Ever wonder how Kai keeps pushing the limits of his surfing, clip after clip? Well, his specialty fin setup might be the part of the answer. We caught up with him to get all the details.
Kai uses Mink Systems, a technology he helped develop with one of his shapers, John Parks. They build small specialized fins, which are known as "diffusers" that control the turbulence of water as it hits your surfboard. This allows you to go faster with more control and stability.
"This has really changed my experience on the water. I'm going faster, throwing more spray, and I have way more control when I'm landing maneuvers. On top of it all, it just makes my average board feel incredible," Kai says.
While Kai has undeniably put in the hours to be where he is today, there's no denying his obsession with perfecting his equipment. So much so that he opts for Mink Systems on all of the boards he rides, from shortboards, to foils, to big wave guns and tow-in boards.
Earlier this year, Kai and his tow-partner Lucas Chianca were the standout performers at the Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge. Kai was seen pulling airs off Nazaré chop - a maneuver he's perfected year after year at Pe'ahi.
Kai is still the only big wave surfer to consistently pull airs in the most consequential waves in the world. And if you've felt the weight of a tow board, you'd know just how gnarly this is.
"Being a big wave rider, I've really found the advantage when you're running for your life, and when you're pulling into the biggest barrel of your life and you have speed to burn versus always trying to find more speed."
So why are you just hearing about Mink Systems? Well, they've have been tested and altered for years by the worlds best in just about every type of condition and every board available. Now that they're proven to work, they've just opened up shop to the public.
Are we going to start seeing these in the lineup and on the boards of more Tour surfers? You tell us.