Jan 22 2009

Kala Alexander on Pipeline and the Wolfpack

Published by at 5:46 pm under Hawaii

kala alexander Kala Alexander on Pipeline and the Wolfpack

Photo Credit: Marco Garcia

The New York Times profiles Kala Alexander, Pipeline local and founder of the Wolfpack, as he explains why the Wolfpack got started and how it regulates and protects the Pipeline line-up. Kala cuts a larger than life figure as a pipeline local, community volunteer, actor, surfer, and businessman, but with a violent past. He spent time in prison for assault charges on Kauai. Regulating the line-up at Pipeline has meant physical intimidation and occasional violence to those who don’t follow the rules. Da Hui and the Wolfpack emphasize respect for the locals and order in the line-up; they enforce the code through violence and/or threats of violence. Kala was also profiled recently by Outside Magazine and has his own website. Unfortunately, there’s no blog on his site; it would be interesting to hear Kala’s thoughts and responses to readers. Youtube interview with Kala at the bottom.

From the NYT article:

“The code is to respect other people,” Alexander, 39, said. “People come over here and don’t respect other people. You’re going to run into problems if you do that.”

That is what happened to Chris Ward, a 30-year-old professional from San Clemente, Calif., and runner-up to Kelly Slater last month at the Pipeline Masters. In November, Australian publications reported that Ward cut off a local surfer while riding a wave at Pipeline. He was banished to the beach, where a Wolfpak member smacked him in the head. Without providing details, Ward confirmed that the incident happened.

“It was crowded when I came here,” Alexander said about Pipeline. “A lot of people in the water, not much respect. Where I grew up on Kauai, you respect everybody in the water, especially your elders. Don’t step out of line. We just brought that mentality over here.”

pixel Kala Alexander on Pipeline and the Wolfpack

19 responses so far

  • derek woods

    I look up to kala and i think what he does is neded but i think if he is gona bash heads he should have a good reason. i hope to one day surf with him.

  • boogs

    your a fucking joke derek

  • Ze da Couve

    Kala should come to Portugal and meet de Cota Krew Brigade (cota means old man) and learn some maners.

  • paldgate

    I don’t surf. I’m not into surf culture. I’m fat and like deciduous trees.

    I remember reading the NY Times article on Alexander, and saw him only yesterday, I think, competing in the Eddie Aikau Memorial Competition.

    The story of the WolfPak’s enforcement of the surf rotation at the Pipeline reminds me of the tragedy of the commons.

    I don’t agree with use of violence – or threats of same, but it’s plain that there is a limited resource used by many, so I’m not surprised that this situation has developed.

    Whether it’s good or not, I dunno. I’d imagine that if it were that big of a problem, some regulatory body would have stepped in by now. More than likely, it’s the media blowing something out of proportion.


    tragedy of the commons

  • Mike

    Kala and his buddies are a bunch of big ol’ fags – he probably willingly dropped the soap while in prison. No wonder they like to touch men so often. It must be tough to be gay on Hawaii. It means you have to try and compensate so much harder to look manly and “tuff.”

  • http://www.hookemup.com Tag Rockhauser

    Kala Alexander is a virus within society. Evidently he’s had a lot of bad breaks, but his misfortune shouldn’t be an excuse. This guy should be delt with in a severe and uncomprimising fashion. He’s a felon and should be put on a very tight leash. One more small mistake and he should spend the rest of his days in a cage.

  • tone

    LOL He cant even fight, he couldnt knock out that scrony white dude, no matter how hard he tried. He is just a buff ass little rat. I agree with what he is trying to do, but he is just a asshole and not the right person to be leading anything. If he thinks he is some kind of tough fighter type of person, start MMA. Maybe you can actually win something, unlike your “career” in surfing.

  • http://facebook monte j.

    First off, i love the show 808 bra,the volcom house is sick with it. You had a hard life as a kid&had to earn respect ,same here! Da`hui and wolf pak are what the northshore need. It`s not about bad asses it`s about respect,everything else comes with that-Girls,waves,home,money. Seems you have all that and a bag of chips!! keep on keeping on bra. Much repect…

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  • Carlos

    basics: you will never generate respect with violence, its the same fascist logic used by pinochet here in Chile, with violence you only generate fear, terror and repulsion, that has nothing to do with respect, do you really think that beating your wife will generate her respect? do you really think you get respect by taking the law by your own hands? not in the real world.

    Respect its gained by praising peoples integriti, by showing compasion and charity, you get respect by acting like a human being, by devoting your life for others needs, by BEING CIVILIZED and not by bieng brutal.

    your logic its so disgusting and sick as thinking can get respect by raping someone becouse it pased a red light, you are extremist like the talibans, you love and praise the use of excesive violence for absurd situations. If catching a wave its more important than a human life you guys have no dignity at all.

    Its a shame all the homeless in hawaii, have you done something about it? there you can get respect….

  • Luicso47

    Curiosamente pone una palabra tras otra, habla. Enhorabuena eso es un principio.El entrevistador que asiente con la cabeza (por si acaso) ¿teme algo?
    El Aloha dejalo para tu gente a esos subnormales que te admiran.
    Tu no eres surf, tu eres nada.

  • Kali Reevesman

    Kala Alexander is such a coward. Seriously. He was beating up that white kid who was younger than him, shorter than him, and weighed less than him. Ooh wow! Talk about being a “beach bully.” Kala probably grew up in a drug-addict family and had no moral values taught to him by his parents. Who knows? Maybe his dad and mom divorced, and he grew up socially incapable of dealing with problems. One thing for sure. Kala needs anger-management counseling. Seriously. You don’t just assault somebody just because he or she is doing something wrong and take your frustration out in that kind of manner.  Auwe! And as a Kama’aina who used to live on Oahu, it’s sad, but I see a lot of these thug mentality amongst fellow Hawaiians in Waianae and other parts of Oahu. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VAG4HPLOGKO6G6NAP6RR2KPX4A Tim Kaes

    I agree with local Hawaiian, please respect the water and the people. The problem with whites is that they act cocky wherever they go. They need a good beatdown. 

  • travis17

    i dunno man i have extremely mixed feelings about the system. im from chicago illinois and go to kauai every winter for a month.  Now im not a great surfer by any stretch of the imagination but i love it and have to be the only kid to get surfer mag in the midwest. anyways to an extent, knowledge of kala and the heirarchy of localism, has completely kept me in line. every now and then i have a good session at the pavilion or semi pine trees i get a little cocky and want to head out to the bowl or up the road. knowing that i dont really have a good idea of how a proper line up is or who is who among the locals, has definitely kept me from being a cocky asshole in the water and i completly respect what the locals are trying to do. on the otherside you kind of feel like you have to walk on egg shells in hanalei.  last new years my friend and a couple girls we met decided to go spend new years on the beach and was told several times that our new years is up at the resort and to get the fuck off the beach.  that to me is a little more than protecting the respect and integrity of a community thats just straight forward being mean.  the other part of the system that is dont like is it limits where i can go in north shore kauai.  I just wish that is mainlanders werent all judged as a whole, even though we may not be amazing surfers and werent born in kauai doesnt mean some of us respect the culutre and would want to learn how to peacefully become part of a line up 

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you. Localism does serve a good purpose in the line-up and teaching new-comers respect and surf etiquette. Blocking you from enjoying a beach seems like a different story.

  • Larrygoddard

    Kala was at his home in Kauai when a speeding truck killed his dog in front of him.  The driver did not stop.  A few days later Kala recognized the same truck and went up to the unknown driver to ask for help paying vet and funeral costs.  The driver rolled up his window ignoring Kala’s repeated requests and tried to leave.  Kala had every right to become enraged and this cowardly act by a cowardly non-local made him pound on the side window, accidently breaking it.  Since Kala was in effect asking for money to help pay the enourmous bills all of which were caused by the hit and run driver extortion charges were filed and that is Kala’s big prison adventure.  At least he took it like a Man unlike Sunny Garcia who cried over the few months he had to to for tax evasion.  If you’ve ever been to Hawaii or have the least amount of sense you know why the Wolfpak had to be formed and why there are no problems with real surfers.  Just ask one.

  • Andy89lifeblue

    someday he will be shot, and their kingdom of violence and fear will end up

  • Ozy Surfer

    Hawaiians are originally filipino’s anyway.
    This guy talks like people should bow down to them,thats not respect,
    They demand  Respect through violence,you dont get respect like that you have to “Earn” Respect .

  • Jeff Cordero

    Nice racist generalization insecure knuckle dragger.