Growing up on the island of Kaua‘i, this pro-surfer felt the strong gravitational pull to the ocean at a young age. “Once I started surfing, I became obsessed with it,” says Koa Smith (@koasmith). Some may also recognize him from modeling fashion campaigns and ABC’s reality competition The Ultimate Surfer, but here in Hawai‘i, you’ll find him and his brothers at their coffee and health food joint Sunrise Shack (sunriseshackhawaii.com). “If you eat fresh, pure food from the land, you just feel better, plain and simple,” he says. “We wanted to create an epic health food joint that radiates positivity.” Here, he tells us more about his health journey, his partnership with sports nutrition brand Essential Elements (essentialelementsnutrition.com) and a new film coming out this year.
Koa Smith in Hawai‘i supporting hydration for health in Essential Elements’ campaign PHOTO BY RILEY WESTGAARD
1. How has growing up in Hawai‘i inspired your health? A day in Hawai‘i is super active: surfing, running the beach and exploring waterfalls. I’m always trying to build and get stronger so I can do more, surf longer, surf bigger waves and tackle bigger ideas.
2. What’s hot on the menu at Sunrise Shack? I get a half Blue Dream Bowl, halfacai bowl with mac nut butter topping and it literally makes me cry happy tears every time I eat it!
3. How does Ee help your health? When I’m training hard or surfing all day, Ee gives me the extra nutrients to ensure I can wake up rested and recharged so I can do it all over again. I use the Hydration packets throughout my day. Their PreWorkout with beets is fire! I also finish my workouts with the collagen peptides protein powder.
4. Where’s your favorite place to surf in Hawai‘i? Pipeline is my favorite. It’s like a gladiator pit. I’ve spent my life learning, and once you successfully get a wave, there’s nothing quite like it.
5. What’s up next for you? I’m working on a film called The Source. It’s about a crazy journey I had through South Africa, my love for surfing and the deep, powerful connection it showed me to this earth. But modern-day technology, social media and distractions threaten to destroy that connection to surfing and the world. How do we find balance?