Kai Lenny's Wave-Conquering, Metaverse-Crashing Life
The Strapped Crew also tried early kiteboard launchers, launching 60-foot aircraft before most people knew the sport existed; they created a foil board more or less, by cutting hydrofoil off a strange barrier called an Air Chair; and were responsible for reviving the old Hawaiian custom of standing on a paddle board.
How strange the Strapped Crew was - a group of boys like nowhere else on earth - for Lenny they were local heroes more than life, "like the Avengers or the Justice League," as it is himself puts.
Lenny's parents helped him repeat the Strapped Crew by getting a family Jet Ski for tow-surf trips, hiring a competitive kitesurfer for family lessons, and purchasing one of the earliest foil boards.
Martin and Paula were worried that Lenny was missing out on childhood. “He’s talking about wings, board development, sales,” Martin explained, referring to Lenny’s early childhood. “We were thinking, 'God, he has to hang out with children at his own age. ‘We were going to make him go to sleep one weekend and it was just like,‘ Dad, I really don’t want to go. All those kids are playing Nintendo. I'd rather surf with you guys. '”
That must have hurt Lenny's social status further, as did the hugely popular, early 2000s take on Strapped Crew's multi - sport approach to life. As wind surfing, in particular, lost cultural treasures, fashionable young water kids on Maui put down the sport for the most part.
“All the children said how he learned how to surf with it,” said Martin, “they all turn their backs on him and they all went surfing. ”
Lenny, who did not change course at all - except while his personal course on non - stop changes, gear and competitive focus - began to miss surf competitions with all these young experts. For too long, he had skipped small wave surfing competitions.
By surfing small waves, at least I mean old regular competitive surfing - as in, No big wave surfing. There is no hard line of separation between the two subjects, but regular competitive surfing, the kind used by Kelly Slater and all other surfers, usually occurs on waves under about 20 feet in front. The point is that, by the 1990s, this type of competitive surfing was fast becoming a major event in wind and wave sports. So Lenny did not abandon him without social expense.
"I would see him lose all the time," said Martin. “And I go, 'Kai, you know, do you just want to stick to one sport, maybe just surf? And he looked at me, going, 'Why would I do that? Dad, the sports I do are a lot of fun. I do not want to ignore them. ”” The seed got even worse, Martin recalled, when Lenny SUP added to his collection. "Oh, God," he said, "that was very sad."
For a time, Lenny was neglected through home education, traveling the world to compete in windsurfing and all his other sports, and surfing the big waves at Jaws - just like Hamilton, the idol of his youth. Lenny was in his late teens, however, in 2010, when other men and women at Jaws discovered how to turn old - fashioned surfboards into more waves than conventional wisdom. was considered capable. Capturing 60-footers with nothing but their own muscle power, that new Maui team ruled out the popularity of traditional surfing.