60 SECONDS WITH KYLEN YAMAKAWA, WINNER OF RIP CURL’S SECOND GROM SEARCH VIDEO ELECTION
By Alex Ryden
First the contest and now this? Oahu local boy Kylen Yamakawa not only placed first in the Rip Curl Grom Search 16 and Under Boys division at Kewalo Basin but he has now won Rip Curl’s second Grom Search Video Election. At Stop Number 2 of Rip Curl’s Grom Search contest series, Kylen was the king of kings. But to Kylen, it’s just another jewel on a bigger crown. Rather than taking the time to sit back and relax as Grom Search royalty, Kylen is training harder than ever. Luckily, we got a few minutes of his time, pre-second surf session of the day.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I’m from Honolulu, Oahu.
WHAT’S YOUR HOME BREAK?
Most of the time I surf at Alamana Beach Park.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SURF SPOT?
It is a little spot on the North Shore. Not a lot of people know about it; it’s sort of hidden.
WHO’S YOUR FAVOITE SURFER?
IF YOU COULD ONLY DO ONE MANUVER FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
It would definitely be air reverses.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MOST OVERRATED AND UNDERRATED MANUVERS IN SURFING?
For most overrated I’d have to say — well, I don’t really like alley-oops. [laughs] I think the most underrated maneuver right now is the old-fashioned power hack.
DO YOU THINK IT’S MORE IMPORTANT TO WIN SOMETHING LIKE A PUBLIC POLL, OR THE EVENT ITSELF?
I think it’s cooler to win something that your peers vote on. It’s like a team thing if your friends are voting on you. It just makes you feel good knowing that people like your surfing.
WHEN YOU SURF HEATS, DO YOU CONSCIOUSLY SURF MORE CONSERVATIVLY THAN WHEN YOU FREE SURF?
I think I surf a lot more conservatively in contests. I just don’t want to fall.
DID YOU VOTE FOR YOURSELF?
Uh…yeah. I’m guilty. [laughs]
DO YOU APPRECIATE RADICAL MANUVERS, EVEN IF IT’S ONE MOVE? OR DO YOU THINK TRADITIONAL COMBOES ARE THE WAY TO GO?
I like just having that one explosive maneuver. It just looks better.