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Vol. 17, No. 1: Tunnel Vision

On July 27, 2020   |   By

Four-time world wave champion Keahi de Aboitizis known for making big wave barrel riding lookabsolutely effortless. Born and raised in Noosa,Australia, Keahi usually splits his time betweenHawaii and Australia, but this year, hes beenwatching swells and wind forecasts while lining upstrike missions for his groundbreaking film focusedon the progressive side of high-performancekitesurfing. Operating as a professional athletesince 2011, the 27-year-old Australian has earneda reputation as a world-class surfer on justabout every sort of surf craft. We caught upwith Keahi a few weeks before his film was set torelease to get the liner notes on Tunnel Vision.

The Tunnel Vision project is a fairly sizable undertaking as well as a departurefrom your regularly scheduled world tour commitments. What made you stepback from competition and go in this direction?

I grew up in a little town called Noosa, on the east coast of Australia, which is mostlyknown for its mellow longboarding point breaks. On big, magic cyclone swells, Noosaturns on, but those days are rare, so my dad got me into everything; surfing, longboarding,kitesurfing and standup paddle. I remember starting to compete at the Noosa Festivalof Surfing; I entered the longboarding contest when I was 11 and that got me excitedabout competitions; from there it naturally progressed into kitesurfing. I grew upmoving through kiteboarding contests with results at the national level in Australia, andwon a couple of freestyle events and wave titlesthat eventually progressed into fourconsecutive wave titles on the PKRA, KSP and ultimately the GKA tours. Its been funto do all those things, except after a number of years on the tour, the traveling part hasbecome really tiring. Its a long journey to get to some events, and while its always reallyfun when you compete in good conditions, its a huge investment of time and money.

Ive always wanted to make a full-length film to show the full potential of kitesurfingand how it actually compliments surfing. The thing I love the most about kitesurfingis that its a way to have fun regardless of the conditions. At the end of 2018, I felt itwas time to do something different. Instead of focusing all my efforts on competition, Idecided to chase extraordinary swells and I wanted to do it properly. That meant beingmore flexible for last-minute missions and bringing someone along to document thewaves we would find. You see this more commonly in surfingathletes have a freeschedule to drop everything and chase a swell, but its just not that easy. Generally, youcan try to forecast a week out, but you dont get that much certainty until youre lookingat a three-day window, so its always a gamble, but as Tunnel Vision shows, when itworks out and comes together it can be amazing… To read the rest of our Tunnel Vision interview with Keahi de Aboitiz, become a subscriber of Tkb Magazine.

Tkb’s Vol. 17, No. 1 summer 2020 digital issue is available now. The print issue will be landing in mailboxes soon!

Read the full article: Vol. 17, No. 1: Tunnel Vision