When I talk about Unstad to my friends, I always tell them that it´s one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Born and raised in a small province in Philliphines called, Sorsogon.
Bicol express - Spicy pork and chilli cooked in coconut milk.
First surfboard that I actually bought and owned was a used Strong Current log with full classic outline and rounded belly bottom from nose to tail. Learned the intricacies of hold and release and trimming on that board. It was hand shaped by Mike Diffenderfer.
You´re known as the surfing king of Queen´s in Hawaii, can you elaborate?
"King of queens" - I never liked being called that, still don´t. I don´t know how that shit got started.
Tell us about how you found yourself to be living in Hawaii?
...Ended up in Hawai’i when I met my first wife in the Philippines while attending college in Manila- we were pregnant when we moved to Hawaii. We was suppose
to move to San Diego but when our daughter was born we kinda settled here and moved around Waikiki area bouncing from apartments to apartments till I found the ideal spot where I still live now for 14 years- a block away from the beach and Queens. Simplicity and freedom is key for me. Don’t rely too much on others for what I need.
Do you remember your first wave?
First wave that made an impression on me was when I borrowed my neighbors very old no name heavy log and caught a wave on it. The glide and the feeling you get int he pit of your stomach while doing it is exhilarating . Right then I decided that this is the type of board I wanna ride and it’s so much fun than struggling and floping around on a small board.
You make longboarding look so good. Any tips on how you do it?
Those 50’s and60’s surf videos helped a lot too. So fun!!! Slow and low! riding heavy boards teaches you to be a part of the board and reading waves is very crucial to getting a good ride or eating it because you can’t turn those logs in a whim.
You have a lot of different tattoos! We heard that you even tattoo on your self! Do you have any favourites?
I like tattoos- self expression- it hurts in meditative way- kinda breaking through a personal barrier in yourself by putting yourself through the process of knowing it’s gonna be a permanent mark on your skin and knowing it goes away when you die make you appreciate life, have fun, life is too short. My personal favorites are the one my inexperienced friends tattoos me. Reminder of a shared existence with really nice and cool people. Next time I come to Unstad, I’ll bring my kit and I wanna get tattoos from all you guys.
Can you describe Unstad compared to Hawaii?
Surfing Unstad compared to Hawai’i?, cold!!!!! If not for the cold water it looks almost like Hawaii- the terrain is almost similar. When I talk about Unstad to my friends, I always tell them that it’s one of the most beautiful place on earth.
Toots or Art as we like to call him, has been in Lofoten several times the last decade. I would describe him as a super humble friend with a true passion for old school longboarding. He is not only good on riding these boards but he also shape some beautiful pieces together with Dust & Fumes in Hawaii.
Follow him on Instagram: @mr._t00ts