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Rising Grom: Kalani Louis

There’s a new wave of competitive surfers coming out of Taranaki and they’re taking scalps in national events. New Zealand Surf Journal caught up with the effervescent Kalani Louis after his Under 16 Final at the 2020 National Scholastics Championships held at Kaikoura.

Kalani Louis, 15, on form in Kaikoura. Photo: Derek Morrison

NZSJ: Hey Kalani, congrats on a great Scholastics campaign. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Kalani Louis: Thanks. Okay, I’m 15 and call Fitzroy, Taranaki my home. I live right there and just wake up and walk down to the beach and surf and have fun. It’s so good.

NZSJ: Who do you surf with in Fitzroy?

Kalani Louis: Me and the boys, Spencer Rawson, Soren Bucka-Christensen and Tash Gouldsbury – we call ourselves The Groin Groms. We practice heaps together and try to push each other – we’ve been surfing heaps lately. We’ve had fun constant big swells – it has been good size waves to practice in.

Kalani has a good buzz about him in and out of the surf. Photo: Derek Morrison

NZSJ: Do you do your own haircuts?

Kalani Louis: Yes! I did my own haircut – I posted it on my Instagram. I just got a bowl and chucked it over my head and gave it a fresh cut – I’ve still got a few dreads in the back. I’ll probably have to cut it off tonight because school says no number ones on the side, no dreads and no mullets especially. So it is a special Scholastics haircut. [laughs]

NZSJ: Who’s helping you out with your surfing?

Kalani Louis: I’m really lucky to have some great sponsors. I’d like to thank Chip and Jo from Beach Street for hooking me up. The Shralper Gang help me with their mean clothing that keeps me warm and 1-DA Shapes for making some mean boards and Smoothstar for helping me surf better by being able to train on land.

Kalani is part of a new wave of Taranaki surfers on the rise. Photo: Derek Morrison

NZSJ: You managed to find your way into the final with a healthy mix of power surfing and some distinctive Naki flair throughout this comp. And you have another year in Under 16s again next year.

Kalani Louis: Yeah, this event was really fun. I was third today and I’m going to go home and keep surfing with all the crew. I want to keep improving more for next year and work on my surfing – maybe try some airs. I turn 16 next year and I’m going to get my license and probably drive down to Stent everyday and probably skip school. [laughs]. I have another year in Under16s. I enjoyed the final – all the boys were ripping out there. They were hard conditions, but still a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it.

NZSJ: Awesome, Kalani. Keep that great attitude mate.

Kalani Louis: Thanks, I will.

How’s that mullet? Photo: Derek Morrison
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