Conner Coffin’s Hawaiian Winter
So right now our beloved SurfEars ambassador and all around legend Conner Coffin is stuck in a 2 week hotel self-quarantine in Sydney, a requirement for anyone wishing to enter Australia due to COVID-19, no exceptions! This sounds pretty intense, but it has given Conner a lot of time to reflect on many things including his fortunes of spending another warm winter in Hawaii with pumping waves. We caught up with Conner just before he headed to Australia, to take us through his highlights of another winter at his second home in Hawaii, which has luckily given him a lot of time in the water, preparing him for the World Tour restart in Australia in the coming weeks.
So Conner, there was one point where it looked like you were not going to get to Hawaii this winter at all due to COVID. When did you get the all clear and how stoked were you to get there?
Yeah it was definitely a bit touch and go with the whole covid situation and if we were going to be able to travel at all this year. I was planning to get over to Hawaii regardless of the tour starting at Pipe or not. I think I found out sometime towards the end of October that Pipe was going to run, but everything was really touch and go up until the day we put jerseys on. I was sooooo happy to get over to Hawaii to enjoy the winter. It was a really epic season over there.
It would have been weird to miss out on Hawaii for a winter right? How many winter’s have you been in a row now? How much does it feel like a second home to you now?
It would have been such a bummer to miss out on a season in Hawaii. I’ve been going to the North Shore pretty much every winter since I was 12 or 13 and it’s such a special place to me. I think that makes it 15 seasons in a row! We’ve been super fortunate to call it a second home and get to spend so much time over there as a family.
What is the attraction of going back every winter obviously besides the big tubes and sick waves. Your home in California has pumping waves that time of year as well, what else does Hawaii have to offer that makes it special?
The vibe on the north shore is just so rad. It has such a rich surf history and there are so many legendary surfers that are from there or have made a name for themselves there. It really feels like the Mecca of surfing to me. There’s definitely a certain energy on the north shore that is really special. I also just love the lifestyle there, spending every day in the water or outside. Also, after going back so many years it’s been great to make friends over there and I look forward to seeing them every year.
You had some new boards this year in Hawaii with JS, how were the new sleds feeling under your feet, what was the stock standard you were riding when the waves were pumping?
The JS’ have been insane. My shortboards feel so good and it was our first crack at boards for Hawaii, so it was really cool to have so much time over there testing boards and riding them at all of the different waves. My go to for big Pipe was actually a 6’9 that Makua gave me that is super thick with a really down rail. The thing was so good for Pipe. My everyday board I love to ride is my 6’0 Monsta step up. I had a few that were amazing for fun days at OTW and Rockies. Then everything in between depending on where I was surfing.
Your brother Parker, was also ripping hard this winter, who packed more time in the green room haha?
That’s a good question! Parker had a really good winter!!! I probably spent a bit more time out in the water at Pipe just because I was in the pipe masters and putting a ton of time in before the event, but he got an INSANE Pipe wave one day when we were out there. Big old quintessential pipe wave that he rolled into and just stood tall. It was so sick!
You seemed busy on the days off this year as well, not solely focused on the waves all the time, which is beneficial in many ways! What did you get up to when the waves weren’t on?
I pretty much tried to surf every single day unless I needed to rest or when I had stitches in my foot and couldn’t surf! Haha. My girlfriend was over with me, so we had some lay days cruising at Waikiki and going around the island. We’re always barbecuing a lot in Hawaii and to counteract that, staying flexible and going on runs to keep the body balanced from all of the surfing.
Conner Lining one up at Pipe! Photo: @instaclamfunk
Who was your standout surfer this year in Hawaii and who were some people that surprised you?
John John was absolutely on fire this year, but that’s a pretty standard operation on the North Shore! Haha. There was SO much good surfing going down. Griffin Colapinto had a crazy winter. It seemed like every time he went out he got some wave that shouldn’t have been made and made it. Nathan and Ivan Florence were on fire and both Seth and Josh Moniz were going nuts at pipe. Parker was surfing really well everywhere and did some really epic surfing at Rockies.
How’d you go with the SurfEars over there? Much usage in the warmer waters?
Yes! You get so pounded on the north shore and with the shape of my ears, that means lots of water gets stuck in them. So, I try to wear them a lot over there. I will say, when I wasn’t wearing a wetsuit top to tuck them into I lost a pair or two from eating shit on waves!!! haha.
Finally word has just come through that the tour is going to resume in Australia with a new look 4 stop series. How are you looking forward to heading down under again and what are you doing to stay prepared and motivated? Any new additions to the usual routine?
SO excited to finally get down to Australia. I love Australia and look forward to coming every year. I am a little sad to not go to Snapper and Bells as those are two places I love and have really good friends in both. But, hopefully it’s an epic leg. I’ve been surfing a ton in Hawaii this last week and am just heading down to get some good rest and get the body dialled as well as surf a bunch.
Connor’s Hawaiian winter summed up in this sick clip:
Good luck in Australia Conner, we are cheering you on legend!