Kai Lenny Joins Hurley
New Sponsor For Kay
We’re happy to announce the addition of perpetual waterman and Stand Up Paddle World Champion Kai Lenny to Hurley. Passionate and committed to his water-centric life, Kai has already gathered an impressive number of accolades at the young age of 21. He is a six-time Stand Up Paddle World Champion, the 2013 SUP World Race and Wave Champion, as well as a stand-out in recent paddle sessions at Jaws. We’re stoked to have Kai on board, and we look forward to great, barrier-breaking things to come.
See our interview with Kai below:
How has growing up on Maui shaped your philosophy and approach to ocean sports?
Kai: Growing up on Maui is one of the very reasons why I am able to do what I am able to do! Maui’s conditions are consistently changing and offering the most incredible moments for different types of sports, everything from big waves to big winds! Besides the conditions, I was also influenced by the great waterman who have made Maui their home.
What was it like racing the Oracle’s Americas cup boat ?
Kai: Racing the Oracle Team USA was one of the most amazing experiences! To challenge a boat that is the equivalent to a F1 car on water was really exhilarating, it felt like a David vs. Goliath scenario, I am always pushed to my best when I have get my back pushed to the wall!
Which discipline do you favor most; SUP, windsurfing, kite boarding or traditional surfing ? How do the conditions play into deciding what you do each day?
Kai: My favorite thing to do in this entire world is to ride waves! Surfing is my core and all of the other sports I do are extensions of my surfing, I love each sport so much that I could never chose which one if better since they all are the greatest in there own unique ways!
What are your plans for 2014?
Kai: My 2014 year has started off so insane! We have been blessed with incredibly consistent Jaws and I have had the opportunity to really find my bearings out there! Besides my mentors, and my parents the ocean and Peahi in particular has been the greatest teacher of my life! The most relentless, the most forgiving and the most fun! Getting to the point I think that 2014 will be the best year of my entire life! I really want to defend my world titles in both SUP Racing, SUP Wave. As well as push my boundaries in big surf, small surf, windsurfing, kitesurfing and most importantly improve myself as a person!
Any life goals you will share with us?
Kai: I have been so lucky to achieve some of my dreams of becoming a multiple time world champion, one of my my dreams is to become a multiple sport world champion and to keep riding big waves!
How old were you when you first surfed Jaws?
Kai: The first time I ever surfed Jaws was when I was 16 on a Foil board with Laird and Dave Kalama! That moment changed my life, growing up on Maui I already had an obsession with Jaws but all of sudden it become reality and my favorite surf spot in the world!
At 21 you’re already an established waterman. What keeps you inspired?
Kai: I am constantly inspired by all of my peers in the sports I have the privilege of doing, but I also gain inspiration from other athletes out side the sports I do. Really I just gain inspiration from people doing incredible things! From the greatest comebacks in competition to people achieving the impossible! Everything around me is a form of inspiration to be the best I can be in all aspects of life!
Describe your best ever ride at Jaws.
Kai: Every single time I go to Jaws I get the best rides and I have had so many of them it has kinda of become a blur to be honest! I have incredible moments from wipeouts to rides! My two most recent experiences up there that has left a mark was wiping out and getting my back quad fin through the foot, as well as having a 40 second hold down under water, that was really confidence booster! This last glassy paddle swell I was able to pull into a number of barrels and that vision of being in that huge vortex is like a dream! By far one of the coolest things that I have ever seen!
Who are your heroes?
Kai: My heroes are my parents first and foremost. I have been blessed to have Robby Naish, Dave Kalama, Buzzy Kerbox and Laird Hamilton as mentors and they have always been heroes to me! One of my heroes is the incredible girl, Malala from Pakistan, for her to stand up for peace and truth is one of my most heroic things! I also thought of Bruce Lee as a super hero!