North Shore Underground: The Estate of Hui

(L to R) Kala, Eddie, Kamalei, Makua and Marcus in the foreground, plus a few of their tools — or toys, if you like. Photo: Jeff Flindt

North Shore Underground

The Volcom Pipe houses (there are two) are our Playboy Mansion. As salaciously popular as any of Volcom’s human team riders. Those houses should probably have their own signature boardshort, or at least a beer koozie, and actually, one kitchen drawer there contains Volcom branded condom wrappers emblazoned with the rallying cry, “Jam out with your clam out!” and an illustrated clam.

Haha, gross.

But Marcus Hickman doesn’t live there. He could; they’d love to have him. He’s Volcom’s Lamar Odom around these parts (if Bruce is Kobe, Dusty is Shannon Brown, Dingo is D. Fisher, and Dave Wassell is Phil Jackson). But Marcus is a lifer from right here at Sunset and he has his own setup with best friend Makuakai Rothman, in the compound Makua owns by Backyards, just inside of Phantoms. It’s an estate, really — one that needs no guard dog.

“Kala [Alexander] lives with us downstairs,” says Marcus, “and of course Eddie [Rothman] lives in the front house. We have Makua's brothers staying here, too.”

Marcus has lived there for a year, but for a time before that, he was about 45 minutes away on the East Side, housed with his lady. The arrangement didn’t last.

“I think that was actually one of my best winters out here, when I was living in Kaneohe,” says Marcus. “Just more motivated, I think. Coming all the way out from there, sitting for an hour in the car, you're excited to surf no matter what.”

But tellingly, he’s back Country side. Marcus says he couldn’t pass up the chance to live and surf every day with his besty. Now headquartered at Sunset, Marcus and Makua’s days begin early, before the sun, with the chickens. There’s coffee on and Makua’s full-time filmer is knocking, already on the beans, already breathing java. Then they set out to find waves.

“Usually we have an idea of where the best spots are 'cause we've lived out here our whole lives,” says Marcus. “Usually we know where to go, when to go.”

The boys are welcome at any team house on the main strip, and that access lets Marcus snipe key windows between Pipe and Logs when the conditions sing just right. He doesn’t miss a thing. He doesn’t miss the East Side.