We met Yago Dora on this trip. The ever-smiling “Yogs.” Without much formality, we Instagram-directed him an invitation to come on the trip because we love his surfing and we’d heard he’s just a great dude to be around (he is). He changed a few plans and tickets and just like that he was in. Ready to jump sharks with a bunch of strangers before he’d go on to spend weeks in Hawaii, charging.
We picked him up from a Denny’s on Century Blvd. in Los Angeles. He had just flown in with his entire family from Florianopolis, Brazil. We pulled the big white whale of a rental van into the tiny parking lot at the LAX-close Denny’s restaurant. When we saw him, Andrew Doheny was instantly worried.
“Uhhh, how are we gonna fit Yago’s family in the van?” He asked in desperate earnest.
“We’re only taking Yago. Don’t worry.”
“Uhh, Oh. Yeah. Cool. I’d like to order some take out, please.”
Yago’s family is beautiful. His father is tall and dark and handsome and apparently rips. He wears a Volcom printed tee and a hat and a watch and sunglasses. He is strapping. Strong. Stern. But very friendly. His sisters and mother are beautiful and smiley too. While we purchase gas station coffee and sewer-meat sandwiches across the street, Yago finishes his Denny’s quesadilla and we load him and his stuff into our van. I take down his father’s phone number into my phone and vice versa. They embrace and hug and I quickly realize we have a young man with us. A very young man. Our filmer Blake Myers looked over at me, “Wow, I haven’t seen a father and son goodbye hug for a trip in a long time. That was a rad.”
In between frozen surfs Yago and Brendon [Gibbens] would YouTube duel on old surf video parts. The winner of this sitting with several re-watches was Dane Reynolds’ part in Stranger than Fiction. After watching it Yago paddled out into six foot SF solo and nearly stomped a 720 before snapping his fourth board of the trip.
The wind, the wedge, the cold, Yago seemed into it all. Paddling out no matter what and literally made every session productive and fun to watch. He made it a joy to stand on the windswept shoreline freezing your ass off just to watch him rip.
The SF house.
Yago is only 19, so going out with the crew in the city was always a dice roll. But he went with it perfectly: taking advantage of every opportunity to hang, sipping on soda water and dancing when the opportunities presented themselves, and when they didn’t, he’d commandeer his own Uber home.
He might eat more ice cream than anyone. Didn’t matter if it was cold. He has an issue with ice cream.
Volcom teammates Cole Sandman and Yago Dora at Steamer Lane, 2015.
This is Us: North presented by Monster Energy will be released (tomorrow) January 21, 2016 right here at What Youth.
Watch Yago in our Adolescents episode: