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Monday, January 13, 2014

On Hats and skateboarding

Skateboarding without a mesh trucker cap is like doing a kabuki theater performance without a mask.
I was at the skate park today and didn't have any of my usual attire. My skating suffered.

Kind of like playing football without a helmet.

Saturday, November 30, 2013


A few weeks ago my favorite surfer of all time passed.
Today I postponed a camping trip to paddle out with over a hundred of his friends and family.
I paddled out on my twin fin and my wife on the long board with our son.
It was a beautiful experience.
In the process we got to meet a lot of kind people, like Kiki, Christian Hosoi's cousin, and Mark Liddell. It was my first funeral/paddle out.
If I die, I want my ashes to go dumped at my home break Suicides right by Graveyards on the South Shore of  Oahu, and for all my friends and family barbecue and surf all day. Hopefully there'll be waves. It is also my goal to give back to the community with my art. My representations of the how the ocean makes me feel.
So glad I went.
Thank you for showing so many people the way on how to get so stoked, including myself.

Friday, November 15, 2013

My First Big Wave Experience.

I'm not sure if I'm exaggerating, but today I paddled out to waves the size of two story houses, apparently smaller than yesterday when we lost a brother. RIP.

It was 10-12 ft Hawaiian scale waves, or 20-25 ft faces. Thanks to my friend Alex for lending me the appropriate gear. 8'6" (probably a little under gunned, it didn't look as big from shore),
and a floatation vest. I am yet to ask him what size he claims it was. For all I know I'm exaggerating.
All I know they were the largest waves I've ever paddled out to.

I had the opportunity to make a couple, but this one uncle kept taking my thunder, and blowing it. I gladly gave them up. I believed I could make it, and when the wave came to me that I thought I would catch, I'd say to myself "I"m gonna get this BITCH" But maybe I should of approached it like, "May I have the Honor?"- Been a little more cordial to the beast.

I almost scraped into an elegant mean one, one of the larger set waves.  Maybe it was better  that I didn't make it. I was at the top of the lip and thought I was in. Alex gave me a tip that I didn't follow, which was to keep paddling down the face of the wave before you drop in. I was at the top of the lip.  I could of sworn I was in. The lip grazed my whole body and board, like a tap to a baby's bottom or a mild slap on the cheek. Then I thought for sure I was going over the falls and was ready for the pounding of my life, but somehow I miraculously slipped out the back.

I was happy enough to see what I saw-

It was like some Danny Way Mega Ramp shit but a little scarier because waves move and march towards you, and are in a constant mega morphing form, that you have to decipher and coordinate with.  And if you wipe out hard you can go under where its difficult to find you. The ambulance can't just roll up and scrape you up off the floor. They'd have to risk their own life to find you.

My friend Alex was owning it out there. Handling Solid. He is an ex rugby player and built for taking hard hits. He reminds me of my brother Bob. Dudes with BIG BALLS. I was stoked to see him shine out there. Thanks bro for being my guide.

Easily larger than a one story house. and more like the size of a row of three two story houses rolling your way and looking larger in the distance, but maybe I'm exaggerating. Alex, if your out there,
What do you think?

The site is burnt in my memory- a beautiful nightmare,  probably the most sublime experience I've had yetf to date.

I'm not gonna lie, I didn't make it into one of the large ones. I was thankful to scrape into one about half the size.

I may not ever surf that size ever again. I don't have the total desire. Although it was thrill, I have more fun surfing 4-6 ft Hawaiian, or 10-15ft faces and smaller- Good clean fun.
Better yet, my favorite size is 3-4 ft Hawaiian.

-Manny Aloha signing off.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Collage of Thoughts

Please sit through the monotonous intro to this song, wait for the lyrics to kick in and start reading.

Aloha Party Peoples. I'm truthfully a lost soul but blessed none the less, most of us are. One of the biggest blessings I have beyond my radical family, is my radical friends. I owe it to all of them for showing me the way. I have taken what they have shared with me and become a leader on my good days. A leader of Good times. And a follower of my homies when I need them to lead.

Thank God.
My wife too. She'll lead the way when it comes time to create a routine to brush my boy's teeth every night. And I'll take the lead when it comes time to surf, skate or create.... 

Then sometimes we turn up the music and have a dance party all together.

That's how I met my wife. Her dancing caught my eye.

The other day I was skating home from the skatepark after work and saw some cassette tapes in the trash. I picked up the one that said "Success with Positive Mental Attitude." It talked about how in order to succeed in anything, you need to have self-discipline blah blah... Actually there was some very cool words in that roll of audio tape. But more interesting are the thoughts that arose the early morning after. 

It was 4:30 am and I woke up thinking about how the cool thing about skateboarding, surfing, art, climbing, snowboarding, learning, is that passion can drive self-discipline, so you don't even feel like your disciplining yourself.

When kids ask me, how do you ollie (one of the most basic tricks in skateboarding)? If you really want to learn it, try it a hundred times and then talk to me. If you don't get it then, then try it another hundred times. Heck thats what I did.  If your like me and not my brother Bob who learns physical feats in day, your like most people who try and try again. Once you learn, then you'll learn what it means to be "STOKED"

The cool thing about young passion is that if you are lucky to have a passion for something at a young age and no one to stop you from delving into your passion, you will likely get good it. When you're young, without adult obligations, you have all the time in the world.

If there was one thing I benefitted from when my mother and father divorced, was that during my teen years they were involved raising their newborn children from their new marriages. They let me do as I please and unknowingly developed a practice routine for skateboarding which went as follows, "Dkate every day after school before doing homework. Most kids would probably have those two priorities switched around. Not I. Thank God I had a deep desire to skateboard.. Thank God they instilled in me some good values. 

Thank God. Now that I come to think about it, I was a pretty mean kid. Just ask my friends from my neighborhood on Amundsen Lane. Some how I'd like to think that I turned out to be a respectable and kind human being.

Yeah so the cool thing about passion and self discipline, is that passion can replace self-discipline, or make self discipline a breeze. That was my interesting discovery after listening to that tape I found in the trash.

Unfortunately when I lived in Brooklyn I was passionate about NYC Night Life. I was really good at it. But thankfully I realized that the rock star life style is a dead end street. Thankfully my passion for surfing was greater than my passion to party hard.

I'd rather continue seeing the world.. So here I am on the island of Oahu writing to you and sharing whatever I can scrape from this soul.

Posted below is the final IN4MATION ad that went to print in Flux Magazine Fall 2013 Issue, a Hawaii Arts and Culture Magazine. Stoked on it. 

Time to catch some Zs.
-Manny Aloha

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Best Moments of Summer 2013 so far

Picking Mangos with Danny Chambers
Eating the most mangoes I've ever eaten in my entire life
Discovering what the Hawaiian Slang term Choke meant while choking on a mango

Surfed my favorite surf break by myself on a Big Windy Day of Double UPS
I turned into a sea creature.

Wrote an article for about Nimbus Skates.
Interested to see how it comes out.

shooting a skate ad for IN4MATION with John Hook
Basically, I eyed a tree stump hump for like 6 months always imagining to blast an ollie off it.
I did it one day with wifey Marisa watching.
I called my favorite photographer John Hook to find him stoked to take the shot.
we met out there at 8am on Sunday Morning and got the first shot which I pitched to Jun of IN4MATION. He was stoked on it Jun gave me a bunch of shirts and we went back and shot my first skate ad with me in it for first time in all my 32 years of skateboarding.
The other photo is a sneak peak of the ad I have yet to see. 
(I'll post it the day it comes out.)

The only bummer is that I bought the Gonz deck to do the ollie and I was skating in my neighborhood yesterday and cracked it. In all my 30+ years of skateboarding, I have only cracked one deck and that was a Kelly Rosecrans. I am in the process of requesting a replacement from the shop. Wish me luck.
I spent my hard earned cash and paid full price for that deck.

Thats it for now.
-Manny Aloha

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Mangoes, Waves and Quality Peoples

Dear friends and family. I've poured a glass of wine at 1am to sit and write some words off the top of my head.

Days have been rad and lovely. Summer in the Northern Hemisphere brings out good feelings- fertility. Summer in Hawaii brings choke mangoes and choke waves on the Southern Shores. In Hawaii, if you didn't guess, choke means a lot. I have been blessed to have neighbors that share their mangoes.  No one family could eat all the mangoes off a bountiful tree. It would make them sick. 
One average size mango tree can supply many mouths with the delicious fruit and if you have a tree and don't share, then that means, a lot of wasted mangoes.

I live on the South Shore. My favorite thing to do these days is surf, and my favorite fruit in the whole world is the mango. So life is good.

But what is more important to most? Making a dollar bill and having high quality things. I do love riding my aunts convertable BMW on Sunset Blvd, but I do also love going for a bike ride with my homeboy Danny and a fruit picker, hunting for mangoes. Or waking up at the crack of dawn to surf a board I made from a broken longboard I found in the trash. 

What I love even more is surfing my home break with a big crowd of people and knowing exactly where to sit in the ocean for the wave to come right to me, and not to them. Knowing what exact board to ride that will best suit the wave condition, and thus provide me with the most fun and intimate  play with my favorite wave. 
I love surfing without my leash and becoming one with my board on a sunny day with glassy crystal clear water. 

I love putting the ocean water in my mouth and squirting it out.

While sitting in a crowd of surfers, I love shooting my board out to the horizon toward the incoming set and swimming under water to my board to emerge and mount my board just in time to catch the wave that comes right to me. Drop in and fly down the line carving with the attitude of Johnny Depp in the Hunter S. Thompson movie Fear and Loathing, Saying "Awhhh YEAH". Then sitting inside waiting for my homey Johnny E. to catch his last wave so we can paddle in and discuss where we want to get a cup of coffee and talk about art and design.

Its 2am and I'm fading. Time to catch some Zs.
-Manny Aloha Signing off.