Thursday, April 10, 2014


PRODUCT PROFILE: Da Secret Sauce Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water

An interview with Da Secret Sauce Owner/Operator and Former Professional Bodyboarder Rex Moribe.

How long have you been bodyboarding?
REX:  Since I was 13.  So, that would make it 20 years.

What are some of your most memorable moments as a professional bodyboarder?
REX:  Honestly, it was surfing Off The Wall when I was around 18/19.  Anyone who surfed that place around 1998-99 might remember me.  Back then, it was run by bodyboarders.  Respect was much more intact and in place, and being from another island I knew or assumed where I stood in the pecking order.  I would catch literally every wave that all the other pros would pass up, which would mean most of the first set and every closeout.  If you watch those old VHS videos you would see me literally take a bottom turn straight back up to hit the lip.  It wasn't because I was trying to be cool, those were the only waves I could catch without hassle.  However, this type of crazy surfing got me recognized really quick.  When all the pros would paddle over these sets knowing it would close out, I would turn and go, and the looks I got from top pros were kind of priceless.  It was a two-fold reaction of, "This guy is DUMB," and "What is this guy thinking?" but when they started seeing me hit the lip on these closeouts they immediately knew I wasn't just some randon nut.

Rex Moribe still likes to charge the closeouts!  Photo: Clark Little
  Then, one day, I remember a certain someone who finally said, "What are you doing?"  I simply said, "Those are the waves I can catch and, honestly, I don't mind.  I'm still having fun."  I never wanted to try and paddle around any of my heroes I would read about in the magazines.  This certain person then kind of put me under his wing, paddled me out, and would hand me off the best sets and then would later say, "If they don't speak English, drop in.  They give you shit, send them to me."  This is when I was barely a hundred pounds and probably looked 14, but I assure you I was 18.  Those words, and the feeling of being protected, meant the world to me.  It meant I had walked through the cave of fire, was able to snatch the rock from the master's hand, got the girl at the end of the movie, whatever you think the metaphoric stage of reaching where you want to be...that's where I was.

Rex's GoPro POV from the same wave pictured above.
  Now that I look back at that memory, the more I appreciate what I did and how I did it.  Most kids rip these days.  Most people can use social media to, somewhat, build a rep.  Back then, you had to surf your heart out, and not with the best waves, in order to climb the pecking order.  I can say I did it, and paid the price of many many poundings in closeouts and the paddle back out which I think is the worst.  If anyone caught the first set at Off The Wall to only turn around and fight the way back out to the line-up, you know what I'm talking about.  This type of attitude has followed me throughout my life, either being respectful to a crappy boss to finding the pecking order in the food/manufacturing industry.  We all start from the bottom.  It's how you climb yourself to the top, and always doing it in a respectful way.

When did you come up with the idea to start Da Secret Sauce?
REX:   2007.  I had the idea years before but never knew where to start or how to begin.

Where did you get Da Secret Sauce recipe?
REX:  It's a family recipe.

Where can people purchase Da Secret Sauce?
REX:  Kauai, Oahu, and Big Island there are "mom & pop" shops you can find the sauce.  You can find it on our website, as well, in the online store.

Yosio Koji, Rex Moribe, Rita Moribe, and Ingrid Cseh promoting Da Secret Sauce.  Photo: Josh Wills.
What are your future plans for Da Secret Sauce?
REX:  What I've learned after nearly three years of doing this hot sauce company is that you can't force it to grow as fast as you think you should.  Not to be be cliche, but I have heard a million and a half  "No"s for every "Yes" I get.  It's like surfing the closeouts, and letting go of my ego to strive forward. With that kind of attitude, I was able to infiltrate almost every Hawaiian media outlet; TV news, radio, newspapers, magazines, and blogs.  Right now, there is a book, 'Small Brand America III, Special Hawaii Edition' that was just released.  You can find it here:
  With that said, I continue to find my way in the food industry which, I could honestly say, makes my bodyboarding career look like child's play.  My future is having it in every store but, I know realistically, that's not going to happen overnight.  Currently, I have been in contact with the UH Agriculture Research Science Team, which has been studying the Hawaiian Peppers since 2007.  They are working on a study that could, potentially, make the peppers another staple product like the pineapple, macadamia nuts, and coffee.  From what I hear, they are well on their way and, when that happens, guess who will be on the front lines?  From the bottom to the top, we all have an origins story like every superhero.  Start yours today!

Thanks for your time, Rex, and good luck with the future of Da Secret Sauce...YEEEWWW!!!

Da Secret Sauce Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water...Bodyboarding 101 tested, Bodyboarding 101 approved!!!


  1. Unreal story. I remember Rex when he was a little grom on Kauai who would always bodyboard with my cousin and always told everyone that one day he was gonna turn pro. Great job Rex following your dreams and achieving them. May GOD bless you again with this next endeavor in your life. Aloha and GOD bless you and your Ohana.