American skilled large wave surfer and stand-up paddle (SUP) racer Kai Lenny is as hooked in to the waters as he’s his selected occupation. But it surely’s now not simply the velocity or peak of the waves he’s using, however as a substitute the well being and form of the sea—and the worldwide setting—that’s on his thoughts.

Striking his cash the place his mouth is, the 29-year-old longtime Purple Bull athlete and SUP international champion is taking on a brand new position as a world recommend to construct consciousness of and answers to assist get rid of plastic air pollution from the arena’s oceans, lakes, and rivers.

Beginning this yr, Lenny has begun operating with A New Earth Challenge (ANEP) a strategic collaboration between out of doors fans and world packaging providers, whose purpose is to rid the arena’s oceans, lakes, and rivers of plastic air pollution.

Lenny hints that it’s refreshing to look business in any case do its phase.

“It’s superb to look other folks and teams that care such a lot in regards to the international we are living in, care in regards to the setting and are fixing those issues,” Lenny mentioned final week. “There’s no explanation why we will be able to’t do the entire issues we truly wish to do and simply make that minor adjustment if it way long run generations gets the advantages.”

Born and raised in Maui, Lenny first hit the browsing and seashore sports activities scene as a youngster. In 2013, slightly 19 years previous then, he gained a slew of SUP competitions, together with 2013’s SUP Wave International Championships and Vice KSP Kiting International Champion, whilst additionally bagging the crown as 2013 SUP Total International Champion. The yr prior, he additionally gained the 2012 International SUP Race Champion and the Hawaii Island Finals, amongst different competitions.


And proper earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic took hang and close down sports activities, Lenny gained the Nazaré Tow Browsing Problem in February 2020, a large wave surf match at Praia do Norte, Portugal.

Ultimate week, I attached with Kai Lenny to speak about browsing, stand-up paddling and his hobby for the surroundings.

Andy Frye: Speak about your hobby for the sea and the surroundings and the way you were given concerned with ANEP:

Kai Lenny: It’s nice touring any place on the planet the place the seashores and oceans are nonetheless blank and pristine. (This) turns out uncommon at the present time, as plastic ocean air pollution is just about in all places.

I were given thinking about A New Earth Challenge as a result of I’ve at all times believed in doing what we like to do, and assume we will be able to do it in a sustainable means. Anything else made for the sea will have to are available in packaging that isn’t destructive to the sea. A New Earth Challenge is a step in that path.

AF: Hawaii natives develop up with such a lot of nice puts to surf. What is your favourite location to compete or simply for enjoyment?

Lenny: House is the place the center is—that’s evidently, haha, and that, for me, is Maui. My all-time favourite wave on the planet is Peahi (AKA Jaws). There may be nowhere love it on the planet with its good looks, uncooked energy and talent to triumph over fears. The enjoyment from a a hit experience there may be unrivaled by means of every other wave I’ve ridden. It doesn’t spoil that steadily, most effective at the greatest iciness swells, so it’s uncommon sufficient that each and every consultation is ingrained in my thoughts without end.

AF: You’ve gotten achieved so much for your lengthy occupation. Does any explicit victory stand out? (and why)

Lenny: The objectives I’ve set for myself have at all times been as essential to me as a trophy or competitors win. The adventure and preparation are as thrilling to me as profitable. Wins really feel just right however proper in a while it’s a far off reminiscence. Profitable a global name in Stand Up Paddling was once a large purpose after which repeating the ones titles…profitable a large wave international excursion browsing match was once nice. I’ve objectives of competing at the skilled browsing excursion sooner or later, however basically I simply benefit from the moments main as much as a conceivable victory.

AF: You are a dad now to dual women. How do you are expecting to move down browsing for your children?

Lenny: I’ve two new child dual daughters and they’re an enormous lifestyles trade for us. I will be able to’t wait to turn them the sea and assist them navigate their lives with the sea as a backdrop. The way in which I grew up I did such a lot of ocean sports activities. I think beautiful blessed to find a way to lead them and notice what they connect to.

AF: What athletes have impressed you maximum as a surfer and outdoor browsing?

Lenny: Probably the most inspiration I’ve drawn from athletes from an early age was once from the (team of famed surfers referred to as) the “Strapped Group”—Laird Hamilton, Buzzy Kerbox, Dave Kalama, Rush Randall, Derek Doerner. They had been the primary surfers to tow into unrideable waves and broke the ones limitations and did it in the sort of cool means.

I at all times sought after to be part of that. Plus, competition-wise, I appreciate and glance to Kelly Slater and Robby Naish of their respective fields, browsing and windsurfing.

Out of doors of browsing I’ve at all times been inspired with (motorbike racer) Travis Pastrana. Simply his fearlessness and the way great of an individual he’s, how a lot he innovated inside that. In fact, at all times considered Bruce Lee as a hero too.

Learn Frye’s interviews with Leticia Bufoni and Makani Adric.


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