INTERVIEW: Climbing the Ladder With Keanu Asing (via Surfline)

01-text-MoranT_France16_24902[1] 04-text-MoranT_France16_24362[1] 03-text-servais16_51766[1] 02-11-text-KeanuAsing.-AZ0Q6067.-Laserwolf[1]

Keanu Asing just completed the nine-hour drive from Hossegor to Peniche when Surfline texted for a chat. Thinking he may be a little tired after the biggest week in life, we proposed we could chat tomorrow. “I’m just having a glass of wine, listening to country music and enjoying the Portuguese sunset, call me when you want!” said Keanu.

So we did.

Surfline: Has your win in the Quik Pro France sunk in yet? 

It’s hard for me to realize that I was sitting 33rd on the rankings and that there shouldn’t have been any possibility for me to win a contest, and yet I did. It’s still surreal and so, no, it really hasn’t sunk in. To think of the competitors that I faced and beat I still can’t really believe it.

Can you pinpoint exactly how did you win? 
The way the contest unfolded, it suited my type of surfing and my type of attitude. I was working on just focusing on myself, working out exactly what I need to accomplish to win each heat. So I tried to let the opponent worry about what I was doing, and not the other way round, so I could dictate the heat. Like even in the semi, I managed the heat five minutes before it started. I got my position and put John a little too deep for the first couple of sets. And I knew Gabriel Medina always tries to control the heat, before even the hooter blows, and so I tried to do that to him, to put pressure on him and see how he handled it.

Do you think that took them by surprise? 
Well, these guys are ranked 1, 2 or 3 and they’re looking at a guy that’s 33rd, so they probably didn’t think I had too much experience at the final’s stage. Maybe they took me lightly since I was the lowest ranked guy in the contest. So yes, I think I threw them off guard with my tactics.

You mentioned your new coach John Shimooka after the win. How long have you been working with Shmoo?
We’ve been working with each other since Tahiti. He’s been working deeply on the mental and confidence side, on what boards I’m riding, and what works for me. One of the main things we worked on was believing in myself. Obviously, with my results this year I haven’t been the most consistent guy and there have been people thinking I shouldn’t really be on tour. He reminded me how hard I’ve worked to get to this point, and that I needed a fire under my ass to get going. After Trestles, we had two weeks filming every day, working from sun up to sundown, working on my surfboards and what I needed to do to win heats. Sometimes you work with people and things like this don’t come to fruition — sometimes never — so to see it work in such a short amount of time is incredible.

How did the #heartoverheight come about? 
It came from a guy called Nate Robinson who was really small for the NBA. He’s like 5’7” or so and so was overlooked early in his career, but he ended being a great player. He overcame a load of adversity, which I really respect. I lot of times small people get overlooked, so for me that saying matched my belief in passion and hard work. I really feel that can’t be taught, you are born with that and so heart over height is my motto and what I live by.

You’re also a committed Christian. Is that hard given most pro surfers aren’t? 
Yeah, the pro tour is not known for its religion, and it can be tough being on the road all the time. I have a lot of friends though, guys like Kai Garcia, Brandon Guilmette and Joel Centeio who always shoot me texts with verses to make sure I keep my faith front and center.

It seems an unusual mix, you and Kaiborg studying the bible together. 
Well, Kai is a Christian now so it’s been cool learning from each other and it’s great too see the community coming together and showing love for each other. In Fiji we got together and did some studies and hung out and it all just helps in staying faithful.

You’ve also been involved in the Young and Brave foundation? 
Yes, it’s a foundation that helps young adults, children, and families with little ones diagnosed with all forms of cancer. I recently got involved with them and am looking forward to doing some bigger projects. I’ve done a few hospital visits aiming to help these kids fight. I mean everyone in life has a fight, but these kids are fighting for their lives and to see their courage is inspirational. It also helps me in fighting for my career and what I believe in.

You’ve got a pretty good stack of post heat one-liners or mantras — do you practice those at home? 
Well, I watch a lot of sports and I get a lot out of seeing what athletes are capable of. I always try to surround myself with positive things and when I see something cool or positive I want to share it with the world. Even with this win, I’d like to share that so people can believe they can achieve anything and that dreams can come true, whether it’s at your job or school or whatever. So I don’t see it as just one-liners for myself, but more just a story to tell the whole world.

And how will the France win affect you in Portugal?
That win has changed my life for sure, but competitively there is no change. It’s a new week; I’ll be in Round 1, just like everybody else. It’s not going to be any easier — if anything, it’s going to be 10 times harder to repeat a win. I have to get back into the competitive mentality of working my way back up the ladder, catching that first wave and going from there.

A Huge Congratulations to Keanu Asing on his Quiksilver Pro France 2016 Victory! (via Surfline)


John John retains the yellow jersey heading into Portugal, but only just — he’s 2700 points ahead of Gabby. Photo: Ryan Miller


Keanu, heart of gold, heart of a warrior, had never even won a WQS event. So to beat guys like Kelly, John John and Gabby was especially sweet. Photo: Ryan Miller


The rip-bowl lefts suited Asing’s crisp, compact backhand style perfectly. Photo: Ryan Miller


Most fans would’ve bet heavily on John John over Asing, but he couldn’t pull it together today. Photo: Poullenot/WSL


For more on this story, check out:—-plus-tyler-wrights-first-world-tit_142439/

Congrats Simpo on your Round 5 finish at the Hurley Pro 2016 (via Surfline)

A huge congrats to Simpo for his amazing run and round 5 finish at the Hurley Pro 2016!

04-klein_hurley_pro2016_12378[1] 03-klein_hurley_pro2016_12352[2]


Photos via:–into-the-semifinals-hurley-pro-r5-by-the-numbers_141578/

VIDEO: Dusty Payne in “The Bigness” via Surfline


Dusty Payne: The Bigness

Between Africa and Oz, Dusty Payne has done some serious damage to power surfing’s image over the first half of 2016. Meaning he’s taking it all for himself. Is there anyone in the world right now surfing faster than this, attacking thick lips with more ferocity, or drawing more functional, original lines in world-class rights? This performance here — it’s bigger than big. It’s Dusty Payne.

Watch video:

Brett Simpson & Tanner Gudauskas Win the Hurley Pro Trials (via Surfline)

You gotta love a wildcard entry, infiltrating an event and knocking out a fulltime CT’er, dashing the dreams of a World Title hopeful, and throwing a proverbial thorn in the side of the rankings. Nothing screams the WSL’s newest ‘un-scriptable’ slogan more.

1 2

And for the upcoming Hurley Pro Trestles, two formidable wildcards have emerged: Tanner Gudauskas and Brett Simpson. The Orange County natives surfed their way through the trials on Wednesday at San Clemente’s T-Street, with Simpo taking down the general event and Gudauskas snagging the local pro division. The wins will grant them access into the main event in September.

“There was an energy with all the local boys in the water,” Gudauskas told Surfline about the comp. “Full on bragging rights. Everybody is super intense and wants to win, but then in the lulls you’re breaking it down, just talking.”

In the semifinals of the local pro division, Tanner went up against his brother, Pat. In typical Gudang form, the brothers had a friendly faceoff – “it was such a blast,” Tanner beamed – but it was Tanner that took the W. He went on to battle Southern California transplant Evan Geiselman in the final, where he managed to come out on top again.

As for Simpson, his win in the trials will see his resurrection in the CT singlet after falling off Tour last season. And having his triumphant return at this time and at this event resonates with the Huntington Beach local.

“The last two times that I qualified for Trestles through the trials,” Simpo told Surfline, “I also won the U.S. Open. I’m hoping there’s a little bit of that still in the engine. Just trying to channel that feeling from those years.”

From 2009 to 2010, Simpo went back-to-back with wins in his backyard at the U.S. Open of Surfing. And curiously, he had won entry into the Hurley Pro through the trials in the same years. Coincidence? Let’s just say Simpo’s hoping for a three-peat.

But regardless of reclaiming old glory or accruing enough points to qualify (or requalify in Simpo’s case) for the WCT, the opportunity to surf against the world’s best is the main prize. To sneak their way into the Big Castle – odds against them – and attempt to slay dragons. Or at least to be speedbump in the race for the World Title.

“I’m excited to give it a good dig,” Gudauskas said. “Some people get nervous going up against those guys. But for me, it’s like, there’s no pressure. I have nothing to lose. It’s a win-win.”

Congratulations to Jackson Bunch winning the Rip Curl Grom Search Hawaii (via Surfline)





Finally, the youngest but most competitive division, the Boys 12/U saw a seesaw battle which ended up going in the direction of future star Jackson Bunch. Bunch used his sharp forehand to tear apart the bending inside bowl to finish with 15.5 points. 2nd place as mentioned went to RG3, 3rd place Diego Ferri, 4th Kai Martin, 5th Thatcher Johnson, and 6th Raphael Castro.

Boys 12 & Under
1. Jackson Bunch ($250)
2. Robert Grilho III
3. Diego Ferri
4. Kai Martin
5. Thatcher Johnson
6. Raphael Castro

For more on this story, check out:

Congratulations to Brisa on her NSSA National Title WIN! (via Surfline)


Brisa Hennessy and her support crew. Hennessy won the Open Womens division, which means this summer she’s won the NSSA Nationals, the U.S.A. Surfing Championships and the Volcom TCT Championships. Not a bad summer for the Hawaiian, so far.


Hennessy, on rail and atop the podium.


Coming straight out of Paia, Jackson Bunch is a kid to keep an eye on in the coming years. Runner-up in the Open Boys, the technique and style are already there, he just has to grow a few inches and he’ll be right there with Hawaii’s best.

For more on this story, check out:

Day 3 from the Fiji Pro: Cloudbreak Roars; World Champs Return to Form (via Surfline)

Click this link to watch Mick’s 9.8 and to read the full story:


1 2