Tributes flow for Hawaiian surf-skate prodigy Kalani David, dead at twenty-four, “RIP brother Kalani, you were always such an inspired and stoked Grommet, through all that life threw at you you kept your head up”

"Miss you brother. Rest in paradise."

In a perfect world, the story of Kalani David, son of American David David and Costa Rican Maureen Rojas, would’ve ended in a world title or some sorta equivalent triumph. 

As it is, was, Kalani’s life, living with a chronic health condition that would eventually kill him, demonstrates, as if any demonstration was necessary, the chaos and randomness of our existence. 

His biological mama Maureen was sixteen when she had Kalani, seeded when Daddy David was living in Central America.

Flooded with sponsor cash by RVCA as a kid, Kalani was touted as the world’s first genuine crossover surfer, skater.

When he was eighteen, Kalani’s heart stopped while skating in Oceanside, California, tests determining the kid was suffering from  Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, where an extra muscle forms on the heart causing its wild revving

Doctors told him he was living on a knife’s edge, that he could die anytime. And if it happened in the surf, ain’t nothing he could do. He’d drown. 

In January 2017,  doctors opened the kid up to try and fix the prob.

Before the op, Kalani wrote,

“Getting my surgery done today, but I have one thing to say before his happens… The doctor said I’m lucky to even be alive after seizing for more than 6 hours. Which I was dead for 2 days. I’m going into heart surgery right now to get this extra piece of muscle burned. I gotta move on with my life and focus on my career. I love you Keoni just know that, I’m always here for you, love you boo boo your big brother Kalani.”

Although wildly under appreciated in the larger surf world, Kalani’s fans were legion.

Two weeks ago, he posted a skate clip on Instagram that has now become a place where friends are leaving their tributes following his death in Costa Rica yesterday.


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A post shared by Kalani David (@kalanidavid)

Hawaiian surf and skate prodigy Kalani David, 24, dies suddenly while surfing in Costa Rica, “It is brutal how biggest souls tend to vanish so randomly.”

"So sad. He was a legend."

The Hawaiian surf and skate prodigy Kalani David, who was twenty-four, has died of a seizure while surfing in Costa Rica, prompting a torrent of grief and love for the troubled kid.

Nathan Florence, Taylor Steele, Eli Olson, Kaipo Guerriero, Pat O’Connell, Zeke Law, poured out their sorrow over David’s death.


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A post shared by Peter King (@peterkingphoto)

As a teen, David was ranked higher than superstar skaters Bobby Burnquist and Bucky Laskek all the while competing as a surfer in the World Juniors Championships in Bali.

A rare talent.

Hawaiian-born David suffered from Wolff-Parkinson White Syndrome and seizures had become a part of life, at one point even undergoing open-heart surgery following a six-hour episode at home in Oahu.

More soon.

"I'm sorry for doubting you, Erik..." (pictured).
"I'm sorry for doubting you, Erik..." (pictured).

Doubting Thomas surf fans served heaping pile of steaming crow as it appears World Surf League Finals Day eclipses billion dollar NFL Thursday night opener!

Excuse me sir, may I have some more?

Days ago, core surf fans guffawed and side-eyed as World Surf League CEO Erik Logan released the almost unbelievable numbers surrounding the World Surf League’s Finals Day there on Lower Trestles cobbled stone. Underneath a picture of Logan hoisting a trophy, smiling ear to ear beneath manicured beard, the head of competitive professional surfing declared:

The day will go down as the biggest day in pro surfing. The data and the numbers are undeniable.

– Broke the record for the most watched day in WSL history by 22%
– Over 8.3 million total Livestream views (and still counting)
– Over 1 million viewers on linear TV globally, with more airings to come!



Except, numbers are beginning to trickle in for the National Football League’s first Thursday Night game of the year from two days ago. Sporting fans will know that Amazon purchased the rights to the pre-weekend extravaganza from the League for a whopping 1.2 billion dollars per year and has completely renovated the evening from new announcers, fancy new camera angles, the works.

Historic in that it was the first exclusively streamed NFL game ever, much like the World Surf League streams its contests.

Well, early numbers suggest that the game ranked a bit lower in the home markets of the competing teams (Los Angeles and Kansas City) and will likely reach between 5 and 7 million total views.

Smashed to a pulp by Toledo, Gilmore and the velvety pipes of Joe Turpel!

World Surf League ex-CEO Paul Speaker prophetic!


Chouinard (right) under fire from the left-leaning.
Chouinard (right) under fire from the left-leaning.

Noted left-leaning financial news service bluntly questions altruistic motives behind Yves Chouinard’s shock decision to give company away: “Patagonia billionaire skirts $700 million tax hit!”

Surf great Kelly Slater's ears perk.

But do you remember where you were when you first heard that Patagonia’s founder Yves Chouinard was giving his 3 billion dollar company away in order to save the environment? I was in Newport Beach, Fashion Island to be exact, sipping a cappuccino, wondering if I should get a fussy hamburger or French dip sandwich for lunch in a few hours.

Decidedly not saving the environment.

The move seemed groundbreaking, company head putting money where mouth was by transferring the whole shootin’ match into a trust, every ounce of profit-after-cost going to green causes and pressure immediately began building on noted sustainability activist Kelly Slater to place his own Outerknown into an earth-scrubbing trust.


Were Chouinard’s motives pure as driven, though rapidly melting, snow? Bloomberg has picked up a handful of salt to throw directly in game. Under a blunt headline reading “Patagonia Billionaire Who Gave Up Company Skirts $700 Million Tax Hit,” the left-leaning financial news service declares:

While many billionaires make living donations with tax and estate planning as the primary considerations, Chouinard seems to have structured his Patagonia transfer with at least a few purposes in mind. Holdfast is a 501(c)(4), a nonprofit that can make unlimited political donations — unlike its cousin, the 501(c)(3). For that reason, any giving to a 501(c)(4) isn’t eligible for income-tax deductions. In addition, the Patagonia founder will owe $17.5 million in gift taxes for the shares he transferred to the trust.

Still, the moves mean Chouinard won’t have to pay the federal capital gains taxes he would have owed had he sold the company, an option he said was under consideration. On a $3 billion sale, that bill could be more than $700 million. It also helps Chouinard avoid the US estate and gift tax, which is a 40% levy on large fortunes when they’re transferred to heirs.

While a Patagonia spokesperson flatly denied the trickeration, attention has returned back to the aforementioned Slater. While his green bonafides need no burnishing, it is known that the many-time surfing champion likes to not spend his money. Might tax relief be the finger that tips the scales?

Outerknown 501(c)(4)?


Surf icon Kelly Slater stuns fans of sustainable outerwear line by brazenly using adults-only language in mass-mailed fall catalog!

Shield the children's eyes.

Mere days ago, the world was stunned when Patagonia founder and chief Yvon Chouinard transferred his family’s ownership of the company into a trust and no-for-profit, “created to preserve the company’s independence and ensure that all of its profits — some $100 million a year — are used to combat climate change and protect undeveloped land around the globe.”

Patagonia, a multi-billion dollar darling, could have been sold, transferred to a child, taken public all generating hundreds of millions for Chouinard or his kin but he has always been vocally against the hoarding of riches and put his money where his mouth was.

Pressure immediately built on sustainability activist and iconic surfer Kelly Slater who, himself, owns and operates the environmentally-conscious label Outerknown. Would he, too, put his money where his mouth is and gift the brand to causes near and dear his heart?


Though, just today, Outerknown’s mass-mailed catalogue landed in the mailboxes of those who asked for it and also those who didn’t. Flipping through images of light green flannels, sustainable denim, home, small business and apartment owners were assaulted with the shocking words, “The coziest damn shirt ever made. 100% organic cotton and buttons made from nuts.” laid over the image of a man named “Andy” with pronounced Adam’s apple turning away from the camera.

I’d imagine many horrified that children were near enough to read both “damn” and “nuts.” Parents and guardians scrambling to pretend they were not looking at that page and/or breaking down in tears. Others attempting to have too-early conversations about naughty words and/or anatomy.

Marketing is, of course, a rough gig in an ever-saturated landscape. How to draw attention? How to make the otherwise inundated stop and look?

Swearing and crude language one way but the proper one?

Furthermore, will buttons made from testicles, however sustainable, actually hold?

Currently more questions than answers.