Portrait of Hawaiian Waterman Kai Lenny
Hawaiian Waterman: Kai Lenny
When it comes to aquatic pursuits, Kai Lenny is in a class by himself. He's ridden giant Jaws on a traditional big-wave board, he's been towed into some monster waves, and most recently he's taken his stand-up paddle act into the middle of a short-board lineup. And if the wind's wrong for surfing, expect to see him out there kiteboarding or windsurfing.
An invitation to the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational in Memory of Eddie Aikau is one of the biggest accolades an aspiring big-wave rider can receive. Last year Lenny joined those elite ranks
Like Father, Like Son
Lenny was born into an aquatic family, which left him little choice but to follow them out into the water. Today his father drives his jet ski for him and serves as his tow partner out at Jaws.
Up Against Oracle
Last summer Lenny was looking for a challenge, so he decided to race America's Cup champion Team Oracle in the San Francisco Bay on July 15, 2013. He led the race out of the gates but was eventually overtaken by the nearly $10 million sailboat.
While spending time in the Bay Area during his involvement with the America's Cup, Lenny got a little bored and tried to jump the Golden Gate Bridge. It didn't work, but it made for a great photo op.
Lenny times the sets at Waimea Bay, waiting for his window to paddle out and take on one of surfing's most revered big-wave venues.
Rip The Wind
Growing up near Hookipa on Maui's northern shore, there's no shortage of surf, but there's also no shortage of wind, which is why Lenny picked up windsurfing and now ranks among the best in the world at it.
When you grow up as a surfer in Maui, the ability to face down any conditions is a prerequisite for success. Even on gray, bumpy days, Lenny makes paddling Jaws look like a walk in the park.
Kai Lenny and Gerry Lopez
When you have a sage like Gerry "Mr. Pipeline" Lopez mentoring you, good things are going to happen.
Crossing Lake Michigan
Lenny celebrates his successful crossing of Lake Michigan in May 2012.
Surfing Jaws used to be merely about surviving, but today, guys like Kai Lenny are putting themselves as far back in the tube as humanly possible -- and loving every minute of it.
Standing like a matador after avoiding the horns of a Jaws bull, Lenny knows all too well how important it is to make it to the safety of the shoulder, even if he capable of holding his breath minutes at a time.
Ditch The Fins
Believe it or not, Lenny can even rip it up on a standard shortboard. It's just further proof that he's a master of all aquatic board sports.
Kite It Up
To air is divine, and few people in the world blast as high as Lenny does when he's doing his thing on his kiteboard. Thanks to the abundance of wind on Maui, he has lots of time to practice.
A fitting way to end another day in paradise.