Getting Lei'd

STEVE PEZMAN (Founder of The Surfer’s Journal): The Don James photo of me holding a broken board at Sunset is in M.Nii’s. The first time I went there was several weeks after we got to Hawaii, in August, to be ready for winter. We were living in Waikiki and surfing Town. We got clued in that getting M.Nii’s was a ritual part of seating your valves as a surfer in Hawaii, unless you were a dork. Roy Crump, Bill Wetzel and I drove to Waianae to order. The old man measured us, we paid a deposit, and left. We came back and they were cut out and pinned but not sewn, and they had us put them on for a fitting. They ended up being just right, hanging low off the butt with our hip bones holding them in spite of them being unbuttoned and unlaced at the top, which was THE style. It was supposed to look like you didn’t give a shit, but you really did.


So we came back to pick them up and they weren’t ready. The winter was now in early stage and we had moved out past Velzyland, and as gassing up required syphoning from neighborhood cars late at night, driving to Makaha was a major commitment. Next time was when it was breaking and we went to surf, around Kaena Point this time. There was a dipsy-do in the first track where the road was eroded into the ocean so it was high siding it around a 15’ drop. We pulled it, the surf was fun, but the trunks weren’t ready. The next time we lied and told them we were leaving the next day for home. They told us they’d be ready that evening and they were. A month later I returned, telling them I was back over (yeah, from the North Shore) and ordered a pair of surf trunks in my personal motif: navy blue body and waist band with the inside of the waistband the wax pocket flap orange, I also ordered narrow, whale Bermuda shorts cut like the trunks but with slash pockets (a similar  item later made by Hang Ten under the Phil Edwards label) and finally long legged cords with no belt loops and the same closure as the others: button top, lace up fly. Same deal on those: the day of the night I was leaving, I showed up and they were pinned but not sewn. Mrs. Nii told me to wait and she would finish them. I told her I needed to get to the airport early to buy leis, so she gave me a lei needle and thread and directed me out back to the most fragrant plumeria I’ve ever smelled. I picked a paper bag of blooms and sat on the floor stringing leis like she showed me. I got to the airport on time with all my M. Nii stuff, and my leis. Back home at Long Beach City College, everyone asked me about my long cord pants whenever I wore them. They might have even caused me to get laid as a girl who was making surf trunks wanted to look at them (they had a 15-piece closure) and had me take them off  at her little shop. I’m not as positive as I once was, but they were super cool. — Steve