Polaroid: Reef McIntosh

Polaroid: Reef McIntosh


Visitor: Reef McIntosh
Date: June 19, 2013
Time of day: 1:30 PM
Pit crew: His dog, Foxy
Purpose of visit: To exchange pleasantries and update us on the state of his shattered rib
Ulterior motive: Drop off six cases of beer and a two bottles of tequila

When Reef McIntosh isn't busy making Off The Wall look foolish, he spends a good chunk of time in California. He and his wife have a place on the soft sands of Los Angeles, which puts him in close proximity to non-surf related companies that take special interest in endorsing courage like Reef's — companies like Audi and Karma Tequila. And because of his summer location, he can casually drop by our office as he pleases.

By the time I found Reef, he had already been in the office for twenty minutes. He was standing in our waiting room, all 6'4" of him chatting up a storm with our Office Coordinator, Ruth. Foxy sat on Ruth's lap. After trading greetings with Reef, the conversation made a sudden turn towards business. "Do you have a dolly?" he asked. Yes, I did. To the parking lot we went.

The sun had just burned through the June gloom and we broke a light sweat loading the cases of beer from his glimmering Audi and onto the dolly. It was hot, but there was earnest work to be done — this beer is no Coors Light. Kona Brewing Co., another one of Reef's sponsors, gave him enough beer to quench the thirst of a thousand men and instructed him to distribute it at his own discretion. Fire Rock, Big Wave Ale and Wailua Ale, up the elevator and into a fridge where they would be primed to meet their final resting place in bellies.

And then came the tequila.

"I wasn't sure if I could ride for both Kona and Karma, but it ended up working out because Karma doesn't actually cut me a check. Instead, they make a monthly donation to charity on my behalf."

It's the sweetest agave you'll ever taste. And as for the rib, the damage he incurred on that day at Teahupo'o, it will be entirely healed before the North Pacific even thinks about waking up. We hope we can finish the beer by then.

—Brendan Buckley