Witness: The Great White “was going like a rocket straight at us. I can see it so clearly, its mouth was open. I lifted my feet, grabbed the board…”

The greatest shark story ever told, starring surfing's original wonder boy…

Once upon a time, before the ubiquitous robot we cradle in our hands and stare at, head down, lips pursed as if studying the Dead Sea Scrolls while we cross roads and walk into doors, there was such a thing as The Story.

No video, no photos.

Only words, memories, emotion.

In this interview, Wayne Lynch, the Victorian surfer who made his name by hunting lonely deep-water reefs, recalls the day he and another surfer were stalked by a Great White shark.

A shark, says Wayne, that first appeared like a submarine, silently coming out of the water head first and staring at him with its big black eyes.

Wayne said nothing to the guy, who had lost his own gun in a wipeout and who was clinging to the back of his board.

Two men on a red seven-six swallow-tail, and only one of ’em knows a Great White is slowly circling ’em.

“Every now and again, I can see the shark eight or nine feet away, swimming super slow, barely moving faster than us but in a circle. I’m looking down thinking, this is not good, this is really interesting.”

Wayne laughs.

“I figured it was more interested in John (the surfer he was rescuing) because he was tired. That’s why I put him at the back of the board. I figure, well, I’ll save you but I won’t die for you.”

Oh, Wayne puts you right there.

And, wait for the kicker at the end.

Watch: Jackie Dorian, Badger Daddy and Pals in “Pretty People Oughta Hitch Up with Pretty People!”

Feel the divine nature of surfing fill your bones…

This relatively long-form cut of the child prodigy Jackson Dorian, who enjoyed his thirteenth birthday in September, was shot, mostly, and edited by his daddy, Shane Dorian, a former world number four.

In this video, forty-seven-year-old Shane toggles between surf footage and scenics as the little family travels through Australia, Indonesia, the Maldives and Mexico with a fitting exhibition and climax of wave jumping at the pool in Waco, Texas.

Given the age of the film’s protagonist, expect little in the way of sadistic gore and lurid sex, but do expect to feel a sudden, desperate urge to grab your surfboard and dive headlong into the ocean.

Watch: Big Daddy Ho and chillun in “Hush up your blasphemin’, Lucifer, and let me loose!”

Sixty-two-year-old former pro Mike, and his kids, Mason and Coco, sweep away the debris in any lineup…

Yeah, I know, y’seen plenty of Mason and Coco and Daddy Ho zipping through traffic on the North Shore.

Six days ago, it was at Pipe, watch here, today it’s at that locals-only wedge with the roll-in takeoff just north of Sunset and that no man, especially no white man, dare say its name.

(In stage whisper, Velzyland…)

I would recommend viewing of this four-minute short for several reasons. One, the crossovers between Mason and Mike, and which are recorded from the land and from Mason’s flotilla of GoPro POV units, the Mick Jagger-like pomp in Coco’s flashy surfing (did you know Coco is working with Jagger in New York?), Mason’s trigger finger popping hither and yon and the miracle of a man in his harvest years, sixty-two, still exhibiting the daily conditioned skills that long ago almost swept him into contention for a world title.

Watch: Mike February in “This surfboard ain’t got no wrong notes!”

Lines are as perfect as a rapt baby rocking gently on a swing…

Two months ago, the surf writer Mr James Brisick, sometimes of Malibu, sometimes NYC’s lower east side, wrote a story for The New Yorker that read, in part, “(Mike Feb’s) hand jive, soul arches, and toreador-like flourishes play to the camera in a way that breaks the spell of the itinerant surfer in far-flung solitude. His style is as self-conscious as the duck-face selfie.”

(Read here.)

I think, correct when Mike’s on a throw-back craft because what else is there to do except go straight and be sexy, but, as you can see below, on a regular board, in this case a CI Happy, his lines are as perfect as a rapt baby rocking gently on a swing and as hard to argue with as a Saint Bernard dog guarding his master’s bicycle.

Mike’s surfboard, if you care about such things, which I do, measures five feet and eleven inches long, nineteen and three-sixteenths inches wide and is two and three-eighths inches thick for a grand total of twenty-nine litres.

His fins, which are Futures, because this is the only brand of fins that good surfers ride and the official fin of BeachGrit, are the AM2, which you can examine here. 

Watch: Mason, Dez, Coco and Mike Ho in “You know I can’t hear you when I’m in the tube!”

Your favourite vagabonds, in the one spot, at the one time!

Looking out, open-mouthed, at very square tubes at Pipeline and Mason and Coco and Uncle Dez and Daddy Mike trading sets, well, it reminds me I’ll never be anything more than a vibration rather than a solid.

In this five-minute edit by (the fabulous) Rory Pringle, Lachlan Peanut Mckinnon, Chaddy Witz, Andrew Schoener and Justin Rutherford and scored to a Hendrix soundtrack from Mason’s mammy, Brian (yeah, yeah, it ain’t a traditional name for a woman), we see the fam treading a familiar pasture.

A little history of the Ho’s, if it’s necessary. Mike Ho, with his Chinese-Hawaiian-American heritage, was 30 years old and on his last tour circuit when his girl, Brian, a Caucasian American, became pregnant.

Mike’s dad was pure Chinese. His grandmother pure Hawaiian. Mike’s mom, Mason’s paternal grandma, was from Oregon. The brother of one of Mike’s good friends was named Mason. Mike dug it. He threw a little Hawaiian in there, Kaohelaulii, a middle name that’s been carried by the Hos since Mason’s paternal grandfather. It means: “New little bamboo shoot coming out from the old. It bends and it’s hard to break,” says Mike.

Mike had bought land up there at Backyards, Sunset, and a small house was constructed. The marriage broke up after the birth of Mason’s sister Coco, two years later. And soon, the jokester and former-pro surfer was in the serious biz of being a single parent to two kids.

“I was ‘fun dad,’” Mike says. “I’m like, ‘Surf is good, let’s go surfing. Okay, no school today.’ Yeah, I was bad. I was a bad, fun dad.”

Unless it was Pipe. “‘Go to school. Dad’s going to surf Pipe today.’”

Mike plays it down though.

It ain’t easy when the spigot of cash from pro surfing is off and you’re thirty-something-years-old and your marriage is done. But, says, Dino Andino, “No matter how hard it got, no matter what he was going through, or doing, he always had ’em to school on time, dressed and fed. He never faltered. Ever. Mike Ho is an awesome, awesome dad.”

And, look at ’em now, all meticulously walking the Pipe tightrope.