Unless you’re still a birther, you know that for Barack Obama, Hawaii will always be home. He was born on Oahu and spent the first six years of his life in Honolulu. Then, his family moved to Indonesia for four years before moving back to Hawaii. As such, surfing is in his blood. While he may not surf exactly (although he does bodysurf), it would be impossible to grow up the way he did and not hold a deeper respect for what a surfboard can represent.
That’s why when the President was on stage congratulating the American Olympic athletes, it didn’t seem odd that he had two thrusters behind him–well, not to anyone that knows Obama’s connection with Hawaii, at least.
The surfboards were two 6’0 thrusters shaped by none other than Jon Pyzel. They were given as gifts to the President and his wife Michelle as gifts in honor of surfing’s addition to the 2020 Olympics. Turns out that they’re John John’s favorite model.
“I made 50 copies of the shortboard that John John like to ride, the standard Bastard model, but I never imagined that two of them would eventually be sent to the President,” Pyzel said on Surfer Magazine. “The experience was insane. I was approached by Hurley about a year ago and was asked to shape commemorative surfboards as decoration for the Olympic Village in Rio.”
The boards were painted by a graphic artist named JP Olson after reading a guideline book from the United States Olympic Committee over a year ago.
According to Pyzel’s Instagram post, while the Bastard model goes well under John John’s feet, Obama might need a little bit more foam. “I would’ve preferred a little bit more volume,” he said, “but the rocker looks amazing.”