While other surfers are shaken like dolls in the big waves, Mason Ho coolly slips into the twenty-footers as if he were putting on a pair of silk pyjamas.
In this short film by Mason Ho’s faithful film jockey Riordan Pringle, we find his master madly jack-knifing multiple sets at Waimea Bay during last week’s Black Friday swell.
Mason Ho coolly slips into the the twenty-foot waves as if he were putting on a pair of silk pyjamas and pillow-propping himself against the headboard of his upholstered Californian king and glancing at the winking diamond face of his Patek Philippe.
Other surfers are less lucky, shaken like dolls, heads banged against the water until their eyes cloud.
Mason Ho is delivered to the famous Bay by his daddy Michael Ho, “one of the world’s best tuberiders in the mid- and late ’70s (he helped invent the “pigdog” tuberiding technique)”, although Daddy Ho decides discretion is the better part of valour and decides not to attend the crowded lineup.
But, back to Mason Ho.
“The way his brain works is a lot different than any of my other friends,” says Kolohe Andino. “It’s refreshing to hang out with him, and get him talking about something. It’s like he’s a complete innocent. My friends and I might get eggy about something, but I’ve never heard him bum out. He gives me some of the best vibes I’ve ever felt.”
Kelly Slater says that Mason Ho is “so psyched and happy sometimes I think he’s putting it on, and messing with everyone. But he’s always just that way. He’s a cross between in-control and in-awe at all times.”
Mason Ho has a safety word he uses if the situation ever gets sticky. “When shit gets bad,” he says, “I think of this one word, imua. And, it means, ‘to move forward.’ It’s an ancient Hawaiian saying. They’d use it right before they went to war, or begin a march. When I’m down, I yell that out instead of ‘Fuck!’ I yell, ‘Imua!’ I mean, I don’t if there’re people around. That would be corny. I ain’t a hundred percent Hawaiian, but it feels good to think about it.”
After the session Mason Ho sits in the tray of Daddy Ho’s pickup, wide-chest still dewy with Pacific Ocean, heaving smoothly.