Tony Heff

A Dark Room – Full Of Light / Rico Jimenez

By Chris Latronic

You never know what life will throw at you, and life throws a lot… To Rico Jimenez, those hits took him down a road that he (and most) don’t foresee or experience. A road where freedoms are stripped from your life and forcing you into a dark corner, both physically and mentally. Some dwell deeper into the darkness while few turn to the light, transitioning their life towards a more righteous path. Now living in Honolulu, Rico has persevered through negative adversity and is now using every fiber in his life to progress towards a positive future.

Chris: Can I get your full name, age, and where you were born and raised?

Rico: My full name is Rico Miguel Kainalu Castillo Jimenez, I’m 38 years old. I was born in Lihue, Kauai.

Chris: Tell me about your origins in Kauai; Tell me about being born there in super early days, your family, mom and dad.

Rico: I was originally born in Hanalei. We later, very early on, moved to Kapa’a. I was a little closer to my mom’s family. My mom has seven sisters, so I have 16 cousins or something on Kauai. She had a big family. I guess you can call Kealia, my home break. It wasn’t something to be proud of back then, it was kind of a crappy beach break, but I guess nowadays, the kids now love it and use it for training.

Chris: What were your first experiences with surfing? Who taught you?

Rico: So my dad, Don Jimenez was an old school Hanalei surfer. My name, Kainalu, means ‘ocean wave’. He very much wanted a son who surfed, so surfing was introduced to me pretty early on. I think the first wave I actually caught and stood up on would be Hanalei Pier and I think [for] a lot of kids from Kauai, especially the North Shore, that is their first wave.

Chris: Do you remember your 1st waves?

Rico: I think I was too young to remember. I knew from pictures and my mom and dad telling me that’s where I surfed. But you know, growing up, I didn’t like surfing. My dad pushed it on me. Not really soccer-dad-kine, he wasn’t too much into contests, but really wanted me to be a surfer as a kid. You kinda go the opposite way of where your parents try to take you. Whatever he wanted me to do, surf, whatever, give me a surfboard, I was like, ‘I ain’t going surfing.’ And probably at about 6th or 7th grade, I started hanging out with some kids. My friend Travis Souza and Billy Butler, they all surfed and boogie-boarded. I started boogie-boarding actually, when I was in about 6th or 7th grade. Then I met Derek Lyons Wolfe, and he surfed. I started hanging out with him and finally I went back to my dad and was like, ‘Dad, you got that surfboard that you got for me a long time ago?’ he said, ‘Yeah itʻs right in the shed.’ That started my whole surfing journey.

Photos: Rico

Chris: What happened after that? Talk more about your path in the surf world and who helped inspire you along the way?

Rico: We used to surf this one wave on the east side. It’s called Flags, and is just a kinda super underground wave. Not much people used to surf it back in the day. Now it’s just crowded and outta control just like everything else. But I think that was the first place I ever got barreled. Like legit barreled on a surfboard and I was like, ‘Ho, this is super rad.’ This one summer it was going off and I remember Braden Diaz, Randall Paulson and Strider guys, they all showed up and they were surfing. And it was my first time surfing with pros and just watching them rip and their approach to this wave that we’ve surfed all the time, I was like, ‘Wow’, there is more to surfing, there is another level, that you can never see in videos. You watch videos and it’s cool, you know? It looks like a turn, looks like I’m doing that turn. But to see it with your face, up close and live…I think it sparked something. It definitely motivated me and gave me the drive to wanna surf better and explore more and I was like, ‘Ok, where are these guys coming from? Where are they surfing? Shoot I wanna go where they’re surfing. I wanna surf Pipeline. I wanna get really barreled’.

Chris: When did you start really want to pursue a surf career? When did it start to get serious?

Rico: So all my friends surfed for this company, Osiris, it was a shoe company, and the team manager at the time became a friend and started helping me with some products, some stickers for my board and stuff. It just felt good to be a part of something and I think just getting a sticker on my board, it really gave me confidence; It really gave the affirmation in the sense that somebody believed in me. It raised my awareness and my level of surfing. At that time, getting paid to surf Pipe and being, you know, a North Shore local, that was a thing. I remember Randall Paulson telling me one time that everybody has their niche; Everybody has something special and unique about them – find yours and go with it. My dad raised me with a strong work ethic, not only was I part of a company, but I also made myself available and did my best to show them a good time on the North Shore and that grew after Osiris. A lot of my friends, like Dustin Barca, rode for the company Oakley and when Oakley came on the scene Dino Andino was the team manager. And Daniel Lippert, the other team manager, he put me on. Just the flow program – he gave me some clothes, another sticker for my board. I was just like, ‘Ok this is cool, you know, this can go somewhere.’ And as time went on RonnyNelson took on Oakley, and he realized that I can do a lot for them in Hawai`i, not only surf and perpetuate the aloha spirit in the water in Hawai’i, but also be an asset to the company in many ways. Riders from all over the world come to Hawai`i and it’s a scary place to come for the first time. Have one of the boys show you around, paddle you out to Pipe, show you where the line-up is, you know that’s priceless. So you know I found out a way to be an asset to that company and we ended up getting a team house that was year-round, right at Off The Wall and I become the In-house Resident. You know so, not only was I being paid to surf but now I was getting free rent and getting to live right at the beach at Pipeline, the wave I dreamed and aspired to surf. And at that point you can say that I was living the dream. Fully living the dream, it was pretty awesome. And during that time I just wanted to surf Pipe, I wanted to prove myself out there, with the boys, establish myself in the line-up. I surfed it for years and just almost getting good ones, getting close-outs. I started competing. I think it was the Hansen’s back then, Hansen’s Energy (Pipe Pro). And then it was Monster. Different titles. Volcom now owns it. So that was our Pipe contest. And I did that for years. I got invited to the Pipe trials one year, made a couple rounds, so that was cool. First time I ever made money from a contest was at Pipeline. I made it to the round of 32, round of 64… something like that. That was a big milestone for me to make money in a contest. And then I used to go with Danny Fuller – we would go to Tahiti, we would go to Teahupoo. Me and him would camp. We would bring a tent and actually camp with our surfboards and stay there for a month. We would always plan it out, three weeks before the trials. For Tahiti, I did the trials for six to seven years when it was really easy to get into the trials. Now I think it’s really hard, but I had fun doing that. I think I reached a point where I realized that competing was tough. There’s only one winner. I realized I’m a bad loser and it was taking away from what my passion is in surfing: traveling, getting sick barrels, being with your friends, having a smile on your face. I was losing sight of that, and it become harder and harder to get into these contests. Traveling to, like, Huntington Beach and I remember entering a contest in Santa Cruz and I didn’t have a wetsuit so I didn’t even show up and I was like, ‘Frik.’ Somebody told me how cold it was there and I was like, ‘I probably won’t go.’ I even showed up for my heat but still didn’t even go. It was becoming distasteful to me for multiple reasons and I just kinda decided one day that, ‘You know what? I’m gonna start having fun again. I’m still getting paid, I’m living on the beach here at Pipeline. There’s no need to keep putting myself through this ringer and disappointment,’ and was like, ‘You know what? I’m done competing. I wanna have fun.’ And I love it! I still got to do the Backdoor Shootout, which is like, the best contest ever. Uncle Eddie, you’re the man. That was super special. No stress, just go out their with the boys and get the best waves around. This year, watching the Backdoor Shootout, I definitely got itchy. I would definitely want to do that contest again, so Uncle Eddie, put me in, Coach! (Laughs)

Chris: So you were competing, in the midst of it; but yeah, it’s not for everybody, so what happened next?

Rico: So talking about living the dream, to live that surfers lifestyle, you still need money to survive. Very early on, I made some bad decisions, some poor choices and I did what I thought I needed to do so I could live that lifestyle. My choice was to sell drugs and I did it for a very long time.

Photo: Hank Foto

Chris: At the time, did you think that you were cornered into that? Was it frustrating to follow the dream?

Rico: I glorified the lifestyle. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. I made the excuses and the justifications for what I was doing and why it wasn’t bad, never really took responsibility of looking at the actually damage that my actions were causing not just me but, eventually me, but my family, my friends, loved ones, people I was selling it to, and ultimately me and my past caught up to me. Oakley was taking care of me and I actually stopped when Oakley gave me that chance and opportunity. ‘You know what? I’m not going to mess this up, I’m done’. And lo and behold they waited four-and-a-half years to come and hold me accountable for the offense I did years ago. And the next thing I knew, the Feds were knocking on my door. And I smile not because I’m proud of it, but [because] it feels good to be on the other side of my consequences. It’s over. It’s a huge lesson.

Chris: Tell me what it was like in that moment? Not many people have experienced the police showing up at your door to arrest you…

Rico: Yeah, you know I was in my regular daily routine, I was about to go surfing. I thought I was on top of the world – the big sponsor, staying at a house on the beach, big truck, all the friends…you know, I thought I was the man. It all changed with a knock on the door. The [Drug Enforcement Administration] D.E.A. gave me a visit and pulled me in and told me what time it was. They told me, “You’re going to prison.” and that day changed my life. I just seen everything I worked so hard for just slipping through my fingers, just a clear full view of all the choices and mistakes I made. Finally questioning my mistake, ‘Why’d I do that? Why would I jeopardize my freedom?’ The credibility of myself as a man, was like the scum of the earth. I felt like I let everyone down around me, people who believed in me, people who loved me. I just felt horrible. There is nothing to describe it – the amount of fear, anxiety, disappointment in yourself. It was just an angry moment for me; a scary, angry moment for me. It’s scary not to know the future for you and [that] it is in the hands of somebody else; When you lose control of everything you thought you had control over, it’s super scary. But you know when all is said and done, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It striped me down to my pride and my ego. The pretense for who I thought I needed to be to have people like me, it striped me of that and showed me what was really important in life: freedom, relationship, family. All the money, the lust, the fancy light, it means nothing when you have the same clothes to wear as 3,000 other inmates and a locker the same size as a mini fridge to hold the only stuff you have in the world. My prized possessions were my pictures and my letters that I got from my friends and family. The rest I can give a damn about; That’s all I had in the world. It really gave me an opportunity to ask myself some tough questions, to reflect on life and look back and try and set a new path and direction on where I wanna go and who I wanna be and the legacy I wanna live, what I want people to say about me when I’m gone.

Chris: What were you charged with? How long you were sent away for?

Rico: By the end of it all, I was charged with conspiracy to distribute powder cocaine. It’s a felony. The judge gave me 60 months, which is 5 years, of federal prison. I was sent to Lompoc, California, eventually transferred to Oregon, and then finally ending up in Bastrop , Texas where I finished my time.

Chris: Local boy in foreign world…

Rico: When I got to Texas I was the only person from Hawai’i. I went there for disciplinary reasons. I didn’t obviously learn my lesson going in there, I was still taking short cuts. Trying to break the rules and I ended up in the hole. I did 46 days in the solitary confinement. I got outta there just before Christmas.

Chris: Tell me about being put in solitary confinement.

Rico: Well, shoot… it was mid winter and the A/C was broken, meaning that it was stuck on. Forty degrees, four blankets & three pairs of socks. I thought I was gonna die of hypothermia. It was so cold in there, 24/7 lock up, you don’t leave your cell. It’s just you and your thoughts. I did a lot of writing, a lot of reading, a lot of push ups; I had a lot of time to think. I shared a cell with one other men for a bit. A 10’x8’ cell. You get a toilet in there and a sink. So you eat, sleep, and crap all in the same area, with another man, a grown man, that you don’t even know. At one point when I was in the detention center, I ended up sharing a cell with this guy and he was in there for life for murder. At that time, I was 35, he was in prison longer than I was alive. At one point, I thought “Is this guy gonna come after me if made him upset one night?” When he went to sleep he would put books on his chest and cover in case I came at him. I’m like, ‘It’s cool. I’m not coming after you.’ You know in prison, you’re told what to wear and what time to wake up, what time to go to bed. How much stuff you can have, your whole life is dictated for you. You have this much freedom: You can choose what you read, what you watch, and how you spend your time. Everything else is decided for you. It’s all cool on TV, but I did that dance: Flunk, confirm the marshalls, handcuffed, shackled, machine guns pointed at you. It ain’t no fun the pater suit. You think you’re a tough guy, real fast, real tough – your true face, true cards, they really come out of who you are, and what you talk about. I don’t want any, I don’t wanna be in there, I don’t want that. I wouldn’t want that to happen to me, any of my friends. Any of you kids out there, it ain’t worth it. Your freedom is so valuable. It sucks. It’s not a place or life to be proud of that is glorified.

Photo: Rico

Chris: So it was rough, but you kept it together while in prison. Was there ever a point where you were super motivated to get out? How did you adapt through this experience?

Rico: First and foremost, you gotta hold on to something in there. I lost everything, I ruined relationships, no income, no career, everything I held dear was taken away and striped from me because of my actions, because of my choices, but you gotta dig deep, you gotta find something that’s gonna pull you through, something that gives you hope. So I found God; it gave me hope. It gave me hope, it gave me what I needed day-to-day. I did every program available that I could that could give me the best opportunity to change my life. Thank God there are programs in there. I actually took what was called the ‘Drug Program’. What the Drug Program was, was an in-patient. You live in a separate quarters. It was 10 months. I had two goes at it. It was 8 months and I got kicked out, and I don’t like to quit. One thing I learned about myself is tenacity and resilience. I had both, so I got back up, got back on the horse and I completed the Drug Program. So it was a cognitive therapy program – it did a lot with our thinking and help us to challenge a lot of our thinking patterns and different areas that we’re brought up with that essentially lead us to being and living the way we were. Because we all do have a choice to change, it just takes a lot of courage and discipline to change. It provided that; It gave me a space and opportunity to look at myself for who I was, allowed others to hold me accountable for the things I was saying I wanted to do. I wanna say it was like Hell, but it was actually one of the best things I could have done for myself. It taught me values, it taught me the importance of relationships, it taught me how to communicate better, it taught so much in day to day I still use the tools I acquired from that program. That was towards the end of my sentence. I finished and I finished strong. I had a plan, a release plan, very strongly in my mind, had set goals for myself for who I want to be and what I want to do for myself for when I get out. I wrote it all out and I stuck to it.

Chris: What were some of the things you wrote down and wanted to accomplish?

Rico: The biggest thing I wanted to get accomplished, more than get accomplished, was making sure I was good; That I was doing me; That I was being the “new” me. The first thing a person most wants to do when they get out is to go see old friends and it’s very easy to fall back into the patterns you were doing before you went to prison. I think it was very important for me to stay on a path of making sure I had a job. And this place, this gym, Kahala Crossfit the owner Shane Divis, believed in me. He gave me a chance, he gave me an opportunity. I was about to take a job washing the dishes at Duke’s and let me tell you, I felt so blessed, and grateful for the opportunity. I ended up getting sick and the owner here [at Kahala Crossfit] called me, and I never showed up for my interview at Duke’s. He wanted me to come in and let’s try this out. So I didn’t end up washing dishes. I was stoked to. I was ready to. And that was part of my plan – get a job. Doesn’t matter what it is, get a job. Something I never had all my life, a real job. I used to think it was foolish to be working a job when I can cruise and hang out all day, but little did I know that I was the fool. The working man is not a fool. The foolish man is the one who takes shortcuts and get around that ‘cause you can’t – in life there are not shortcuts. That was the biggest thing: get a job, no matter what it is. It may not be what you wanna do, but it’s part of the process of getting where you wanna be. That’s where Duke’s was going to be but lo-and-behold God had other plans and now I’m here at Kahala Crossfit. I acquired a skill, I coach, I have a passion for fitness. Helping people achieve their goals…I think that’s one of the most rewarding things in life; to help others and see others succeed and be part of their journey. It’s selfless and gratifying all in the same breath.

Chris: Are you using the skills you acquired in prison toward this job?

Rico: Yeah. So, it was funny because two of the places I was designated to had a weight pile. And I started training crossfit. Kai Garcia and Charlie Carroll brought me to crossfit before and it changed my whole perspective on style of training, because I’ve been training all my life, doing this, doing that. I fell in love with this stuff, but two of the prisons that I went to had weights…they were busted barbells and chipped plates, nonetheless, I was like, ‘Ok, let me do this.’ I took a personal trainer’s course correspondence while in there, and a strength and conditioning course. Both correspondence courses so I got my certificates while locked up. Any reading material I could get on Olympic lifting, high interval training was sent to me. I had great friends; John Johnson, you da man. And I just read and educated myself as much as I could. I really fell in love with reading. I read like 150 books, zero TV, almost got into a fight over the TV, so that was an easy choice. It needed to be cut out, so I just started reading. It took me out of where I was and put me in what I would call “reality”. I took me out of where I didn’t want to be and put me where I wanted to be. That was awesome. I still read to this day; I read everyday. I ended up meeting this coach from Oregon, he coached football there and he taught me all these sprint routines. The next thing I knew I was leading these sprint classes three times a week, two days a week. And I was leading these workouts on the weight pile. We had two guys who were brave enough to try it. It’s totally unorthodox for the people in there have been locked up for 20 years…like, ‘Cross-what?’ They don’t know what the heck that is, they thought we were just jumping around all over the place and lifting weights at the same time. They thought we were crazy. But yeah, all that gave me a base and release, a little fight, and my choice of where I wanted to take my career. I counted surfing out. I didn’t think it was in the program anymore.

Chris: How long have you been working here at Kahala CrossFit?

Rico: Two years. Shortly after I became the head coach. Eventually I stepped down from that position for a couple reasons: First one being RVCA. I’m with RVCA full time now.

Chris: So, you thought surfing was out of it?

Rico: Yeah I thought surfing was out of the question and lo-and-behold, one of my friends, he had the heart to help me out when I came home – Makua Rothman. He went up to California and mentioned something to me that he was gonna say something to RVCA. I had no expectation and I just love him for being my friend. Next thing I know I get a call from them, from Brophy, and he asked how would I like to be part of RVCA. You know start out small and start jogging and see where it goes. And then I said I would love to be and that was within three months of being home and I was signing a contract with RVCA. They believed in me. They had a space in their family for me. They looked passed my mistakes and failures and they were more interested on where I was going than where I’ve been. That grew and the next thing I knew I started a kids program. Working more and more with the kids, getting involved in the RVCAloha, the house, just like I did for Oakley. It created a space where they wanted me full time. I’m so blessed to be part of such an amazing brand, with such an amazing founder and owner, Pat Tenore. Talk about someone who gives people second chances and has a heart of gold, Pat Tenore. He’s done so much for me. Makua Rothman, Danny Fuller, all the boys, they really stepped up, gave me a family and a home. I coach two days a week here at the gym. I believe I still need to acquire and work on my craft, which is coaching. It goes hand- in-hand, it’s very transferable right into surfing. We have RVCA Sport. I wanna work more with the kids and make a fitness program for them…still a little ways from that. But right here in Kahala I love our demographic. We are with house moms and working professionals, people that really want and love life and fitness. They’re here for the same reasons why I’m here training. They want a better life, that’s what it’s all about. Creating a better life for yourself, creating a routine that helps you become who you wanna be. To be a part of their journey is priceless, while RVCA’s giving me a home.

Chris: All of a sudden, you’re back in Pipeline houses, kinda doing the same set up. Tell me, how was it coming back to doing what you thought you’d never do again?

Rico: Yeah, so coming back I was a little apprehensive. There is a lot going on in surf culture, that maybe I should not be around. I was very prudent where I put myself in my surroundings and where I allowed myself in certain situations. Once I got acclimated of being around the boys, being back around the scene, being around the houses where people are drinking alcohol. I had the discipline not to step off the line I wanted to be on. It was like I never left. The game doesn’t change, the players do. Pipeline changes the line-up; it ain’t like it used to be. You gotta bunch of young kids out there. My first day back paddling out, kids were paddling around me and calling me off! That was a piece of humble pie. I couldn’t do the things I used to. Kinda had to grit my teeth and say, ‘Ok.’

Chris: Quickly describe back in the old days – what would have happened?

Rico: Some of the guys I was getting paddled around by came on the scene just the past four years and probably didn’t know who I was. They probably would have got a good head slap, probably get sent in. But guys kept telling me, ‘Times have changed, times have changed’ and they have: We don’t do that kind of crap anymore. At least I don’t. It was back to the drawing board. I need to put my time back; I need to put my paddling back; I need to humble myself and just realize that it’s not the same. I’ve grown just like these kids have, like Pipeline has. Back to the source of life; Back to why we’re all there for the same reason: We wanna get barreled and have fun. I realize I had my time in the sun. I over-achieved what I thought I could when I was young and growing up. I’m just so thankful that I’m back in the water. I’m still able to surf Pipeline, I’m still in the mix. I gotta remind myself ‘Just smile, take it as it is,’ being stoked on being out there – I am, I really am.

Chris: So I heard you took up a new hobby. Talk a bit about how you got into photography and what are you working on nowadays?

Rico: I’m a recovering addict, I did my fair share of partying, my vices, my addictions. I’m four-and-a-half years sober now. Four-and-a-half years! It feels nice to say that. Almost 5 years sober. The same way nails drive out old nails, time needs to be replaced, you need to substitute things you used to do with new creative and healthy things. Upon my release, what am I going to do with all this time, what hobbies and different things I can do to be constructive and that I am passionate about. I bought a film camera, my girlfriend shoots film and video. She took me to this place. I bought my first camera, this 1960s twin reflex camera. It’s called a Rolleiflex. I just started shooting what I saw. I didn’t even call myself a photographer; I didn’t even like the term. I don’t like the label and I never went to school for it. I don’t really know what Iʻm doing, I’m just learning as I go. But I started shooting all my friends because I love them and I cherish them they’re all so accomplished and they inspire me so much. So I just started shooting them and it became a project and I believe it’s a lifelong project. I’ve been shooting the portraits of, you can call them icons of the surfing industry, but I just call them ‘my boys’. They’re guys I’ve surfed day-to-day with, that I’ve struggled with, I’ve had victories with. They’re my friends. Think I have 60 to 80 portraits of all the boys, my friends. It started out as a hobby, I believe it is. It has not become lucrative but it’s just a hobby and I need to be careful on not spending too much time on it.

Chris- How did the photo show come about? How did it transition from just taking portraits of your friends to now be featuring them in a professional photography show?

Rico: The store I bought the camera from and my first roll of film. It’s called the Tree House and the owner Bobby reached out and asked me if I wanted to be part of a group D.I.Y., Do It Yourself show. I said yes. I develop my own film, I processed it. I had a tiny bit of experience being in a dark room, being able to print my own photos. He gave the option of being able to send out your digital negs but it had to be shot on film. But I was like, ‘You know what? I wanna print it OG style, dark room style and print all my own prints.’ I hit up John John and unfortunately he has some project going on. So look for something big from John John. He has a dark room. I wasn’t able to use his room but he offered all his equipment and I was about to take it. But then a few months ago, this lady, she had a Craigslist ad. She said 20 years she had all this dark room equipment stored, time to clear it, come pick it up. So I responded and I showed up to pick up all this stuff and it was so dusty, dirty, in pieces, I didn’t even know if it worked and after JJ told me that his dark room isn’t available I thought what’s my next option? Let’s see if this stuff works. I called up a friend of mine and assessed this equipment. We dusted everything off, cleaned it; It took me hours to clean it. I ended up breaking some stuff by accident. Here at the gym we have a kids room and on the weekend it never really gets used so I turned it into a dark room. I plugged everything in, everything worked. I bought some chemicals and I started going to town. I started printing, I started to do 10 prints. In the course of three weekends, I think I spent about 40 hours in there, learning as I’m doing it and with the help of my girlfriend who is so patient and so awesome. You know, I pulled it off! I got 10 prints done, and it’s showcased Saturday March 3rd at the Treehouse. Yeah, I’m super honored. I have no expectations, I’m just stoked somebody likes my work and having the opportunity to not only take the photos but be brave enough to show them, put yourself out there and risk being critiqued and being judged and I’m down for that. Everyone may not like my stuff, but that’s Ok; I’m cool with that. Whatever, that’s life. Some people catch on, some don’t. But yeah, super excited about that…such a big learning experience and great project. I didn’t realize how much work I was gonna have to put into it. But I’m proud of my work, what I do, and I’m excited to see where this goes and if not I have some rad photos of my friends that I will always keep as my photos.

Chris: So what’s the future? What’s the future for Rico Jimenez?

Rico: The future of Rico Jimenez…it’s all about the kids. I always told myself the kids were the big motivators of my change when I was in prison. If I can change one kid’s life all this time, all this heartache, all this pain, suffering that I’m going through is worth it. RVCA is a medium for me to do that. I got all these great kids that I am able to speak into their lives and especially help them learn from my mistakes. I wanna do more with the kids, I don’t know what it looks like; I definitely don’t wanna force it. The ways things have been going in my life, things have just come to flourition. They just grow, opportunities come. One of my mentors says, “Show up, be available, and do your best.” So whatever comes my way, and if it feels right in my heart, I feel the kids can benefit from it. I’m willing to show up, do my very best and see where it goes.

Surfing-wise I wanna get in better paddling shape. Four years is a long time to be out of the water and I have to get those Pipeline muscles back. This winter was definitely better than last. But I’m ready to get some big barrels out at Pipeline again. Eric Arakawa, Tokoro, those guys have been helping out with some boards. And RVCA, I can’t thank them enough for what they are doing for me. Surfing is always something in my life. Pipeline is a special place. I fell in love with it a very long time ago. She ain’t going nowhere and neither am I, so kids, make space for Uncle.

Chris: Where can people find Rico Jimenez?

Rico: Find me @Popdaclutch I’m on Instagram, I ain’t on Facebook. It takes up too much time, but Instagram takes up too much time also. At the beach, Kahala Crossfit, come down, let’s get fit!

I’m here Thursday through Friday morning but I’m training mostly everyday. You wanna come in, get a good workout, be around good people, positive people? This is the place for you. Come on down.



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