Do you think Mason Ho or Kolohe Andino will win the Mocha Rip Curl Pro in Portugal? I do!
I can’t imagine what put me in this, how shall I phrase it… spiritual state. I was busy moving the amyl nitrate ampoules away from my bedside table, arranging various books and magazines in their place and away from judging eyes, when I had a moment of extreme clarity, a mental projection.
It was this: either Kolohe Andino, the coquettish Californian WCT surfer (the reluctant cuckolder of disc jockeys) or Mason Ho, Rip Curl’s recent-ish signing, would win the Moche Rip Curl Pro in Portugal.
For Kolohe, he is presently unencumbered by any expectation and just one week ago, easily beat Kelly Slater in France, despite Kelly’s Machiavellian tactics. There is no anxiety, no discomfort in Kolohe’s game. He is generous even when he’s on the skids and when on the ascendancy, he is confident without appearing puerile.
Press play on the clip below to see what Kolohe can do in Portugal when he has complete confidence and an irresistible desire to succeed.
Mason Ho, on the other hand, could blow the lid off a steaming plate. He didn’t freeze at the Rip Curl Pro at Bells, his first wildcard of the year, and beat the current world number Mick Fanning and the recently retired Fred Pattachia Jr.
I immediately summoned Mason Ho in Portugal to discuss. Mason preferred email to a phone call on the pretence that, “I’m afraid what I’d tell you about getting the wildcard. I’m feeling super confident!”
And so I asked, in written form:
BeachGrit: Do nerves strike you? Are you nervous? Can you describe how you feel inside?
Mason: I play dumb to nerves. They kinda excite me. I’m excited.
BeachGrit: What’s it like to surf in a WCT event? I get all squeeze-y in the chest when I surf a local contest. What it’s like to surf against, say, Mick Fanning? Does your heart beat fast?
Mason: Everything seems slow motion. Comp mode around a WCT is fun.
BeachGrit: What was your experience like at Bells?
Mason: It was a really cool experience and I’m super stoked I got to do that. THANK you Rip Curl! Although I wasn’t toooooo stoked on my performance.
BeachGrit: I thought you’d freeze in a CT, you were marvellous. How’d y’stay so cool?
Mason: Magic mint tea.
BeachGrit: Tell me about Portugal? You got some empty tubs, yeah?
Mason: Yeah, the waves were firrrrring this morning. I was baffled. Didn’t see one person the whole time on the beach or in the water. I came with my pops and friend Rory Pringle about five days ago and we’ve been having a blast.
BeachGrit: What’s the strategy for this contest? What’s your game?
Mason: Good boards, good wave selection, half show, half business