"I'm hanging up my Mav's guns and never paddling out again."
Earlier today, the noted big-wave surfer from Santa Cruz, Ken Collins, also known, variously, as Skindog and Skin Dizzle, announced he’d quit Mavericks for good.
12/18/18 Monday was one of the best days I have ever been out at Mavz. Grateful. @small_wave was calling it a Collectors Edition Mavz Dayz. With all the special features n shit. And that’s how I want to remember my last day surfing Mavericks for the rest of my life. So that’s it, that’s a wrap, I’m hanging up my Mavz Gunz and never going to paddle out again. I don’t want my last day to be an injury, because I feel too old, or I am bitter at the crowds. It’s because I am 50 years old (old af) and the timing is perfect. The day was perfect, the vibe was perfect, and my time to kick out…..perfect. Don’t worry y’all will see me on a boat or ski smashing a Modelo, watching the Best Show On Earth screaming from the side lines, cheering all the players in this epic game. I have been Chasing Monsters for over 30 years and now it’s time to start chasing other dreams, like epic powder days in Tahoe with my family.
An elegant sign-off and reminiscent, I think, of Matthew 5-13.
“Ye are the salt of the earth. But if the salt hath lost its favour, wherewith shall it be salted?”
A very brief recap of Collins’ career.
In 2007, he won the Billabong XXL Ride of the Year and Monster Tube category on the same rowdy Puerto wave, netting fifty gees.
The win came two years after a wipeout at Jaws two years previous that cracked his emotional plate.
“I told myself I wasn’t going to do this anymore, but then I had a complete change of heart,” Collins told Surfer. “I went back and changed my equipment and focused on the safety angle a bit more and it all came together.”
In 2013, Collins turned on Laird Hamilton who’d said unkind things about Carlos Burle and Maya Gabeira and their pet wave Nazaré.
And, in 2016, he nearly drowned at the Titans of Mavericks contest.
“The water hit me. I was so disoriented, going in all directions. This is the scariest thing I’ve ever done,” said Collins, who was held under by three waves. “Things happened fast. So easy, so quick, when the water hit me, it felt like the whole ocean came down on me. I thought I had a concussion at first, I was so dizzy. I’ve never been hit so hard. It was coming down my throat.”
Mavericks, of course, ain’t a stranger to killing.
“When u know u know,” Flea Virotsko wrote in response to Collins’ announcement.
In 1998 Flea almost died when he was washed into rocks on a day Collins described, then, as “tubing death wishes.”