“And, if John John Florence and Kelly Slater aren’t in it, is it really a Pipe Masters?”
Koa Rothman, the middle son of North Shore enforcer Fast Eddie Rothman and brother to big-wave world champion Makua, distinguishes himself among surfers, and media, for his candour.
A few years back when there was a there was a commotion over a minor wrestle between the Hawaiian Tanner Hendrickson and Brazilian Michael Rodrigues that ended with Tanner being fined and disqualified from the Pipe trials, he described the WSL as “a bunch of fucking corporate pussies…Are they fucking out of their minds?”
Rothman also said Rodrigues was a “pussy” for calling the cops.
Not long after, Koa posted a provocative pre-North Shore winter message telling surfers he’d be “going on whatever wave I want at pipeline. So. That being said, there is only a few people out there that I will not drop in. So. Yeah. No hard feelings. I’m not trying to be a dick. I’m just letting you know now that is what is going to be happening. So have a great day and watch out.”
It was a gauntlet beautifully thrown.
Now, the twenty-nine-year-old with the golden-brown glazed handsomeness, has gone after corporate shoe maker Vans for their “reimagining” of the iconic Pipe Masters, which’ll likely run this Saturday.
In an explosive piece to camera on YouTube, Rothman accuses Vans of copying the format of the Backdoor Shootout, which his family runs each year, of turning the event into a shoulder-hopping air contest and of inviting surfers who, by any measure, shouldn’t be surfing Pipeline.
“They invited a lot of people who’ve never surfed Pipe,” says Rothman. “If John and Kelly aren’t in it, is it really yet Pipe masters? If I won, I wouldn’t consider myself a Pipe Master.”
As for his own inclusion in an event he disowns, Rothman says the opportunity to pocket the one-hundred gees first place cheque is incentive enough.
After only one day, the post has accumulated a stunning almost-nine hundred comments, all taking Rothman’s side.