"Free surfing is really all about having a ball with all your friends, not taking things so seriously… and getting barreled."
Some people would pay top dollar to have hair like Kobe’s. But unless you’re willing to dish out $1000 bucks (his asking price for chopping it all off), we’re not really here to talk about his hair.
During an afternoon ride around town in his 91’ Caddy with Filmmaker Jack Coleman, we discovered a few other things that local surf ambassador Kobe Hughes had to say about surfing and life in Encinitas.
This is Kobe
Jack: So, Kobe, when did you first start competing in surf contests and when did you stop?
Kobe: I started doing contests when I was like five, and then I kind of took a break. Then got back into it with the whole NSSA thing when I was probably like 15 and stopped again when I was like 17.
Jack: What’s one of the best things about shaping surfboards?
Kobe: My favorite part about shaping is it just allows you to be creative. It's kind of like sculpting or something, keeps you occupied for a while. It's a pretty fun feeling when you're riding something you've made and you get to understand something new about it, something maybe only you would understand. Then you get to learn from it and improve on it.
Jack: How'd you get into shaping surfboards?
Kobe: My uncle Ryan.
Jack: How would you define “Free Surfing”?
Kobe: Free surfing is really about having a ball with all your friends, not taking things so seriously… and getting barreled.
Jack: What's your guilty pleasure?
Kobe: My guilty pleasure? Cinnamon rolls. Mm Cinnamon rolls.
Jack: Push bike or electric bike?
Kobe: I’m on a push bike. I mean, I would love to have an electric bike, but they're a little bit out of the budge.
Jack: Do you prefer the winter or the summertime in Encinitas?
Kobe: Prefer the winter. Waves are better in the winter for sure. Chicks are better in the summer, though.
Jack: Favorite wave in North County, San Diego?
Kobe: Probably Car Parks. Love a good old Car Park session with all the boys.
Jack: You gotta deal with your dog Lemmy waiting there every time you eat?
Kobe: Yea, he’s a little shit head.
Kobe: A burrito with fries inside. Hold on, I gotta burp.
Jack: Favorite surf movie of all time?
Kobe: Probably Tear Devils. That one is pretty sick and has a lot of local guys in it.
Jack: What’s it been like growing up here in Encinitas?
Kobe: Can't complain. You know? So many waves, good people, good food, good weather. Yeah, I love it.
Jack: Who inspires your surf style the most and why?
Kobe: Probably my Uncle Ryan. Growing up, he was always my idol, and just being able to be so close to him was cool. He definitely influenced my style the most out of anybody. But there are a couple other people who inspire my surf style too. Obviously, growing up in Encinitas and being surrounded by people like Ryan Burch and Derrick Disney, Zack Flores. All those guys are guys who inspired me the most growing up for sure.
Jack: Any advice for groms?
Kobe: Yeah. I do have some advice for groms. Let me think about this one. Sorry.
Jack: Do you remember your first time surfing Pipeline?
Kobe: My first pipe wave I caught when I was 18, I believe. I was riding my dad's board.. a 72 Al Byrne.
Jack: Favorite surf trip destination?
Kobe: My favorite surf trip destination would be Hawaii. I've spent the most time out of anywhere in Hawaii for sure. It's got a special place in my heart.
Jack: What are some other things you wish you had more time to do?
Kobe: One thing I wish I could spend more time on is sewing and painting. I think that those two interest me a lot, but it's hard to have the time to do them all the time. I just want to go surf all the time.
Jack: Mountain Dew or Pepsi?
Kobe: Mountain Dew, baby, all day.