Spat: Drag Board Co. Vs Kolohe Andino.

Spat: Drag Board Co. Vs Kolohe Andino.

By Dan Dobbin.

‘Mericas do love their ‘Merica. And ‘Mericans especially love their ‘Merica on the 4th of July!

Professional surfer and perennial not world champion Kolohe Andino is one such ‘merican who felt the need to express his love of ‘Merica this 4th of July. His recent  Instagram homage stated:

“Happy Birthday to the USA. Feel truly honored, blessed and grateful to be from this glorious land. I will never apologize for being American and fly those colors proud. In my mind, everyday is July 4th”.

The 4th of July was, of course, the day in 1776 that thirteen ‘merican colonies declared their independence and intent to throw off the shackles of subjugation from British colonial oppression over the vexing issue of taxation so that they could go on and subjugate and colonize Native American nations and then by- proxy large areas of the world that are of “strategic importance”.

While most commentators responded with positive comments or emoji’s of ‘merican flags to Kolohe’s post, (possibly because said commentors may or may not be semi-illiterate or fully illiterate because of the failings of the U.S. school system) Australia’s least Vanilla bodyboard, soft top and film making enterprise Drag Board Co. responded a little more pointedly:

“Staunch supremacy while ya country’s going down the shitter. M8”.

Will this verbal salvo renew the long-running culture wars between broke arse bodyboarding and sell out corporate surfing that seemed to have been all but extinguished as surfers found new targets to dislike, targets such as SUP riders, Hipsters, VALs, Foil boarders and Mexicans? No wait, MAGA supporters hate Mexicans. Can ‘Merican MAGA supporting surfers hate Mexicans but love surfing in Mexico? Fuck, where was I?

Oh yer, culture wars.

Has anyone asked the Hawaiian’s how they feel about the cultural appropriation of the name Kolohe (rascal/naughty) for the most haole looking haole in professional surfing?

Is there not deep irony in a man with a name cultural appropriated from lands colonized by ‘Merica for said above ” strategic importance” (in this case the location of Hawaii as a naval base in the Pacific and the very important ability of 19th-century business barons to continue to make profits from sugar cane at the expense of the indigenous population ) quoting Benjamin Franklin’s “Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of god and nature”?

Probably the most interesting question for the bodyboarding world is the historical hypothetical ” What if those 13 colonies hadn’t received enough help from the French to kick out the Limeys, and thus never went on to colonize Hawaii?”

No American colonization means no haoles. *

Mike Stewart is a haole.

Think he wins 9 world titles and dominates pipeline if he grows up on the beachies of California instead of reefs of Kona?

No Pat Caldwell means no El Rollo.

No Ben Severson means no design innovations.

No Hubb airs and Skip smoothness.

On the upside, Kainoa McGee might have won at least 4 world titles, bodyboarding shoulder injuries world-wide would have increased as the masses emulated his claim every single wave you ride habit, and the ride any stance and have fun doing it Hawaiian ethos may have become de jour with global bodyboarding communities.

But the most troubling thought is there may never have even been the creation of the boogie if Tom Morey can’t migrate easily between mainland and island state and run out of money and have to make a surf craft out of whatever is lying around!

In a roundaboutway no declaration of independence might have meant no boogie!

So, maybe, god bless ‘merica?

Much to ponder.

* With the utmost respect to Indigenous Hawaiians. This article is deeeeply tongue in cheek and not meant to trivialize the struggles of indigenous peoples in Hawaii or worldwide.

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