Skip to main content

Keahi de Aboitiz and the Art of Getting Barreled a Million Different Ways

Put aside your bias for a moment. Forget that your 5'10", 28-liter thruster is the best and only tool to use in the ocean. Simply consider style. The art of making the difficult look pristinely easy. If you do that, then you could watch Keahi de Aboitiz and appreciate his effortless grace in heaving waves – on any type of equipment. Yes he's proven himself on traditional sticks. But the ease with which he moves using any tool is what's to be honored here. And that is more than evident in his new film, Tunnel Vision. As the title suggests, he gets plenty of that, while showing off that effortlessness of his. I caught up with the newly-inked Patagonia athlete as he released his latest work to the masses.

Tell us about the film.

It's the culmination of what I've been working on over the last couple years after leaving the kitesurfing tour to focus more on chasing the better swells around the world. Growing up as a surfer, I've always felt that kitesurfing is the perfect extension of surfing and wanted to create something that showcased that. For me, my kite has become a tool that turns those windy sessions into a whole new world of fun. Tunnel Vision is an action-heavy film that highlights my love for barrels and shows the similarities between sports that I've grown to love. Most of the footage is shot over the last couple years in Australia, Hawaii and a couple locations in Africa as well.

How has it been during this whole crazy pandemic, making it as a pro? Where have you spent quarantine?

Thankfully I've been able to spend this time in Hawaii where we've still been able to get on the water and in a way it's been a nice change to enjoy some downtime and explore some more stuff closer to home. It's definitely the longest I've spent in one place for awhile now. It's also good having all the other options like kiting and foiling coming into summer here so it's been pretty easy to keep busy

Was this film a way to get people's minds off it?

Not necessarily but if it does, that's great. Thankfully it seems like people are slowly emerging from their quarantines and can get back on the water in a lot of places so hopefully it psyches them up to get back out there or encourages them to try something new. Kitesurfing is a pretty great way to escape the crowd and socially distance so maybe it's something worth getting into for more people, too?

Are you still competing? 

After competing on the kitesurfing tour for about eight years, I decided to take a break to focus more on chasing swells. That's actually how this whole thing came about. With most of the competitions located around Europe and not always in the best conditions, it made sense to focus that time and energy on something a little different. Now I'm really stoked with the result. I do like the idea of doing some of the select wave competitions in the future but it looks like everything might be on hold involving traveling for a little while still.

You're from Noosa originally, right? Where are you living?

Yep, originally from Noosa and grew up there, but these days I spend my time bouncing back and forth between Noosa and Oahu. My mum is originally from Hawaii and my girlfriend lives there too so it's a pretty easy second home. Wintertime is amazing and normally I'm back in Oz now, but ended up stuck in Hawaii this year with everything going on. Not that that's a bad thing, though.

How much time are you spending between the kite and just regular surfing these days?

For me it just all depends on the conditions. My favorite thing to do is still surf those perfect days, but with kiting and all the other sports I do, it allows me to have more fun in so many different types of conditions. Right now in Hawaii I'm doing a lot more foiling and kiting but that will change again as the season changes.

Who helped you with the film?

This was a project I worked on mainly with my long-time sponsor Cabrinha with some help from Patagonia, who I just got picked up by last year. It's edited by a good friend of mine, Anders Kruger, who's done a lot of amazing work in the kite industry with some epic films over the years. It took some time, but I'm really happy with the result.

What's next?

Guess we'll see, but for now focusing on some things closer to home and staying busy with all the sports I do. Once things open up, I'm pretty keen to explore some more of the heavier slabs with a kite as its a great way to tackle some of those waves. It's pretty nice having the option for both kiting and surfing on trips because it makes it a lot harder to get skunked.


Popular posts from this blog

History of Art Timeline

The historical past of art is usually told as a chronology of masterpieces created during each civilization. It can thus be framed as a narrative of high culture, epitomized by the Wonders of the World. On any other hand, vernacular art expressions can even be integrated into art historic narratives, called folk arts or craft. The more intently that an art historian engages with these latter sorts of low culture, the much more likely it is that they will determine their work as analyzing visual culture or cloth culture, or as contributing to fields associated with art historical past, akin to anthropology or archaeology. In the latter cases, art gadgets may be called archeological artifacts. Surviving art from this era comprises small carvings in stone or bone and cave painting. The first traces of human-made gadgets appeared in southern Africa, the Western Mediterranean, Central and Eastern Europe Adriatic Sea, Siberia Baikal Lake, India, and Australia. These first traces are generall

‘A boiling point’: UC Berkeley art community calls for institutional change

Amid ongoing national unrest, college communities continue to call for change by challenging institutional practices, racism and social justice issues. Over the past few months, the UC Berkeley art community has questioned the responses and actions of campus administration. In a letter sent to the faculty and administrators of UC Berkeley's Department of Art Practice in June, alumni and students demanded acknowledgment of the Black Lives Matter movement and a commitment to remove white supremacy from art institutions, among other demands. "There is a heavy hypocrisy in the silence and inaction of institutions that pride themselves on values of inclusivity and diversity, claim to prioritize marginalized voices, and borrow from radical decolonial practices of BIPOC," the letter states. During the same month, senior faculty from the department responded with a letter stating their support for the Black Lives Matter movement and their commitment to reparative work wit

Bob Gibson was not just best pitcher of modern era, but during time of strife, mastered the art of fear

For a lot of successful athletes, winning in competition is about winning their own internal battles between anger and fear. One can be generated by the other. One can also be erased by the other. Those who effectively use anger, even if they must fabricate it, can overcome their fear and simultaneously instill it within the opponent. This statement covers a lot of competitors and a lot of time, so I don't issue it carelessly. But in all my years, I've never seen an athlete channel fear in the opposition more effectively than Bob Gibson. He was the young Mike Tyson of baseball, way before Iron Mike. And unlike him, Gibson didn't flame out in his prime. He was not only the best in the business during a 5-year span in the mid-'60s (1964-68), he won his second Cy Young in 1970 at age 31 and threw a no-hitter the next year against the best hitting lineup – and it turned out, best team – in baseball that season, the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates. I saw an old fan on