"It turned everybody against each other, turned the most solid friend group ever in surfing into a shitshow.”
The former tour surfer, pro MMA fighter, activist and one-time member of Pipe regulatory unit The Wolfpak, Dustin Barca, has revealed how that troupe of Kauai surfers came to rule, briefly, Pipeline only to collapse under the strain of drug addiction.
Barca, who is forty-one, was barely out of his teens when the Wolfpak formed at the turn of the century, and says he was the gang’s “little hitman” who’d be sent down the beach to deal with various offenders by co-founder and world jiujitsu champ Kai “Kaiborg” Garcia.
“They used to make me fight people on the beach,” Barca tells the QuiverCast. “If somebody burned one of the boys, like, Kaiborg would tell me, you better go pound that guy right now or I’m going to pound you. I’d be, like, fuuuuuuck, then I’d have to go down and fucking smoke the guy on the beach or wait for him to come up.”
His justification was simple.
“If you drop in on someone on a ten-foot wave at Pipeline it’s like attempted murder. That’s where it is today, a shitshow where there’s no authority out there. It’s just like anybody from anywhere can go out there and paddle around the locals and catch the wave of the day and nobody does anything about it… what we did was we created a rule system. It made everybody realise that they were at someone else’s home and they should take off their shoes in their home.”
And then came OxyContin, legalised heroin, a wildly addictive painkiller with its ability create an insanely intense euphoria. The pharmaceutical industry’s aggressive marketing of OxyContin in the late 1990s and early 2000s played a significant role in its widespread abuse. Misleading claims about the drug’s safety and low risk of addiction contributed to its over-prescription and the subsequent rise in addiction rates.
You know the story. Tens of thousands of deaths, lives, families, entire towns, even generations ruined.
Read, The Family That Built an Empire of Pain from the New Yorker and learn what a ruthless game the Sackler family played.
Barca says the Wolfpak collapsed when “a large number of my friends got hooked on drugs and they had a pharmacist living in the house with them giving everybody huge prescriptions of OxyContin. It was a bad scene. I never did drugs since I was young cause I almost died. All my friends who Coke or whatever, they all started snorting OxyContins and it turned everybody against each other, turned the most solid friend group ever in surfing into a shitshow.”
Barca laughs but he don’t think it’s funny.
“Fucking OxyContin’s heroin, you know. So, all your life revolves around surfing and having fun and then your life revolves around getting high. It’s a whole ‘nother world. Everyone went from focussing on surfing and having a good time together to all everybody cared about was finding a fucking pill.”
And spend a day with Barca at home, here.