In one of the greatest upsets in professional surfing history, Keanu Asing recently won the Quik Pro France to claim his first CT win. On the way he defeated World Title contenders John John Florence and Gabriel Medina, and jumped from 33 to 21 in the CT rankings. After having time for the win to sink in, we talked to Keanu to see if he could pinpoint the key reasons for his success.
Turning the Tables
"I really decided to focus on my own game, and what I needed to do to win each heat. That meant I tried to make my opponent worry about what I was doing and not the other way around. Previously I was concentrating on the surfer in my heat, and that meant I was being reactive rather than proactive. Even in the last heats against John and Gabriel I controlled the heats from the hooter and that was one of the keys and the most satisfying reasons why I won."
A New Coach
"I started working with my new coach John Shimooka in Tahiti. We are similar. We are both from Hawaii, both pretty short and we even surf the same. Together we have worked deeply on every aspect of my surfing; boards, heat strategy and most importantly, on believing in myself. He wasn't in France, but he was in constant contact and his message was the same; believe in yourself and bring it. We decided it was eights or lates, and I wanted to post big scores from the start. It's remarkable that in such a short time working together we posted a win. Most surfers have to wait a whole career for that."
"I really believe that passion and hard work can't be taught, you are born with that. After Trestles where I had a poor result, I worked for two weeks straight filming from sunup to sundown, working on my boards, my fitness, my surfing. Everything I've achieved has come through plain hard work. It paid off in France."
Dreams Can Come True
"Going into that event, I was ranked 33rd in the world with no chance of re-qualification and I shouldn't have been able to win. However, I've always said that your dreams can come true if you work hard and believe. That can be at school or at work, or whatever. This time my dream came true, that's a powerful message I'd like to share. Even a week later it feels surreal, I can't really believe I won, but I did."
Starting from Scratch
"Even in France when we had to wait a few days for the Final, I was thinking that nothing had been achieved, that there was work to do. That's important for me. Even now it's a new week, I'll be in Round One just like everybody else. It's not going to be any easier, if anything it is going to be ten times harder, to repeat a win. It all gets reset and you start again from scratch."