Shark tooth to the heart.
Every year, for the past ten or such, I have begun each professional surfing year thinking “this one belongs to Kolohe Andino.” The handsome boy from San Clemente seemingly had it all. Pedigree from an iconic 80s surfing legend, one Dino Andino. Support from the most powerful brands in the space. Coaching from the much-feared Mike “Snips” Parsons. A handsome face, strong body, desire to be the best.
And every year I am left sad.
For all that talent, all that poise, Kolohe Andino has never hoisted the World Surf League Championship Trophy.
For that matter, he has never even hoisted a single event’s trophy.
But a new year is around the corner and hope springs eternal buoyed, especially, by a stunning Cold Water Classic victory, yesterday, in hostile Santa Cruz.
Andino took out local celebrity Shaun Burns in the quarterfinals. The Santa Cruz native, who had been responsible for the return of the event to Steamer Lane, told the Santa Cruz Sentinel after his vanquishment, “The Cold Water Classic is so prestigious and that’s probably my dream goal, to win here one year. I know I will, but I’m happy with my performance this year. It’s so fun competing at home with everyone cheering on the cliffs. There’s no place like it. And to have it be all your friends and family, it’s pretty emotional, actually. It’s the one contest I’d like to win more than anything.”
But Andino cared neither about local friends, family nor Burns’ cherished dreams.
Off with his head.
Next came Ian Crane but he is also from San Clemente so nobody cared about his untimely demise.
Last, Andino walloped with Malibu’s Taro Watanabe with last second heroics as a hot set steamered in allowing for high-performance hot.
“I was stoked,” the wise 28-year-old told the Sentinel. “There was a long lull in the middle of the heat and to have a finish like that was really rad.”
His prize, a megalodon chomper.
“That big, old shark tooth is crazy,” he added. “Hopefully that’s the only shark tooth I’ll be seeing in my life.”
Hope springs eternal.
Watch the entire show here.