Blue Wave House Pipeline

Candid: Billabong’s Pipe House Saved Me!

Poor and living in Waialua, Rory Parker's sanity was saved, briefly, by this dazzling rental…

Many years ago, when we lived on Oahu and my wife was in law school and we were still living hand to mouth, the in-laws came out for a visit.

The wife’s dad has some bucks, so they were staying at the Blue Wave House fronting Off the Wall. Despite its absurd price, it’s not actually a very nice place. The wide-angle realtor lens photos do a terrific job of hiding how cramped and poorly built the place is, with tiny rooms and cut corners, every knob and hinge about to fail due to the heavy stress of a constant flux of temporary residents.

A quick check also shows that it’s illegally used as a short-term rental. Wonder what would happen to its value if the County started enforcing rental laws?

But, anyway, at the time we were living in a shitty apartment on the bottom floor of a subdivided house in the worst area of Waialua. Our landlady’s meth-addict son had just got out of jail, was hanging around all day, and we were more than happy to sit on the patio of the Wave House and avoid going home.

I’ve got a ton of stories from that time, but one that sticks out the most was a dispute two of our neighbors had over the ownership of a pile of bricks. They lived across the street from each other and, apparently, years before, one guy had agreed to store the pile of bricks on his property temporarily. The owner’s house was being worked on and there wasn’t room for them.

Years passed, the bricks were never used, and one day the original owner decided he wanted them back. Bricks have some value, he’d found someone who wanted to buy them.

Only, the guy storing the bricks had decided they belonged to him, as they’d been stored in his yard for many years (I never found out how many). He was therefore entitled to some, if not all, of the proceeds of their sale.

The contentious nature of the dispute caused the deal to fall through, but sparked a neighbor feud which was in full swing during our residency.

“Fuck that guy, he’s a thief.”

“Don’t believe anything he says, he’s a liar.”

Back and forth, ever escalating, until the day we got to witness the joy of pure lunacy.

Throwing bricks is hard work, and I expected them to run out of steam quickly. Both men were well into their senior years, but had that wiry laborer strength that lasts forever and so managed, bolstered by fury, to go all day long. Cursing and sweating and throwing bricks at each other, occasionally taking a break, then returning to battle.

Some comment lit a fuse under the guy in possession of the bricks, and his rage induced logic dictated that the proper way of solving the matter was returning the bricks to their original owner. The delivery method being heaving them, one by one, across the street while spewing a constant stream of expletives.

It instantly changed the nature of the disagreement. Rather than realize he’d won, that not only was he getting his bricks back, they were being delivered via air mail to his door, the original owner took the stance, “How dare you throw a brick onto my property?”

So he started picking them up, and throwing them back.

Throwing bricks is hard work, and I expected them to run out of steam quickly. Both men were well into their senior years, but had that wiry laborer strength that lasts forever and so managed, bolstered by fury, to go all day long. Cursing and sweating and throwing bricks at each other, occasionally taking a break, then returning to battle.

Peace descended around sun down, with dozens, maybe hundreds, of bricks littering the road and their yards. A temporary detente, sure to reignite come morning.

Ownership was even more confusing than before. After all, if someone throws a brick at you, you could argue that it’s now your brick. They’ve given it to you, right? And so all day long they’d been transferring ownership back and forth, forever muddling their respective claims.

After midnight I heard noise from the road and went outside to investigate. Thanks to the ever forgiving nature of the ohana system numerous families on the street had at least one shit-bag criminal relative who would come and go. Keeping an eye on your stuff was a necessity, if you didn’t want it to end up flipped for some rocks down at Ali’i.

Our landlady’s son, and a few of his chronic compatriots, were busy scavenging the bricks and loading them into the bed of a tattered pickup truck. I made sure they saw me watching, checked that our car was locked tight and had nothing of value in it, and went back to sleep.

Around 8AM our neighbors returned to war, only to find their bricks were nowhere to be found.

“What did you do with my bricks?”

“Fuck you! What did you do with my bricks?”

I decided not to involve myself, let them puzzle out the mystery of the disappearing bricks on their own. Later that day our landlady’s son pulled up on a tricked out, obviously stolen, moped, and tucked it away in the side yard, hidden beneath a tarp, where it remained for the next few months.


Craig Anderson Welcome Elsewhere
Craig Anderson, from Welcome Elsewhere. This wave has notes of Tasmania, don't you think? | Photo: Frame grab by Kai Neville/Welcome Elsewhere

Watch here: Craig Anderson’s New Movie!

It's called Welcome Elsewhere!

Today is January 12. Is your mouth dry?

Let’s wet it for you.

Today is the day, as if you didn’t remember, that Craig Anderson, who hasn’t been seen his trip to Indonesia in July to prove the worth of his five-four HK’s in 12-foot waves, releases his new edit Welcome Elsewhere.

Anderson, as you also know, turned down somewhere between half-a-mill and a million bucks a year to re-sign for two years with Quiksilver and is deep in brand development with his friend and fellow turned-down-millions-from-Quiksilver pal Dane Reynolds, and this edit, 12 minutes long, is his first as a sole trader.

You’ll love Welcome Elsewhere, as I did, for its exotic vices, for its slow preliminaries that quickly build to savage climaxes.

Read about Welcome Elsewhere and Craig-Dane’s new brand here or crawl into Welcome Elsewhere’s arms, below.


Welcome Elsewhere from craig anderson on Vimeo.


Objective: Your favorite surfer!

That boy from Ipanema? Maybe!

Social media is more valuable than Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, or at least that’s what Wall Street says. The people love to stare at each other’s pics and read each other’s witty comments!

Last week, our wonderful friends at dug into the stats and did an amazingly exhaustive study looking specifically at the Instagram numbers of the surf brands. Not just which is biggest but which has the greatest engagement, which posts the most, which posts get the most likes etc. It’s sabermetrics for the rest of us!

The results? Read them HERE! But basically, Quiksilver, Billabong and Those Mad Hueys did very well. You love!

This week, our wonderful friends turned their computer skills toward the professional surfers themselves. Who is your favorite? Let’s throw it over to Lincoln and see!

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Gabby topped out at 47million likes with JOB coming in second, but way back with 13m. From there it’s a run of Slater, Mick and Julian all playing around the 6/7mill mark.

Interesting to see the type of imagery that’s winning here too. For Gabby there wasn’t one action shot of surfing. It was more family, winning and lifestyle with the world title shot taking home the honors. Whereas with JOB all of his shots are based around the ocean in way or another, he’s just playing on humour a lot more to get his double taps.

The fact that Slater, Mick and Julian all came in behind JOB is interesting. On paper they’re either in front or on pace with him in total followers, but JOB pretty much doubled them in total likes. That’s huge, but you’ll have to take into consideration that JOB threw up double, sometimes triple the amount of posts that the others did. Quantity vs quality vs popularity..

Was a little surprising to see Taj not even crack a million, coming in with just under 800k. Also surprising was seeing Shane Dorian shoot up the board with a very nice 2mil hits. Can’t not give him love, surely? Every post is winner in my eyes… (especially the ones borrowed from BeachGrit!)

But what about cold, hard numbers? Gabby again and in a landslide! His personal Instagram account is four times bigger than the largest surf brand’s. You love the boy from Ipanema! You can’t get enough!

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Who get’s the most engagement per follower?

It’s JOB! Jamie O! The longtime social champ keeps that ball rolling and good on him!

Go here for more facts, figs, and fun!

Applaud: Surfing’s rodeo clown!

Garrett McNamara never fails to entertain!

Garrett McNamara receives his share of sniggers and why not? He funny because he so so so blatantly self promotional! It used to maybe annoy but now it only thrills because who else in surfing is riding a barrel over Niagara Falls? Who else is popping out of the clown car and saying “Ta-dah!” with arms raised to the sky?

Garrett McNamara is who!

And three days ago he rode a large surfboard over Mavericks’ falls and busted his arm all up.

“It was probably one of the worst wipeouts I’ve seen on video,” Cary Smith, a Pillar Point harbormaster, told the San Jose Mercury News. “My gut reaction was, ‘Oh my. Oh my God. How’s he going to react to this?’ Seeing him take those three bounces and getting crushed by the lip of the wave was very uncomfortable to watch.”

The surf was said to be lots big and its curious they don’t run the Titans of Mavericks in conditions like these. I would ask the most handsome big wave surfer Pete Mel why they don’t except he is inexplicably banned from the event.

In any case, the Titans loss was Garrett’s gain! I mean loss!

“He had a good entry into it,” said Nic Vaughan, GMac’s partner, who watched him from the back of a jet ski, “He sort of hit a lump in the wave, and it stopped his momentum and ejected him forward. That’s a horrific fall just for the sheer size of the wave. We didn’t see a body. We thought, ‘Oh no! Oh no! Where is he?”

But you think the man who discovered Nazare goes down like that?

Garrett popped up moments later with a busted up arm but alive spirit. Later he posted this picture on Instagram

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With the caption:

A million thank yous for everyone who has been sending me positive vibes. Everything went well and is put back together and doctors expect a 100% recovery. I want to send a special thank you to everyone out at Mavs who helped get to safety…


And did you used to think G was a weird distraction? A funny sideshow? He is! But ain’t that what surfing needs more than anything else right now? Tell me you don’t want to see him surfing on the 2016 World Tour! I dare you!

Dumb: I took my girl to the Volcom House!

…and never saw her again… 

Every winter season for five years now a buddy and I make the pilgrimage to the North Shore. We have yet to be false cracked, but there were some close calls. Like when we entered the Foodland parking lot through the exit, when an ice head paddled out at V-land and dunked the poor surfer beside me, and a few others. One that sticks out above the rest is tearing apart a couch in the Volcom Pipe House at  four am.

Let me backtrack…

The annual trip never takes place in December or even January for similar reasons. Too big. Too crowded. Too macho. I’m not going for the glory just some cool waves, tasty poke, and strong mai tai’s. Spring, comparatively, is Haole friendly. The crowds are lighter, locals are in a good mood after a full season, and the waves a little more user friendly, but still with that Hawaiian kick.

To add some spice to this recipe the trip is booked to overlap with Wanderlust – self-described as a 4-day yoga festival of mindful living. While days consist of the mostly female attendees going OM on the mats, listening to meditation inspiration, and surfing with Gerry Lopez, the nights see them going HAM in Turtle Bay trying to undo all the good. Yoga girls in paradise are not timid.

So we’re in Surfer, The Bar for the closing party as are the boys. It’s a well-known feeding frenzy. I look to my right and see a lone surfer dude approach Eddie Rothman and crew. His body language is sheepish as if he’s trying to apologize for something. Mid-sentence, one of Eddie’s pals haymakes him straight in the face ending the one-sided conversation. Unfazed, Eddie grabs a very pretty girl and hits the dance floor. It’s one thing to read about the North Shore violence and another to witness. Its very existence is almost satisfying providing you’re not on the receiving end.

I took a sip of my umbrella’d drink – something too sweet involving Ciroc coconut – look to my left and lock eyes with the striking L.A actress I spent a night with this very weekend 12-months ago. We embrace and both give half-ass reasons why we hadn’t been in contact all year. But that was the mainland and we were back in wonderland. Her equally wild wing women hugged hello as a Brazilian surfer snaked his tongue down her ear. He looked like a young Christian Fletcher: tattooed to the jawbone and tough as fuck. Recognizing that I could be the one to entertain his third wheel we bonded immediately. After a long winter this was his time on the North Shore and he was going to get this girl. More drinks were drunk and it was time to move the party past the lobby.

I glanced into the rearview mirror to see how my new Brazzo homeboy was making out. He had the wing women bent over the hood of a car with her skirt pulled up around her waist. Her head was howling back in pleasure and he was furiously eating her ass from behind.

The four of us walked into the breezy parking lot. The actress and I got into a parked car. A few minutes later I glanced into the rearview mirror to see how my new Brazzo homeboy was making out. He had the wing women bent over the hood of a car with her skirt pulled up around her waist. Her head was howling back in pleasure and he was furiously eating her ass from behind.

Parking lots are not where the magic happens so someone drove southwest on Kam highway because the Brazzo knew a place. Pulling into a dark oceanfront driveway somewhere very close to Pipe he slide the private gate open. Our feet slipped in mud before entering the garage and immediately I knew where we were. The walls were lined with hundreds of surfboards all with a distinctive sticker of a black-and-white stone placed right on the nose. We were entering the infamous Volcom pipe house. Not the Gerry digs, but the B-team next door.

Images of beat downs entered my head. The girls were screaming drunk and strolled into the main room with their muddy slippahs on. A #1 no-no! I knew better, but still feared a slap for their lack of respect. It was three am and everyone was asleep save for a lone Brazilian smoking weed and playing video games. Hearing loud female voices woke the crew like coyotes to a carcass. Within minutes there were seven guys in the room all with identical accents.

“Where are you from?” I asked.

“South America.” That’s what they all answered.

“Are you from Brazil?”

“We are from South America.”

“What part of South America?” I’d press.

“We are from South America.”

My mind began to grind. Were they not admitting their Brazilian nationality because they were self-aware of stereotypes or does Volcom only give them leftover access to the B-house in the late season after all the A-team has vanished and then instruct them not to tell a soul where they are from? This was before the glory runs of Medina and ADS keep in mind, so it could be a conspiracy based on fact.

Regardless the air was being filled with passionate testosterone. I saw what was brewing and wasn’t prepared to fight it. The Brazilian crew was working the girls hard and nosebags were being chopped. I left with no tender goodbyes, my place only a quick walk down the bike path.

The Volcom house depicted in the recent Red Bull documentary shows spoiled groms sweeping sand and learning life duties with the warm paradisiacal sunshine beating down. At nighttime the house is a much darker place where unspeakable things happen.

Arriving home I reached into my pocket for the house key. There was nothing. Shit. Did it fall out in the couch? I wasn’t about to sleep in the wet front yard or wake up my gracious North Shore host, so I weighed my options. Barge back into the Volcom house uninvited and hope it’s there or…. fuck, that was my only option. At this point I was too tired to care about the repercussions.

So back I walked with years of Pipe house horror stories running through my head. The Volcom house depicted in the recent Red Bull documentary shows spoiled groms sweeping sand and learning life duties with the warm paradisiacal sunshine beating down. At nighttime the house is a much darker place where unspeakable things happen. What type of twisted scene was I about to walk in on? I let myself through the gate (Note: do not ever attempt this), crept past the quiver-lined garage to the backdoor and re-emerged. Everyone starred dilated daggers at me.

“Uhh, hey guys. I may have dropped my keys mind if I take a look?”

Not waiting for an answer I uprooted four dudes from the couch and tore through the cushions. Finding nothing, but noticing the room was short one actress. I stormed out not looking forward to a lonely night sleeping on the porch.

Walking home listening to Pipe roar in the background, I started to relax. Knowing I had navigated through an iconic structure of surfing, breathed in its inspiration, and made it out unscathed. Surf history really is a violent and beautiful thing. As my feet hit the driveway something metallic on the ground reflected a streetlight and caught my eye.

It was the key. I was home, baby.

(Andrew Sayer is the editor of Later magazine, a very good surf lifestyle title from Canada.)