"Let's fucking fix this now!"
It’s been one week since the Tanner Hendrickson vs Michael Rodrigues fight card and, boy, has there been a torrent of water under the bridge since: Parko retired, Kelly mounted his surfboard mid-tube, maybe best Pipe Masters ever, happy Brazilian as two-time world champ.
But, while all that was bubbling, Michael Rodrigues, the leash-yanking Brazilian WCT rookie and the Maui surfer Tanner Hendrickson, who engaged in a wrestle that ended in Tanner being banned from the Pipe Trials, were summed to what you might call a frontier justice meeting. Heading the extraordinary meet was Kimo Leong, Makaha Beach Boy and the founder of Kanaka Security Solutions, the muscle that handles security for the North Shore during the Triple Crown of Surfing.
Here’s how Steve Sherman, the photographer who snatched this moment, calls it: “I was walking down the Pipe path and I see M-Rod walking with a bunch of Brazilian heavies and we talk for a second. Kimo (Leong) and the boys from security, the Hawaiians, have pulled him and Tanner Hendrickson into a meeting, saying, ‘Let’s fix this fucking thing now.’ They flew Tanner over from Maui and had this meeting on the DL. And I was there to catch the moment, which was like Rabbit in Bustin’ Down the Door being summoned by Eddie Aikau to a meeting. When I got that photo I held onto it for a little bit. I didn’t put it on Instagram or broadcast it. But we can tell the story now.”
Sherm had his own moment with Kimo and the boys five years ago.
“They roughed me up on the beach a little bit. I was following Kelly out of the water and they were telling me to stand back and then they grabbed my backpack from behind and launched me twelve feet into the air. I looked at ’em and said, ‘Is that it?’ They loved that. And from that point on, they’ve taken care of me. It’s the same with all the Hawaiians. If you don’t hassle, if you show respect, you’re cool.”
As for Tanner and Rodrigues, Sherm says he spoke to both of ’em after.
“It all worked out. They shook hands, they compromised. Which is great because they both fucking hated each other. I was at the US Open when Tanner got hassled in the water by M-Rod, grabbing his leash, treating him like shit, and he came out of the water freaking out. But in this instance, they were both cool, ultimately. They were men about it.”