The continuing miracle of former world #3 Michael Ho…
Turn off the clocks and cut the telephone cords. Give the dog a juicy bone so it stops barking.
Stop everything, for, here, in this short film by Rory Pringle is the continuing miracle of Michael Ho, sixty-four this year, a man who won the Pipeline Masters at forty and is still tunnelling at the North Shore’s most demanding wave alongside the best in the world.
First wave, hands behind the back set at Backdoor cut to Black Magic Women, Santana. Epic.
Ho became one of Hawaii’s first full-time professional surfers, and in 1975 finished runner-up in the Duke Kahanamoku Classic and the Pro Class Trials. Ho was already being called the world’s finest “position” surfer, meaning he invariably placed himself in the most critical section of the wave using the simplest and cleanest line. He often rode with a ramrod straight back, knees apart, his right arm distinctively held out from his body, hand dangling at the wrist. (Younger brother Derek Ho, the 1993 world champion, surfed in much the same way.)
At 5’5″, 135 pounds, Ho was never able to explode through a turn the way his heavier peers could, but nobody was quicker on their feet, and few were as innately stylish. He was one of the world’s best tuberiders in the mid- and late ’70s (he helped invent the “pigdog” tuberiding technique), and his skills only improved throughout the ’80s.