolohe scopes them out.]
Are those “the boys?”
No, I was just seeing if I knew them, but anyway, I did a backhand full rotation, and landed in the flats.
Yeah, like right on the shore. I just landed weird, my foot was kind of going like that [gestures with his shin moving over his ankle], and it bent over like that. I guess it’s an injury basketball players get a lot. Ligaments involved, no broken bones.
How were the waves?
It was shoulder-high, sickest wedges on the shore. Hey, so is the next issue as sick?
Well we have Indo, and a few other trips. There's probably more you.
Sick, are you guys going to do every two months?
No it’s quarterly, so every three months. In September Issue Two will come out.
It will be good timing, people will be ready for some fresh stuff of you by then.
And I’ll be back in the water.
You’ll be psyched.
So only four a year? They’re super big. Look how steezy these chicks are. [A few cute girls walk up to the café.]
You know what’s funny, every time I have lunch with a surfer, like I had lunch with Dillon one time like this in Malibu, and I swear to God, every steezy person who came in, he would just get so uncomfortable, like he would have to say hi to some of them, and he would be like “I’m just intimidated, they’re so far ahead of me, like why…”
He’s not wearing Croakies or anything, but…who’s making those by the way? Or are you just finding them at liquor stores?
Big 5, so convenient. Because these shades won’t stay on my head since I shaved my head, so when I try to move around they fall off. Before, I could hold them like a headband you know.
Now they just slide off the back.
But I’ve always wanted these, it just kind of gave me a reason.
This espresso is working. It psyches me up in a different way than like a full coffee, it hits you immediately.
Like mid sip [laughs], its like ZAHH! You actually drink it and sweat comes…
No, it’s not that bad, if you drink a whole coffee, and the whole thing overtakes your body.
Coffee breath, instant yellow teeth.
It’s just really strong. So what’s your career situation?
Like can I get back in the water?
Is it serious? What’s going on? Talk to me dude.
It’s pretty bad.
I know that girl, see her in the window? [Points to a girl in the Zebra House Café drive-thru.]
There is a drive-thru here? Is this new?
Yeah, it’s the shit right?
I wish it would have been here when I worked here, and didn’t have anywhere to go hang out.
Oh yeah, you would cruise here, they have like little art gallery shows, and bands play. It’s pretty rad. They have an alcohol license. Crack phones. Dude I want to go to Japan so bad.
No, I know, this is the time of year. I looked yesterday, and I was texting Yadin like, “Aww man, it’s that time of year, I’m twitching.” I just want to go feel the warmth.
[A girl walks in and looks as though she’s seen a ghost. She’d really just seen Kolohe’s camera and really liked it.]
Smitten girl: That camera is so rad! Sorry.
I thought you saw a ghost.
[Three guys walk in.]
Hey how are you?
Random coffee shop guy: Hey how are you doing? I heard about your ankle man, bummer.
Yeah. No worries. Good vibes.
Random coffee shop guy: What did you do exactly?
Tried a backside air and landed in the flats. And little girls were taking pictures of me and all these girls were like, “Oh my God, Kolohe got stung by a stingray and he’s crying!” It’s OK, no biggie.
Random coffee shop guy: Are you going to be ready for Chopes?
I don’t think so. Thank God. [laughs]