Mason and Coco Ho. Photos: (L) Photo: Adam Guy / (R) Nike 6.0
1. Michael/Mason Ho/Coco Ho
Michael Ho is one of those figures in surfing that will always be something larger than life. At 13, he won the 1970 United States Surfing Championships. He was a force in competitive surfing for more than three decades, and has been described as the “Godfather of the North Shore.” He was a finalist at the Pipe Masters five times, won the Triple Crown and Duke Invitational twice, and has competed in the Eddie four times. Pretty impressive, right? But out of all that, what most impressive are the children he’s raised. Two incredible surfers, both able to surf in completely different parts of the sport. Coco Ho smashed her way onto the pro tour at 18, and was promptly named WCT Rookie of the Year. Since then, she’s continued as one of the best on tour, and shows no signs of slowing. Then, of course, there’s Mason. As one of surfing’s most entertaining characters, Mason doesn’t compete all that much. And sometimes he competes naked. Mason Ho looks like he has more fun than anyone else on a surfboard; the epitome of hilarity and talent combined.
Tom and LeAnne Curren, father and daughter. Biarritz. France. Photo: Jose V. Glez.
2. Pat/Tom/LeeAnn Curren
The Curren family has something in their blood. Pat Curren, the La Jolla legend, was one of the best big-wave riders through the ‘50s and ‘60s (as well as a renowned shaper). A few years after dropping out of highschool at age 18, Pat became one of the original members of the Windandsea surf Club. In the mid-50s, he became one of the first to ride Waimea Bay on a trip to Hawaii. That experience drove him to create boards specialized for big waves, and turned him into a pioneer in the arena of big waves. In 1964, he and his wife Jeanine gave birth to Tom Curren, who would eventually become one of the best surfers in the world. Tom’s incomparable style and powerful surfing netted him three world titles and a starring role as one of surfing’s most influential people. At the age of 17, Curren turned pro and signed a deal worth $40,000 a year – which, at the time, was a record. Curren’s life became something of public interest, something the quiet, often reclusive surfer was never comfortable with. In 1985, he used his role in the public eye to protest apartheid by boycotting the 1985 world circuit events in South Africa. Recently, Tom’s turned to music and has been able to carve out a successful career behind the microphone. And the family resemblance doesn’t end there: Tom’s a father to LeeAnn Curren, who is a veritable force on her own, both in the water and out. LeeAnn surfs incredibly well and can lay it down on a guitar, as well.
Safe to say that something was passed along, right? Laird Hamilton (L), and adoptive father Billy (R). Photos: (L) Tim McKenna / (R) Tim McCullough
3. Billy Hamilton/Laird Hamilton
Just because he’s not his father doesn’t mean he’s not his dad. Billy Hamilton adopted a young Laird after a chance meeting at Ehukai Beach in 1967. In the heyday of the ‘60s, Billy was one of the world’s best surfers. Known for his style, he starred in two huge surf films, Sunshine Sea and Free and Easy. He shaped for Lightning Bolt, stunted in Big Wednesday, and of course, raised Laird Hamilton, who’s done a few things to do with surfing in his life. There’s that whole Millennium Wave thing, for one.
4. Nat/Beau/Bryce/Nava/Naomi Young
Nat Young (the Australian one) did something pretty huge in surfing. Along with Bob McTavish, he basically introduced the world to shortboarding. In the late ‘60s, the pair went to Hawaii with the first real prototype for the shortboard revolution. It was a vee-bottom board that McTavish designed, and their performances on it at Honolua set the bar for surfing’s future. Nat Young has a son named Beau who isn’t exactly a slouch on a surfboard, either. Beau holds two world titles on a longboard, both of which were won in finals against Joel Tudor. And it doesn’t end there: all of the kids rip. Bryce, Nava, and Naomi Young are all amazing surfers in their own rights.
5. Doc Paskowitz/ the rest of the Paskowitz clan
If there is one man that truly doused his children in the surfing lifestyle, it is Doc Paskowitz. For better or worse, those kids surfed, and they surfed a lot. Doc can be considered one of the earliest pioneers of the shape of today’s surf culture. He spent nearly 25 years on the road, living in a succession of used campers. It is, quite possibly, the world’s longest surf trip. He and his wife raised nine children in those campers, soaking them in the ocean and their idea of how life should be lived.
6. Ricardo/Filipe Toledo
Filipe Toledo is one of those rising Brazilian superstars who does things on a surfboard that probably shouldn’t be possible. His father, Ricardo, is a two-time Brazilian champion, and apparently passed some of that magic along. Filipe’s game above the lip has a solid foundation of classic surfing, which his father has in spades.