Photos and Words by Mike Emery | @emeryphoto
There are sometimes moments in this line of work that make you scratch your head in amazement. This past weekend I went from the pouring rain, mud, and hype of Anaheim One to the beaches of the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii within 24 hours. Why, might you ask? Simple, to join the Weedmaps Moto crew for their 2019 WM Pipe Dreams experience where all of their collective Moto, Surf, Skate, and BMX teams join together to enjoy the island for a week. We'll be here capturing all the fun and everything in between alongside Colby Raha, Tom Parsons, and Jimmy Hill, so read up and follow these blogs to check it all out.
Sunday Arrival/Kahuku MX – January 6th: Awaking from the four hour post-Anaheim One sleep, I staggered around to throw my camera gear and belongings into order and packed quickly before heading out the door to San Diego Airport. With a nice direct flight on Hawaiian Airlines, my ticket had me at Honolulu Airport by 3pm.
A smooth 6-hour flight later, I met up with my pickup driver Mario and collected my checked bag to walk outside to a Tesla Model X with its doors winged out like a bird. I felt like Rick Ross. Next stop, Kahuku Motocross! A quick, silent, and futuristically rad Tesla drive later we arrived on the North Shore and atop of the island where this amazing local track is open on weekends only. Here I met Tom Parsons, Jimmy Hill, and Colby Raha, who had arrived a day earlier than me on the island and had been there all day riding and enjoying the local scene and soaking it all in.
With golden hour in our faces, we shot over to a nice step up jump they have in the back and got to shooting. It was mental to think that less than 24 hours earlier I was standing in the mud and pouring rain of Anaheim (having a great time mind you) and now I was here in paradise shooting with three badass riders. The boys threw their bikes around and we got some magic, and shortly after made it to the pits where Jimmy found something of his own that he was eyeing.
If you're a fan of Jimmy Hill, then you’re already aware that he has freak mini flip skills and can do them almost anywhere. With the locals catching wind of the idea that he was going to pull one, a crowd quickly gathered and it was game on for him aboard his borrowed YZ250. With the mounting pressure and cameras on him, he approached the lip and yanked one back. Knowing immediately he wasn't going to make it he ejected and somehow came out unscathed! Everybody cheered, and he got back up and took a break to tweak the throttle tube and levers that suffered a little damage. Locals spotted a minor adjustment needed in the belly of the jump lip and quickly got to work with machetes and shovels – teamwork! Thankful for their effort, Jimmy was ready to give it another go. A slow approach and another yank backwards, he pulled it and the gathered crowd cheered. The stoke was real, and as everyone hung out as we packed up you could tell that the Hawaiian moto scene was filled with people that just love good times on two wheels in paradise.
Right before we left, a woman and her son approached us with a January issue of TransWorld Motocross in hand and the pages marked ready for signatures. Colby Raha's big two-page spread in SCAN and Tom Parsons Weedmaps Moto ad in the back were dog-eared and she couldn't believe that they were there here on the island riding. I snapped a photo with her and her son after Tom signed the mag and it was a cool moment to see a local fan connect and hang with the squad. Overall a great day at Kahuku, and it's only building the hype for next Saturday when we head back for another day of moto!
After heading back down the mountain we arrived at the main Weedmaps Pipe Dreams mansion that sits right across from the famous Pipeline/Backdoor/Off The Wall surf break where all of their action sports team athletes were staying. Inside, hired doctors were preparing IV bags that were available to the athletes that could use the multivitamin body hydration replenish, and the boys jumped in to try them out. Jimmy, Tom, and Colby all sat and chatted about the rad Kahuku session as the bags did their magic and the rest of the team cruised in to join them. The night ended with the coolest aspect of this trip which is the fact professional athletes of multiple disciplines were all hanging out together sharing stories of their collective days. It’s good vibes with the WM teams. I called it time to personally got to sleep, so I headed to my house and wrapped up what was one long-ass epic day to start this Hawaiian journey. Yew!
Monday Rest – January 7th: With no moto on the agenda Monday was a bit of a rest day for the crew, and there is literally nowhere better to do it than on the North Shore. The house's amenities are endless, and whether it's kicking back on the porch, going for a soak in the hot tub, or a walk on the beach with world-class breaks in front of you there are no shortage of things to do on an off day. Jimmy took advantage of the daily yoga classes offered, which continue their theme of health and wellness along the journey of being a professional athlete. His body was also a little sore after the first mini flips, so he wanted a good stretch!
Being a skateboarder, I brought my board knowing the Banzai Skatepark was fun (skated it last year too.) Jimmy likes to skate as well, so he, Tom, and myself headed over there mid-day to check it out. An hour or so later we headed out after shooting a few photos and cruising around the cement layout. A quick bite to eat on the way back to the house and it was just about time for sunset. Tom wanted to snap some photos of the sunset so the day wrapped with some camera-nerding and a good crew on the porch after the sun went down.
Tuesday Scouting – January 8th: With the epic connection of a local, we were offered some potential magical spots to ride and we headed out early (Hawaiian time) for an Acai bowl and a drive up to a private property that we were to look at in hopes it will have some hits for these dudes. The theme of the day was Jurassic park (it was filmed here), and its famous theme song was playing through our phones as we made our way through the bush. You'll have to check back for the next blog for what we found, but I’ll tell you that it looked promising! A quick drive to ACE Hardware for building supplies and a stop for more food and we arrived back at the main house to end the day.
With the fast-approaching Da Hui Backdoor Shootout surf contest that WM is a sponsor of, professional surfers took to the rising swell while Colby, Jimmy, and Tom watched them get down on the big surf at sunset. With Nathan Fletcher and Bruce Irons scoring some waves they were stoked to see these other WM athletes in action. So far the vibes are magical, and this is just the beginning. Take a look at more photos below and tune back in later this week for the second installment!