The podcast format is immediate, urgent, kind to digressions and sidebars and general weirdness. It has no time constraints the way radio interviews do, so it allows for exploration and discovery. PodAloha is a new podcast by cheater-five creator Paul Strauch and his son-in-law, Kiernan McGuire. We featured Paul on the Dazzling Blue not too long ago. His 311 limited-edition signature short is a bestseller. “It warms my heart to run side by side with Birdwell in terms of commemorating the history together,” he told me. I caught up with Paul and Kiernan on a three-way phone call. I could not see them, but their stoke was palpable.
Jamie: What inspired you to start a podcast?
Paul: There’s so much to look back at that’s happened over my lifetime, a lot of special moments, and so the idea came to us to celebrate these special moments by trying to reconnect with people who have been a very special part of surfing, and trying to tell and share the stories we had together in different places around the world.
Kiernan: For my part it was sitting around and hearing Paul talk story—he’s a very good storyteller. We talked about ways to preserve this important history. We talked about doing a book or writing a screenplay, but the podcast format allowed us to just jump in and start doing it. It was the least friction way to kick something off. And it’s worked. Paul is just a natural interviewer. He’s the spirit of aloha—he represents the spirit of aloha in and out of the water. It’s been great seeing living legends talk with a fellow living legend. Things come out that would never come out in a regular kind of format interview.
Jamie: Some great people you have on the list of interviewees! And I imagine you need that shared history to really get into this stuff. In other words, a 25-year-old interviewer may not work with these guys.
Kiernan: We recently did a podcast with Greg Noll, and to listen to Paul and him talk about Makaha, and of course that famous wave came up, and Greg said he was tired of talking about it and that it was so overblown, and Paul said, “Yeah, you can not like it all you want and protest, but you walked into history, ‘cause you’re the one that did it, and you inspired all those guys that are doing it today.” You know, a 25-year-old can’t do that…
Paul: It was really nice to connect with Greg and kind of transport ourselves mentally back to those special days that we shared together, especially at Makaha. It was really quite an experience for me.
Jamie: Who have you spoken with so far?
Kiernan: We’ve done Greg Noll, Gerry Lopez, Randy Rarick, Skip Frye, Mike Hynson, and we’ve got about three to five that we’re going to be doing next month, all really great folks of that kind of stature.
Jamie: What’s been most interesting or most surprising about doing these interviews, Paul?
Paul: It’s very engaging to be with a friend that you haven’t seen for a while, and then to go back in time and mind and share stories. You know, one little incident leads to another and it triggers another thought and another day, so it’s really an endless sea of images that flow freely. So talking with these dear friends of mine like this and just going back and memorializing these special moments that we shared together — it’s very fulfilling and heart-warming. It’s been a real delight and pleasure for me to do this with Kiernan.
Check out PodAloha HERE , or via iTunes.