Su'a Sulu'ape FreeWind


Samoan Chief and Tattoo Master

Samoan tattoo legend Su'a Petelo adopted Su'a Sulu'ape FreeWind, gave FreeWind the honor of the family blessing, and trained FreeWind in the art of tatau tattoo. "As his adopted son I spent many years traveling with him throughout the South Pacific Islands as his assistant learning the ancient art of Samoan tatau tattoo. Su'a Sulu'ape FreeWind became one of the only men on the planet sanctioned to tattoo Samoan royalty. He mastered the art of Indonesian hand tattoo from the Iban and Dayak tribes and is now the owner of Black Wave Tattoo.

After proving his mastery of tattoo executing the sacred Pe'a and Malu Tatau and other forms of hand tattooing styles, Su'a Sulu'ape FreeWind earned the matai of Su'a (chief) and all spiritual and physical privileges associated with the honor of being a Samoan chief.

In the words of Su'a Sulu'ape FreeWind:

Skateboarding San Francisco

When I was five years old living in San Francisco, I crafted homemade skateboards out of steel roller skates with clay wheels and exposed bearings (before the days of urethane). In bombing the steep, mean streets of San Francisco for 15 years I forged a connection between surfing and skating, which I dreamed as my asphalt "black wave". San Fransisco's steep inclines were a true test of courage and right of passage. It was like skateboarding's equivalent of surfing Mavericks or Waimea.


Start with Kahuna Creations

I was exploring snowboarding with the Kahuna Snow Stick and ended up ordering a Kahuna Stick for my skateboard. The rest was history in the making. Ride on!


Body Art

Most of my tattoo work administered by myself or my teachers, Steve Smith and Leo Zulueta, and my adopted father Su'a Sulu'ape Petelo of Samoa, all had spiritual significance and were rights of passage to the next stage of healing and self empowerment.

There were sessions that ran for many days in succession with single sessions lasting up to 37 hours - a total of almost 600 hours. These extreme experiences gave me a heightened sense of my own ability to face personal challenges as well as empowering me to do the same for others.