“Now, airs have got to be on big, heavy waves to make it onto clips,” Kael Walsh told us back in 2016.
“They’ve got to be gnarly, and they’ve got to look scary, because if you’re doing airs or tricks you know you’re going to make, how’s that fun for anyone?”
Back then he was still pondering whether he should focus solely on free surfing for a few years or head off on the QS, aware the latter route would undoubtedly swerve him towards a more conservative surfing style – because a shattered ankle from a 6-foot lien air attempt becomes a far more daunting prospect when you’ve got to grind out a heat in one-foot slop next week..and the week after, and the week after that.
Thankfully, a quick look at his WSL profile and his latest clip suggests, at least for the moment, he’s stuck with the path laid out by his 16-year-old self four years back. And while he did indeed shatter his ankle on a lien air during filming (7.51), there’s no doubt it was worth it for what he nailed in the process, with the clips counting among some of the best high-performance surfing we’ve seen this year.
Read our full interview with Kael here.