Reno Abellira, right, with skate legend Tony Alva.

Breaking: Hawaiian surf icon and former world #4 Reno Abellira survives emergency brain surgery but remains in ICU after near-fatal bashing at Ala Moana Beach Park

Reno Abellira comes good.

Ten days ago, North Shore legend, former world tour shredder and wildly influential surfboard shaper, Reno Abellira was found unresponsive at Ala Moana Beach Park after an apparent attack. 

Abellira, who is homeless and living the rough outdoor life, was taken to Queen’s Hospital for emergency brain surgery. 

Earlier today, in an email to the Star-Advertiser, his nephew Kealii Aquino announced the emergency brain surgery was successful.

“Reno is still in the ICU, but thankfully he is no longer in a coma and is making slow but steady progress in recovering,” Aquino wrote, adding the family wished to thank the community “for the outpouring of prayers and support” they had received, and asked that Abellira’s privacy be respected “at this time as we focus on his recovery and rehabilitation.”

Abellira, who is seventy-one, has had what you might call a wild, wild life.

His daddy was a middleweight boxer who was shot dead in a Chinatown pool hall where he worked as a “strong arm”; he beat Jeff Hakman at thirty-foot Waimea Bay to win the 1974 Smirnoff (he’d win it again three years later) and his twin-fin design convinced Mark Richards to make a version of it and subsequently dominate the world tour for half a decade.

In 1992, he was indicted, according to a letter to BeachGrit from Abellira “for three counts for the Federal crimes of racketeering (the RICO Act) specifically Possession with Intent to distribute of four kilos of Cocaine and over 27 pounds of marijuana that had been control delivered by the U.S Postal Service and D.E.A agents to an address in suburban Honolulu.”

In a 1979 interview with Surfer, Phil Jarratt wrote, 

You hear Reno described as arrogant, aloof and intense. He’s all of that, but he’s also a warm and genuine human being with a positively wicked sense of humor and a streak of dementia deep within. He is sometimes misunderstood. There are surfers who have associated with him for years but confess they don’t really know or understand him. By his own admission he is “a complex person.” He wondered whether this interviewer knew enough about him to present the big picture. The answer is yes and no. Reno revels in his own complexity, and this much is for sure: any interview that laid him bare, that left no questions unanswered, he would regard as a misrepresentation. 

Recently, he went after Matt Warshaw and your ol pal DR in a couple of blood feuds.

Surf journalist (pictured) living best life on Black Friday.
Surf journalist (pictured) living best life on Black Friday.

Armed with bounty of insight, Surf Journalist takes on most audacious health and fitness challenge yet; heads to America’s favorite department store on America’s biggest shopping day!

Alright, alright, alright.

It all comes down to this. Heading to America’s favorite department store on America’s biggest shopping day. I should be going to the best surf shop on the west coast, Real Surf in Oceanside, but I will go there tomorrow plus it wouldn’t activate my stressors, pump my strain, test my resolve.

No, I have been training, and training hard, for moments like this. In the past, I would have road raged, gotten into a parking lot fight, displayed a very bad attitude in the aisles snapping at young daughter snapping at overwrought employees, snapping at everything but a robust expression of American capitalism.

Now, I have a personalized health and wellness coach, a WHOOP strap that allows me to know thyself, physically, monitor heart rate, respiratory function, strain thereby derailing a public bout of bad behavior.

I woke up after a Thanksgiving bacchanal and first checked yesterday’s strain…

…a whooping 14.1 due putting turkey in the oven, stressing about turkey’s doneness, pulling turkey out of the oven, general hosting etc.

But my recovery, at an impressive 80%, let me know I was ready for more.

So I agreed to head out amongst it, to Target, knowing that I could handle the load.

I parked the car, checked my heart’s beats per minute, a relatively chill 81, checked my lung’s repository rate per minute, a reasonable 14.6 meaning I was “within or near my normal range.”

I entered the madness heading first to the toy section, next to the electronics section, last to the Christmas ornament section keeping a steady eye on my vitals.

Rising but no need to panic, no need to panic, no need to panic.

And when I felt the need to panic, I re-consulted with my WHOOP and remembered there was no need to panic.

Having hard data, as opposed to untethered emotional flights of fancy, is a Black Friday gift and I exited the sliding glass doors L.O.L. OMG doll in hand, Christmas lights under arm, knowing that I was alright.

Alright, alright, alright.

I would have surfed instead of shopped but America’s economy needs me today plus it is still super flat.


Happy Black Friday.

Open Thread: Comment Live Day One of the Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger!

Turkey trot!

New $500,000 electric jet ski, brainchild of “white hat hacker,” promises to revolutionize big wave surfing: “It’s a different kind of beast!”

Wish list.

Expensive toys for the ultra-rich can and should be laughed at early and often by The People™. Superyachts and candy apple green Lambos, personalized home DJ set-ups and Richard Mille watches but just this Black Friday morning I read of a $500,000 jet ski that seems must-have.

The Maverick GT Jet RIB and Energy Platform was designed by a tech entrepreneur and “white hat hacker” Nico Sell who very much enjoys the extreme sport lifestyle. She decided it was high time this world had an electric sled that could turn into a tender that could also power a house.

“Mavericks is one of the seven wonders of the world for surfers, along with Nazare and Jaws,” Sell told luxury lifestyle magazine Robb Report. “Big-wave surfers depend on jet skis to tow them into big waves and be rescued when things go wrong, but Mavericks is in a marine reserve and Jaws eats jet skis regularly.”

The Maverick GT “runs silently enough to not disturb marine life” but also can outrace any wave with its 350 hp H3X 3-D-printed electric engine that is “significantly more powerful than other personal watercraft now on the water, giving it a top speed of 70-plus mph and range of 50 to 100 miles. The Maverick GT also has more torque, to be able to navigate surf that can run as high as 100 feet. It also converts into a boat by attaching to a custom-designed RIB.”

Sell’s partner, Alex Halvorssen said the initial idea came during a contest at Mavericks.

“We actually had the discussion at Half Moon Bay, where we’re headquartered, during a big-wave surfing tournament,” Halvorssen told Robb Report. “We decided it was something needed, desired and, most importantly, possible.”

A superyacht designer, J. David Weiss, was brought on board who crafted the “sleek-looking jet ski, which sports a carbon fiber body, running surface for navigating deep, powerful surf, and enough space to house the 100-kWh modular battery.”

“It’s longer and has more of a deeper-V than your average jet ski, with a larger swim platform for the surfers. The design will cut through waves much more readily than what’s on the market,” the man declared

It has twin 25-hp motors. It will come in a barebones tow-in version for hauling surfers, a “party version” with eight seats and even a fishing version, advanced electronics, fly-by-wire steering, digital display, and even a “Cinema” mode to record surfing or fishing action.

Nico Sell calls it the “world’s smallest yacht” and all for only $500,000 which can’t even get a man or women into a Beneteau Gran Turismo 40.

Should we pool our money and buy?

We’d be foolish not to.

McCoy's house, Paradise View by Stutchbury.

Fabled surf filmmaker Jack McCoy lists his “jaw-dropping” beach house Paradise View by Stutchbury for a little over three-mill US!

If only these walls could talk etc.

Surfing’s most enduring filmmaker, certainly its tallest, the Los Angeles-born Jack McCoy, is selling his architect-designed Sydney home for around three-mill US.

McCoy, who is seventy-three and who’s been in rough health with an unspecified illness the past few years, bought the old Crackerbox House, those ugly, post-war joints made in the nineteen fifties, at 51 Trappers Way, Avalon Beach, in 1998.

Eight years later, McCoy and his wife Kelly hired the noted Australian architect Peter Stutchbury, famous for designing “structures so sensitive to their site they converse with the bush, the shore or the paddock surrounding them” to create what they would re-name Paradise View by Stutchbury.

Stutchbury is a classic sorta cat.

Six years ago, when The Australian interviewed him, the life-long surfer was living in a tent after a divorce.

Reluctant, at first, to expose his “very personal abode” to further publicity, Stutchbury agrees to a tour of the once vacant block where his tent rests on a 48 square metre wooden platform incorporating an en suite, a bedroom and a prefabricated kitchen that walls one side of a shaded veranda. “It makes you realise how little you need,” he says, boiling the kettle for mugs of tea.

His desire to pare back coincided with packing up the West Head house where he’d lived with his former wife, landscape architect Phoebe Pape and their three children. “As I was taking everything out and putting it in boxes I thought really and truly…” The pink bathtub that had stood in one of the tree-high pavilions he’d designed for his family now sits amid straggly acacias out front of the tent. Inside there’s a fridge, a single gas burner to cook on if it’s too wet for an open fire, a flat-screen TV on top of the chest of drawers in the bedroom, and an old shearer’s table where we sit.

Dressed in jeans and elastic-sided boots, his silver hair laps the collar of his pale blue shirt. Now 60, he no longer surfs regularly like he did in his younger days, camping along the coastline, but his casual style suits this place. “The only hassle with a tent is the flapping,” he says of the wind that gathers force, snapping at guy ropes under a darkening sky. Once the squall hits I’m wishing for a sweater. “You’re seeing it at its worst,” he apologises. “This is as confrontational as it gets.”

Back to McCoy’s joint, it was built on the wrong side of the northern beaches’ peninsula if you want to check the surf, it looks across the flat Pittwater side, boats, pretty sunsets, that sorta thing, but with its minimalist, floor-to-ceiling, feel the outdoors vibe, it’s easy to agree with the selling agent who calls it “jaw-dropping.”

Fairfax real estate page Domain noted the house had been visited by “some of surfing’s biggest names over the years, including Kelly Slater, Andy Irons and Joel Parkinson.”

McCoy’s been riding out the COVID thing up at Scott’s Head on the mid-north coast, five hours drive out of Sydney, where he has another joint.

Make an offer here.