Kai Martin was proudly born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. Like many children that grew up within the Aloha State, Martin’s dad pushed him into waves as a child, destining him for a life as a surfer. However when he was two, Martin competed in his first tandem contests along with his dad and realized he wasn’t in love with the game. Browsing took a backseat for a number of years, however Martin picked it again up once more when he was seven. By the point he was 10, knew he needed to pursue a profession as an expert surfer and started taking his browsing extra significantly.
In 2022, Martin gained the U-18 division on the USA Browsing Championship and served as captain for the Hawaii Surf Workforce (HST), serving to to steer the staff to victory. Right here, the 18-year-old shares what it was like competing on the HST, how rising up in Hawaii formed him as a surfer, and his targets for the 2023 season and past.
What do you like about browsing and competing?
Browsing is a freedom and it’s a way of life for me. I really like to have the ability to simply go and be within the ocean. So far as competitors, I’m a extremely aggressive individual and I really like competing, browsing new waves, and getting the chance to showcase my browsing.
The place are your favourite locations to surf at dwelling?
Within the summertime, I surf Kewalo Basin loads and Ala Moana Bowls. Within the wintertime, Pipeline and Haleiwa are my two favourite spots.
How has rising up in Hawaii formed you as a surfer?
I feel it has loads to do with the group of surfers right here. I grew up with a decent knit group of buddies and all of us grew up skating and browsing with one another. All of us respect one another and push one another to be higher each day. Being on an island, I see all these folks each day once I surf and so they push me to raised.
Do you’ve gotten anybody that you simply recurrently practice/surf with?
I surf loads with my good friend Diego Ferri and Shion Crawford, in addition to folks I look as much as just like the Moniz brothers—they’re a giant affect on me. My coach Rainos Hayes has labored with me since a really younger age by means of Billabong. Simply with the ability to be round these guys has helped me loads.
What are a few of your strengths/weaknesses as a surfer?
I’d say my greatest strengths could be consistency and pace—I really feel like I surf fairly quick and highly effective. In competitors, I really feel very comfy; I really feel like I’ve surfed a number of heats. So far as issues to work on, out at Pipe and Sundown, simply getting extra comfy in these heavier lineups. Larger boards and larger surf—I simply need to get extra comfy with that.
Do you’ve gotten any bucket checklist surf spots?
I’ve at all times needed to go to the Mentawais on a ship journey with a bunch of buddies. That’s form of just like the dream surf journey for me is to have the ability to go there and surf each day.
What was it like competing on the HST on the ISAs?
It was very intense. The follow periods had been as intense because it will get—tons of of children which can be very aggressive with very restricted waves. Everyone was very aggressive. So far as the competitors, we received actually good waves. It was on the larger facet, so I really feel like that gave us children from Hawaii the benefit—we’re extra comfy in these circumstances than most different folks.
What did it imply so that you can win gold total for Hawaii?
We went there going for gold; that was our purpose. We weren’t making an attempt to accept anything. Everyone on the staff was serving to all people and all of us had that drive to give attention to ourselves when it was time for our personal heats, but additionally be there supporting our teammates. Simply figuring out how vital it was for every of us and all people figuring out how vital it was for one another to make their very own heats made it actually particular to return out on high total.
What are your targets trying ahead?
Brief time period targets for me are to do properly within the Hawaii regional QS occasions and get on the CS. The tip purpose for me is to have the ability to compete on the WCT.
What do you love to do whenever you’re not browsing?
My two greatest hobbies are Jiu Jitsu and I’m entering into golf. Jiu Jitsu is unquestionably a superb bodily exercise however for me, it’s largely simply psychological. After I’m coaching, it’s like taking part in chess, I really feel prefer it helps with my psychological energy.