It surged upon us 11 weeks ago like a rogue wave. We were just standing there in the wet sand with our backs turned, boogie boards clutched under our arms and then it hit us — @kookslams — and it felt so, so good. If you haven't seen this Instagram account yet I'm jealous, because awaiting you are tens of minutes of entertainment served in 15-second increments. Basically, these guys have put a modern spin on the wipeout-sections that used to be a staple in all our favorite surf videos. And who are "these guys?" We emailed them to find out and we're still not sure, and that makes us love them even more. —Taylor Paul
You often say “we” and “us” in your messaging. Who is “us”?
Kookslams is a group of three friends in our mid 20s — two brothers and one good friend. We grew up in Orange County and San Diego like any other kids who lived by the beach: surfing, wompin, and generally screwing around in the water every day.
How did the idea to start this account come about?
It honestly just came out of multiple nights of hanging out with friends and going down rabbit holes of watching these hidden videos on the internet of people just getting worked and being in tears of laughter. On one of those nights specifically, one of us came up with the idea of creating an Instagram account off all these gems we had found over the years. I can't even remember who said “kookslams” first, but we all just started dying laughing at the word by itself, so it was a pretty easy decision at that point.
You guys posted your first Kookslam less than three months ago, were you surprised with how quickly you’ve grown?
Surprised is an understatement. We didn't create this account to gain a huge following, we just wanted to create an archive of beautiful gems from the Internet that our friends could enjoy.
Where do you find these videos?
Well, we’re talking years worth of searching for these videos on the Internet. At least at first. But it's awesome now because people send their "kookslams" to us, so instead of digging for these hilarious videos people are just bringing them to us! It's incredible. We try to do our best to track down the originator of the content and make sure to give credit where credit is due, but sometimes that can be tricky.
What are your day jobs?
We have a Web developer, wedding photographer, marketing manager and, most recently, part-time kookslammers.
More and more you’re seeing people making money of off Instagram, any plans for a Kookslams T-Shirt in the future?
You better believe it! We are actually working with a rad brand called "Chomp" on a collaboration on a few products. We are trying to take our time with it because we want to make something people would actually want to wear, not just our Instagram name slapped onto the front of a shirt. But trust me, if you like our page, you’re going to like these shirts.
My favorite part about Kookslams is the hashtags (my favorite was #myluckyshirt of the dude jumping off the pier). Are you putting much time into these things or just throwing up on the fly?
Yeah we have a pretty solid process in place now. We have a "kookslams" group chat that we keep everything on. Someone will submit a video to the "Board of Kookslams Directors", or the BOKD as we like to call it, and if we all agree its worthy then the caption/hashtag onslaught begins. That is honestly my favorite part; we all just start dropping hashtags and I start crying laughing. Then we pick our favorites and throw them online. Hashtags are the best though, it’s like being able to use five different captions on one post.
Any followers that you’ve gained that you were especially excited about?
The fact that pro surfers are following the account by itself is insane. But we were all super amped when Dane Reynolds started following us, ’cause we all love that dude and his surfing, but who doesn't. A couple others that we were just jaw dropped by were Gabriel Medina and Quincy Davis. I think the craziest thing so far has been getting a shoutout from Jamie O'Brien, that was just insane. I thought my phone was going to literally explode.
Do you have any cool stories about someone asking you “Have you seen kookslams?” or hearing someone use the term “kookslam”? It seems to have worked its way into our lexicon.
Recently my brother (the wedding photographer) was in a room with a bunch of random groomsmen and they were all talking about kookslams, and he just stayed silent and basked in it. That part of it (the semi-anonymous nature), has probably been the most fun, you almost feel like surf batman. But yeah, the term "kookslam" almost seems like it is becoming a thing, which is hilarious.
Why the commitment to anonymity?
This account isn’t about us, it’s about gold clips. None of us care about being “Instagram famous.” The beauty of the account is in the content, and in this day and age where it seems everyone is trying to become a social media celebrity, I think people appreciate that.
Anything you want to add?
We just want it to be clear that we aren't trying to hate on anybody. Everyone who has spent a fair amount of time in the water, ourselves included, have had their fair share of kookslams, we are simply embracing it, and laughing about it.