Up Close Tamayo Perry[IMAGE 1]
Tamayo Perry is one cool individual. I first met him in the summer of ’94 in Solana Beach, California. We met through mutual friends and eventually wound up working together at the local Subway sandwich shop on the corner. What some people don’t realize about Tamayo is that he’s hilarious¿a natural-born comedian with sly wit. He had me rolling plenty of times. His intricate thinking is nothing short of original, and he has a heart of gold. Before he left to move back to the North Shore, he sold me his red Honda scooter for 200 bucks. Thanks again, Tamayo¿that thing saved my life more than a few times.¿A.S.
Interview with Tamayo by Pete Johnson on the North Shore of O’ahu, Hawai’i.
Since I’ve known you for so long, I’m going to start with some “remember” questions. Like, remember when you sent that letter to Gerry Lopez before you ever met him? Hysterical laughter from both.
Are you referring to the letter I wrote to Lopez when I was trying to get into the Gerry Lopez Pipe Masters? I thought it was a pretty damn good letter, and was bummed I never got a response from that thing. But I’m sure he’s a busy man¿he’s still my hero. And the good news was I got into the Pipe Masters. Who knows, maybe he had something to do with it.
Still laughing What was in the letter?
There were a couple of surf shots of me trying to look like Gerry Lopez. Basically, the letter was asking Gerry for help getting into the contest.
Remember when you were a teenager and got into a hassle with “Roadblock?”
What’s up with your “remember” questions laughing? That was actually one of the highlights of my life as far as excitement goes. There’s been this guy called “Roadblock” who’s always been a nemesis of mine on the North Shore. We got into a confrontation¿he thought I was trying to drop in on him at Rocky Point, and then the shit hit the fan. He came flying at me in a rampage, snapping at me. He got so close I thought he was about to hit me, so I stuck the nose of my board into the bottom of his board.
That caused even more problems laughs. He ended up getting a hold of my board, breaking off each one of my fins, and throwing them at me like ninja stars. Seriously though, I remember it being a pretty terrifying moment¿but I did manage to dodge each fin laughing. So I lost the fins off my board, and a little bit of my pride, too.
Remember when you put “Jesus is Lord” on your stomach for a magazine shot? What exactly are your religious beliefs?
I definitely believe in a Father, Son, and Holy Ghost¿a Trinityconcept. I believe really firmly in my morals. I feel as a pro surfer I’ve been able to get across a message in a surfing world whichhas a lot of negative icons. Everyone has his or her vice, but there’smoderation. I try to be a good role model¿I try to do the best I can to live by example, but it’s a hard walk.
Do you ever drink alcohol?
Yes, but in moderation. It’s not one of my big things.
How are things with your longtime, Boogie-boarding girlfriend?
Uhh, girls. I don’t know¿I’d advise all the youth to stay away from women and concentrate on their careers laughter. My girlfriend and I have had a few shaky moments, but we’re trying to rekindle things.
What interests you outside of surfing?
I like to stay as fit as I possibly can. I’ve been getting intobasketball the last few summers. It’s good cross-training¿a good workout. It gets your lungs pumping and keeps you focused on competition. I also enjoy underwater diving, particularly at Shark’s Cove, where there’re a bunch of underwater lava tubes. Basically, we hold our breath, dive down, and swim through them. It’s another good cross-trainer for surfing, for obvious reasons. It’s good to relate to the ocean in other ways besides surfing.
What does the coming winter hold for you?
I’m going to go out there and try to maintain what I’m doing, which is trying to gett the biggest, deepest barrels I can at Pipe. Hopefully, there’s a Pipe Masters in my near future.