"A tour surfer? Kalani Rivero is a young man on a charge! Discipline and commitment are no stranger to him. Just watch…”
Founder Lightning Bolt Surfboards,
Long time Triple Crown Judge
Kalani Rivero, 17, is not yet a traveling professional surfer on the tour. But he is already what I would call a surf genius.
That's a heavy term for anyone who surfs on the North Shore, but for Kalani the term fits. He has a strong mind-body-spirit connection. He can look in real time at what he wants to accomplish in a free surf or in competition. Underwater he can predict the path a fish will swim or the hole it will hide in.
Both worlds require lightning-fast reflexes. Kalani’s mind quickly calculates what he has to do to pull off a move off the lip or shooting a fish. His brain provides the program for his body to perform the action, and his quick reflexes get the job done. His spirit provides the fun factor – a focus that drives him to achieve and find more...fun.
Kalani is also a fun hog. He must be free to engage in the activity of his choice. He must be inspired to perform at his best. And, he must be settled as he prepares for his next move. In short, fun and freedom are required for Kalani to excel. This mix of freedom and fun means that he must have a layer of calmness to reset his focus and make the right decision.
At the same time, the base of his recent success is the absolute discipline to overlearn the skills that build the fitness and endurance that carries his inner fire and passion forward. The fire inside him defines the energy that he needs to perform at his best when surfing in competition. It fuels his emotions with enthusiasm and excitement. Both are equally needed to perform those essential skills with the right amount of intensity, form and technique.
Kalani speaks to the fire within
“When I first stated to compete," he said, "I’d get edgy with myself when I couldn’t or didn’t catch the right waves that offer the highest scoring potential. I just wasn’t getting what I wanted. I had to learn the patience needed to settle down. I also had to believe in myself no matter how frustrated I was or how much time was left in the heat. I had to learn how to get back to that place in my head where I’m having fun in the moment.“
Kalani’s passion for his lifestyle is the energy that keeps him working on mastering his talents. This energy is needed to overcome the distractions of doubt, discomfort or even pain. The secret to achieve joy and success over the course of a season, career or lifetime.
Kalani on his passion
“I just know that I love being in the water, no matter what the conditions or waves or no waves. Where I live at Sunset Beach, it’s all right here in my back yard. I just want to enjoy surfing or diving wherever I want to at my pace.”
How do you stay focused in competition?
“I know myself and the conditions I’m going into and I don’t let one overrule the other. I work hard at staying present and letting myself just surf.”
How do you keep the stress away between waves?
“I don’t sit, I paddle around and relocate my lineup. I watch what the other guys in my heat are doing. I don’t let any of them take over my takeoff zone. I work to outthink them and out paddle them. On a wave your first turn is everything to the judges. And I work to dominate the wave from beginning to end."
Do you have the fire and passion to get to the next level?
"For sure I can see myself on the world tour within a couple of years. Or even sooner. It’s just up to me and my training at this point."
Kalani is a free spirit that loves to have fun. He is also very disciplined. He is crystal clear about the expectations that go with being a professional surfer. He is extremely inspired to do the work and get the job done. He has all of the skills, experience and confidence needed to make the right decisions in the moment and over the long haul.
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