- WSL / Tony Heff

Kolohe Andino had a whirlwind year in 2021. From battling injury, making his Olympic debut, releasing one of the best films of the year and the birth of his first child, the San Clemente local has stayed in the conversation no matter which turn he makes.

With Lower Trestles, his local break, selected as the venue for the Rip Curl WSL Finals, there was little doubt that he would be a contender for the crown in 2021.

But immediately following his release from two weeks of hotel quarantine in Australia at the beginning of the season, Andino aggravated a high-ankle sprain he suffered back home and had to withdraw from the four-stop Australian leg.

It was suddenly up in the air whether the Olympic qualifier would be fit for the Tokyo Games. And it appeared to be another season where Andino would fail to once again capitalise on his reputation of being heralded a future world champ.

Despite being forced to watch from the sidelines Kolohe put his nose to the grindstone to put himself back together to compete for the US Olympic team in Chiba. He then went on a whirlwind 14-stop tour across America with his friends to tour his new film: Reckless Isolation.

In 2020, with the CT on hold Andino and friends Griffin Colapinto, Ian Crane, Luke Davis, and Crosby Colapinto swooped on an opportunity to score perfect waves on a boat trip to Indonesia. The project was the brainchild of Andino's, who directed, produced, and edited the film alongside Jacob Vanderwork. He put the same effort into it as he would be gunning for a World Title spending a whopping $40K on merch and reportedly a quarter of a million dollars to make it happen.

Now, happily married with a newborn baby and with a brand new sponsor in O'Neill, the 10-year CT veteran is entering the next phase of his career. His surfing is looking as sharp as ever and he has shirked the tag of "prodigy" that had become somewhat of a jinx.

BARRA DE LA CRUZ, OAXACA, MEXICO - AUGUST 11: Kolohe Andino of the United States surfing in Heat 3 of the Round of 32 of the Corona Open Mexico presented by Quiksilver on August 11, 2021 Barra de la Cruz, Oaxaca, Mexico. (Photo by Tony Heff/World Surf Lea Kolohe Andino will be coming into the new season with a hit film to his name and a new sponsor - WSL / Tony Heff

Forced to sit out most of the season through injury, Andino was rewarded with one of the two injury wildcard spots for the 2022 season. A genuine world title contender and coming off the back of a year that saw more twists and turns than a lap out at Lowers you can expect Brother will be back with a bang.

The San Clemente native recently launched his own YouTube channel titled ‘Stagnant Ambition' revealing the motivation behind it as simply: "I want to give the world my view of how surfing should be perceived."

Andino's surfing in 2022 remains technically superior and after a decade on Tour and now at 27, he has matured into the surfer who can shape his own expectations and handle his own progress. Healthy and healed, all he needs now is to paddle out and show the world what he can do.

The waiting period for the Billabong Pro Pipeline gets underway on January 29. Keep it locked right here at WorldSurfLeague.com for the latest news and info as we countdown the start of the 2022 Championship Tour.

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