February is the best time of year to visit Hawaii. The weather is just right, and Arbor has the distinction of sponsoring Kyle Smith—a ripper with a house we crashed at, who showed us all the spots and parks he normally doesn't take visiting teams to, and ended up being the trip's MVP. We were set up for proper aloha vibes.
Words and Photos by Blair Alley
If you're not familiar with the Arbor team, its Whiskey Project division boasts riders Sean Imes, Sid Melvin, Amelia Brodka, Josh Stafford, Jared Huss, and aforementioned Mr. Smith. Our crew was so flavorful!
We started most mornings with a brisk hike, which invariably led to insane postcard-worthy views of the world-famous beaches like Lanikai and Cockroach Bay. The Pillbox hike above Kailua is highly recommended. Grab a bagel at the market by the beach, and the girl working might even put her phone number on it. Ewoks still exist!
We hit the famous Wallows ditch, and a lot of the guys got to check that off their bucket list. Not many dudes came up on clips here though; those banks are straight cheese grater. The Bones Brigaders of years past were gnarly to skate those things in shorts and vert shirts. They earned their plate lunches!
The Hawaii Kai park was hit up a few times to warm up, do a demo, and shoot some photos. Local Arbor sales rep, Noel stopped by at the end of one of our sessions there with a big plastic container of poke and a twelver of beers. Nothing satiated our appetites like these two things. If you've never tasted fresh Hawaiian ahi poke, as Action Bronson described it, it's "one of the best flavors in the history of life." After a sweaty Hawaiian session, picking out the perfect succulent chunk of marinated ahi tuna with chopsticks in a parking lot is sublime. It was at this moment that the #PokeBoyz were born.
As soon as we landed on the rock, rumors were swirling of a massive swell coming to the North Shore that week bringing with it50-foot waves and a possible running of the famed Eddie Aikau contest. Sure enough, via social media we saw Kelly Slater and Chris Coté flying in, and we knew it was a go. Before you get sour thinking this is turning into a surf story… well, it is, but if you had the chance to see the world's best surfers on 50-foot waves, you'd go see that shit too! Kyle and his brother Koa thought the roads to the North Shore would be closed, but on the day of the contest, we drove around the lesser-traversed side of the island and found parking about a mile from Waimea Bay. We all skated along the North Shore's famous stretch of coast and wound up right in the thick of surfing history. We saw all the heavies take bone-crushing wipeouts and some ride out the monster waves. It was some humbling stuff to see.
Randomly, the night before the Eddie, on an Action Bronson YouTube binge, Cody Chapman came across Action's Hawaiian Getaway episode of Fuck, That's Delicious. Bronson claimed Kahuku Superette on the North Shore was the best poke in the world. The van exploded in screams when we saw said food mart on our way to Waimea and vowed to stop in on our return. It was now time. On the afternoon of the 2016 Eddie Aikau contest, our packed van containing the newly formed Poke Boyz filed into the Kahuku Superette and made history tasting the world's best poke. It was a moment to behold. We all put it on Instagram.
Our last night on the island, we had a demo scheduled at the North Shore's Banzai Skatepark. This night was special, as they brought out lights for the park and had bands playing and free food. Across the street was the world-famous Banzai Pipeline surf spot, and it was firing! We checked out the spongers and surfers getting barreled in between hanging and skating at the park. We even saw Mike Stewart (basically the Alva of dick-dragging). The whole time we were in HI, Raven Tershy and his bros from The Bay were on the island vacationing too. We linked up with them this night and had an epic session—everyone was killing it and just too juiced to be skating together in Hawaii. As we were wrapping it up at the Banzai park, none other than Noel "the poke provider" came through again and laced us with another parking-lot buffet— poke, noodles, and the finest brews the island had to offer! The #PokeBoyz were swimming with stoke!
We hit Chinatown for a little Honolulu nightlife, as it was our last night on the island. Local skater and musician Anton Glamb was our party sherpa. We saw DJ SuperCW in the booth at one spot. At another, some homies got shut down at the door with fake IDs while others decided to take their shirts off inside once they had too much to drink—the bouncers weren't too fond of either of these maneuvers! "My man, I'm just trying to get in there and drink!" repeat ad nauseam.
As alluded to in the first paragraph and title of this article, Kyle Smith was the MVP for a few reasons. First of all, we all stayed at his and his brother's two-bedroom house. Eleven pickles in one jar. That alone was hospitality beyond expectation. Then the spot tour guiding, taking us to bomb breakfast cafés in Kailua, insane hikes above local beaches—and on top of that, dude got the most photos! Check his Arbor and Caliber Trucks ads in this very issue! Truly the real Big Kahuna.
Mahalo, Mr. Smith.
To imagine you're in the van riding Big Kahuna-style with the #PokeBoyz, build and play this SoundCloud playlist: Madeintyo, "Uber Everywhere"
Kevin Gates, "Really Really"
Lil Yachty, "Minnesota Remix"
Y.O. Mr Turn It Up, "Two Phones Tiu Remix" featuring Kevin Gates.