Kai Lenny is a 24-year-old superstar in nearly every water sport you could name. He’s a seven-time stand-up paddle-boarding (SUP) world champion, two-time kitesurfing world champion, and a multi-award-winning big wave surfer, tow-in surfer, windsurfer, and hydrofoiler. As Kai and Andy talk at length today, you’ll learn more than the mere distinctions between each water sport, but the mental challenges and style integral to a world champion’s success.
Growing up in Maui, Hawaii, with parents who shared his adoration for both the water and athleticism, Kai and his younger brother found themselves at the beach as often as possible. Kai’s lifelong obsession with the ocean has come to the point where, no matter where he travels in the world, he finds a way to surf in some fashion—even if that means finding rapids to ride in Montana.
As Kai’s technical skills came to match his passion, he’s practiced the “silent art” of separating himself from a crowd and bringing his individual take to the water. With critical surfing mentors like Kelly Slater and Robby Naish playing a significant role in his life, Kai has learned to thrive on pressure and find a level-headed calm in even the most thrilling moments of his career.
In his conversation with Andy today, Kai reveals why each water sport he pursues is far more of a lifestyle and purpose-driven endeavor than it is a traditional sport, and the reasons why he could never train and perform at his expert level without his avid team of sponsors, supporters, mentors and family members alongside him.
- Humble Market Kitchin by Roy Yamaguchi
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