"Back in the day, when Dino was a hot commodity, I worked at Victory Wetsuits..."
San Clemente’s Kolohe Andino is, without doubt, one of America’s greatest surfing talents. The still-young man, strong and proud, has grown up in the spotlight. Born to a professional surfing father and showing much promise early, a bright future perched easy on his broad shoulders. Andino went on to win more National Scholastic Surfing Association titles in history then burst onto the then-Association of Surfing Professionals ready to conquer the world.
Except… a decade-plus on and he has yet to win a Championship Tour event.
Making matters worse, he is currently sitting well below the mid-season cut line with grim prospects of Challenger and Qualifying Series ahead.
What went wrong?
Surf fans have scratched a collective head for years but the answer to the riddle, and its possible solution, was just delivered from beyond the grave.
David Lee Scales and I get together weekly for a chat, as you know, and some fantastic characters who have been part of that ride. One of the most memorable was Drummer Dave. On yesterday’s program, Drummer Dave’s longtime friend The Ripper called in to share that his pal had lost his fight with cancer and was no longer with us. David Lee and I reflected on the laughs, with David Lee providing an old email that Drummer Dave had sent.
“I heard you guys talking about Dino Andino today and it reminded me of an encounter with him,” it began. “I thought I’d share.”
Back in the day, when Dino was a hot commodity, I worked at Victory Wetsuits. I was the shipping guy and the iron on logo guy which by default made me the team wetsuit guy. Back then guys would get paid if they got a pic in a mag showing a logo. So the team guys would come in and get their suits and have me put logos where they thought they could get in a pic. Dino came in to get a suit and while he was waiting for me to do the logos he decided he would just go into the break room fridge and get something to eat and drink. The fridge was in the area that was an employee break room. It had a table with a coffee maker, micro wave, toaster oven, etc., the fridge, time clock, table for eating lunch, and a couch. Well Dino just dug in. All the people that worked in the warehouse were basically Chinese immigrants who worked in the gluing section or the sewing section, and I could see they were getting upset. I tried to tell Dino not to do it but he was just clueless and didn’t seem to get it. I wouldn’t want to accuse him of being high or anything but it wouldn’t surprise me. I told the boss about it and it was just swept under the rug because he was a team rider. It left a bad taste in my mouth for Dino from then on. And actually I find myself not allowing myself to even like Kolohe lol.
But also, a brilliant way forward for Kolohe? A breaking the log jam? I’d imagine all he needs to do is hire a food truck, pull it up in front of a factory where many Chinese laborers work, preferably one that makes wetsuits, and feed them all lunch.
And thank you, Drummer Dave.