Mason Ho hit the DNA lottery at birth. Consider the bloodline that he shares. Mason’s Uncle Derek was Hawaiian Amateur Champion at 14, he won the 1984 Duke Kahanamoku Classic with brother Michael finishing second. Derek Ho won the Pipeline Masters in 1986 and finished second in 1991. He won the Triple Crown in 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1993. By 1993 he was our World Champion, a two-time winner of the Pipeline Masters and a four-time winner of the Triple Crown.
There is something about surfing with your blood brother that is truly sacred. When one rides, the other rides with him. Now multiply that by about ten and you might have an idea of what it is like when CJ and Damien Hobgood light up a line-up. Identical twins, damn near identical surfers, mixed with that mysterious, otherworldly bond twins share, from womb to grown-up barrel. Throughout surfing’s history, blasting out of a tube has always been likened to a re-birth, inspiring atavistic memories of our first breath in this world of ours. One wonders what it must be like for these two.
“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard, because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with. “ Dorothy, from the film “The Wizard of Oz”
It’s no wonder just about every surfer on earth comes to Bali looking for their heart’s desire. Just take a look at our backyard. Waves, waves, waves. Then close your eyes and imagine what it is like for some guy on the East Coast of the United States, snow up to his knees, blown out, tiny, arctic cold dribblers struggling in at his local beach. Or imagine the same surfer, in the parking lot of the same local beach, a sweltering hot, damp summer day, a brutal sun, an even more brutal continental shelf, the ocean as flat as a pancake, not one single wave to ride for a thousand miles. Not even a hope of one.
Indonesia is mountains, Indonesia is oceans.
It’s a tropical paradise, it’s a polluted mess.
Its miles of rainforest, it’s a truckload of palm oil.
It’s dead flat, it’s 10ft sets.
It’s bitterly cold, it’s brain melting hot.
It’s a bike ride through rice paddies, it’s soul numbing traffic.
It’s a homeless person, it’s a teen driving an E-Class.
It’s a hut on the beach, it’s the next Four Seasons.
It’s a Michelin star restaurant, it’s food scraps for the family.
It’s a 5 day bender, it’s a 30 day retreat.
It’s wallets wide open, it’s eyes wide shut.
It’s money and corruption, it’s honesty and friendship.
It’s locals only, it’s a western paradise.
It’s stubborn as a bull, it’s boundless tolerance.
It’s late night antics, it’s midday spas.
It’s why we come here, it’s why we don’t.
PETE MATTHEWS: “Mason Ho called me up out of nowhere, he was in Japan surfing 6 inch waves and he saw the swell coming to Indo so we planned on getting some waves at Deserts. He flew in and at this point Chris Ward was mysteriously staying on my couch for a week and would not leave my house. Wardo knew that Mason was coming in now, so Wardo really wasn’t going to leave the house until he knew what was going on. Then those guys got here, Shawn Briley, Kalani Chapman, Mason Ho, and somehow they just abandoned ship and jumped on a plane to Lombok and I was stuck with Wardo, and you know him, if Deserts is breaking and he isn’t there it’s like a death sentence to him.