Kanoe – Making Her Own Path
Raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kanoe has enjoyed surfing from a very early age. She´s now a pro surfer, snowboarder, travel writer, model and entrepreneur. Meet her, sharing her experience from the life so many dream of.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS.
Tenacious, Easygoing, Creative
WHERE´S YOUR LOCAL BEACH AND WHAT´S IT LIKE THERE?
I grew up surfing Banyans on the Big Island of Hawaii. There is lava rock everywhere but surfing there is amazing! I feel spoiled being able to surf there and especially during winter when it’s firing!
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Despite facing adversity, people that continue to go after their dreams and make it happen.
HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU FIRST GOT INTO SURFING?
I got into it at 4 years old.
THERE SEEMS TO BE MORE AND MORE PRO SURFER FLESH ON DISPLAY THESE DAYS. SO IS IT A GOOD THING AS A SHOW OF FEMALE EMPOWERMENT, OR DOES IT HAVE A NEGATIVE EFFECT ON WOMEN´S SURFING? WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE, BOTH AS A SURFER AND MODEL?
In Hawaii, it’s not uncommon to run around in a bikini, shorts and tank top. When you’re on the beach you wear a bikini because you spend most of your time going out in the water. That is really common for me and other female surfers back home. What makes me feel empowered is surfing the same waves that the guys do.
Most brands when it comes to surfing have swimwear lines. In the past, they would usually want women who are sponsored by the brand to model their swimwear line. Though currently what is going on is that many companies sponsoring woman surfers only post advertisements and promote women in only swimwear. These companies do not promote their sponsored female surfers action shots in surfing. Some companies are no longer having their sponsored surfers model their swimwear lines and are not promoting their action shots. That has been the negative effect on women’s surfing is that companies are not promoting actions shots which show that the women can surf the same waves that the guys do. As a kid growing up to now being a woman, I want to see chicks that can surf getting coverage that they deserve by the surf company that they are sponsored by. I don’t want to see a surf brand promoting women who do not surf. Brands should be showing the world that women can surf.
Many female surfers have gotten tired of dealing with brands not promoting their talent of surfing and have left to create their own brand. That way they are able to control getting their surf shots out there along with designing their own swimwear collection. I know that after years of being sponsored by brands that I am taking a path that is a better fit for me. I started my surf company in 2012 and have been sponsored by other brands as well, but like having this freedom. Starting my own company has made me feel empowered as a surfer and model.
DO YOU THINK THERE IS PRESSURE FOR GIRLS TO LOOK GOOD AND HAS IT AFFECTED YOU?
There is a pressure for chicks to look good. I am very comfortable and confident when it comes to my body. Can I always find ways to be more fit? Yes, I can and continue to strive to stay fit to perform well.
I think it is important that woman do what feels right to them and be the best that they can be. It is less about looking good and more about feeling good about yourself.
HOW IMPORTANT ARE SPONSORS TO ESTABLISHING A CAREER IN SURFING? DO YOU EVER FEEL PRESSURISED INTO BECOMING PART OF A "BRAND"?
Sponsors can be important when it comes to a career, but there are women without sponsors that have strong careers in surfing. With most sponsors, I haven’t felt pressured into anything. Many of the brands I have been sponsored by have shown a lot of support. They have been and still to this day are wonderful sponsors!
In the past, I had a few sponsors where I definitely felt that they weren’t supportive of women’s surfing. They wanted to promote an image that I wasn’t cool with and that image wasn’t me.
WHAT KIND OF TRAINING DO YOU DO TO KEEP FIT?
Mostly agility training. A lot of squats, sit ups, push ups, running, swimming at the pool and underwater rock running too.
IF YOU WERE LEFT STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHICH THREE THINGS COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT?
Surfboard, Acai Bowls, Music
WHAT GIVES YOU THE BIGGEST SMILE?
When people look like they love what they do. It’s awesome to see that and makes me stoked!
WHAT HAS BEEN THE THING THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF ACHIEVING?
Winning North Shore Hawaiian Pro Am.
IF YOU HAD TO SET A GOAL FOR THE FUTURE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Perform well at contests, film more surf edits and continue staying healthy.
Thank you so much for your time, Kanoe! Please follow her IG @kanoeinh20