Finding the future of surfing isn’t as easy as running through the NSSA ratings anymore, and since the bloom and infestation of the Internet clip we’ve found it overwhelming and a massive cluster fuck — which is why we created Adolescents. These are our handpicked choices who have the flare and the zest for surfing and living that we like and can’t wait to surf with.
Today we launch with Australian Kai Hing. A classic style, full rotations and all the technical boxes checked — plus as you’ll see in his interview, he’s got a good head on his shoulders and is ready to grind out his own path — plus he’s only 16. Below and after the jump are a few words from the man himself and above is a glimpse at what caught our eye.
WHAT YOUTH: WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
KAI HING: I live on the Sunshine Coast. It’s kind of like a person with split personalities. Half is really bogan, full of moto-heads, emos and wannabe punks (and not the good kind). And then there’s the real hippie side — pretty much like Byron, full of malls, soul arches and weed. It’s home though and I love it. I live right on the beach. It’s super chill and quiet. I can surf out the front and not be too bothered by the thousands of tourists. The waves aint amazing, and nine times out of 10 its either super windy or dead flat. The points can get really fun on their day and there’s a few beaches that can pump.
WHAT ARE YOUR THREE FAVORITE SURF FILMS? A good clip needs three things: good surfing, good filming/edit and good music. Dane’s (Excerpt) has to be one of my all time favorites. At no point during it did I get bored or over it. The music had vibe and there was a variety of waves and maneuvers. I think its rad watching people race down the line and try to throw hammers but nothing gets me more horny to surf than seeing some Danes hacks. Kalani Robb’s section in Stranger Than Fiction is a classic for me. The Iggy Pop cameo fit’s so well to the surfing. Plus Kalani was the such a punk rocker, he’d nail something then do that hair flick [Laughs]. Aaaaand last but not least, the opening section in Trilogy. Just perfect Mex barrels. A.I., Taj and Parko session vibe was like scoring epic waves with your best mates, and you can’t beat that! Oh and while we are talking about Trilogy, A.I.’s first section has to get a mention. That was so rad!
FAVORITE SURF FILMS? Kai Neville’s movies, you cant go past them. Each time one comes out it’s a show stopper. Modern Collective at the time was the best thing that had happened in surfing. I didn’t think I’d see anything pass that, but then Lost Atlas and more so Dear Suburbia — that thing is amazing. Each time Kai and co. come up with something killer. You get the best crew of surfers (Dane, Dion, Craig, Chippa, John etc.) going ham, every shot composed, and the music vibes — man I sound like such a groupie. Joe G does some rad things too.
WHO ARE YOUR THREE FAVORITE SURFERS? I don’t want to follow the pack, but Dane just takes everything to the next level. He’s created his own path in the surfing industry and it shows how talented he is in and out of the water. Dane opened the gates and proved you don’t have to win comps to be the best surfer in the world. Chippa is the most technical aerialist in the world. Love his lines and combos. Whoever can’t get psyched after watching him surf has some serious issues. Noa Deane has become one of my new favorites. People often ask me who my favorite surfer is and I can never really give them an answer. I guess my favorite surfers are the ones that have an impact on myself. Who I can watch for days and not get over. I’ve gotten to do a few trips with Noa and he goes bananas. He hucks into the biggest sections that come at him and it pushes me to do the same. I also dig how if someone locks in a clip, Noa’s pumped on it, unlike some guys who start hating because it wasn’t them getting the banger. Kinda like skaters. He may not be THE best surfer in the world but guys like that make me want to go shred way more then someone like Kelly Slater does.
WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? The book for my learner’s license. [Laughs] I like good autobiographies, but I’m not the biggest fan of reading. I grom out and my mind just wanders off. I can never really get into it. To be fair though I haven’t really gone looking for a good book — it’ll find me one day though. I’ll let you know when it does.
FAVORITE SURF TRIP? My favorite surf trips are just the spontaneous ones with your mates. Jump in a car and go down south for a few days having a ball and hunting some clips. I do love to travel and getting to see the unique places in the world. But you will always have the most fun just on trips your with your mates, just having fun, getting waves and no pressures of comps and that.
FAVORITE WOMAN IN THE WORLD? Wow. That’s a tough one! I’m tossing up between Beyonce and Beau Foster…I think Beau has more followers on Instagram though, so I think ill go with her. That’s how it works, no? Ha seriously dude, I cant answer that. How many colors are there?
WHAT’S YOUR THEORY WITH BOARD ART? The more simple the better. I went through a stage where I was just spray painting my decks black and keeping it clean like that. Everyone is different though. I like what I’ve seen of Dion’s stuff. Lee Wilson does some cool shit too! I’m definitely not a fan of people copying other peoples boards though. There are a few guys around here that will see someone like Kolohe’s boards and do the EXACT same design as him. I find that stuff really lame.
WHAT BOARDS ARE YOU RIDING? I’ve been getting boards from JS for a bit over a year now and they go really good. My boards of late have been pretty stock, like 5’10’s (18′ 3/8, 2′ 3/16). We have been working on something with a little more thickness and volume so I’m excited to get them!
DO YOU STRESS ON COMPETING? The industry itself is pretty scary these days. There aint a lot of money being thrown for the juniors, so I guess that puts a lot of pressure on kids like myself at contests because you can’t just go on trips, you know? If you want to have a sponsor, it seems like you have to show your the best by winning comps and that makes you worthy? I get it. But it’s weird that 3 turns to the beach means your good.
Personally, I find working on an edit that hopefully shows off some of your best surfing is just as, if not more, effective then winning a contest. Most of the comps I get to the best surfers won’t always win. But when you put out and edit, its black and white, you can’t hide anything. People are watching how you want to surf, and they can decide if its good or not? Plus I love seeing an edit you’ve been working on come together, especially when other people dig what you’ve done!