P-Pass with the Sarlos
All photos by Paul Fisher
In between studies in the middle of his fall semester, young Colton Sarlo dreamed of getting away.
“Colton came up to me and was like, ‘Dad, I want to get tubed,” Malibu Legend and Father, Allen Sarlo said. “I said, ‘We’re going to P-Pass for Christmas vacation.”
By Finals, Colton pondered the anxiety any surfer feels weeks before a major surf trip especially one to Micronesia half around the world.
After arriving in Hawaii, Sarlo and son took the 11 hour flight to Guam. After a two hour layover, the Sarlo’s landed in Pohnpei to meet Eloise, General Manager of the Pohnpei Surf Club.
“Atele was Mark Foo’s right hand man on the North Shore,” Allen said. “He always told me to go to Pohnpei.”
With the swell being predicted as all time, pro surfers from all corners started pulling up like Alex Gray and Dave Wassel as well as Alex and Koa Smith of Hawaii.
“With one week away Colton asked, ‘How big is it going to be,” Allen said. “I checked Surfline and was like, ‘Holyfuck, that’s a big storm, like 10-12 feet and the biggest swell in four years.”
“The pro’s kept asking, ‘Are you guys following swell,” Allen said. “I responded, ‘this is our Christmas vacation, I planned the trip three months ago.”
P-Pass is a barrier reef break that has many faces. Around four to five foot, the right hander is playful and fun. As the waves get bigger, the world class break becomes a different animal with top to bottom dredging square tubes.
“Colton and I surfed the medium waves with the crowd of pros. It was a little frustrating, but there were plenty of long waves and everybody got along,” he said. “Even for the middle sized you had to ‘roll in’ were you free fell down the face with an air drop like backdoor pipeline.”
Five days of perfect surf starting from 10-12 foot death bombs and capping off with the last two days of less consequential surf, the Sarlos’ scored.
“We’ve been going to all my other spots,” Allen said. “I’m glad finally with Colton we pulled the trigger.” DZ