THE NEXT GENERATION OF HAWAI‘I’S BEST WATERMEN AND WOMEN ARE MAKING A SPLASH WITH THEIR AWE-INSPIRING ATHLETICISM.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY IJFKE RIDGLEY
Hailing from one of O‘ahu’s most famous families of watermen and women, shortboarder Pua DeSoto (@puamonkeymae) is one to watch. The 16-year-old Makaha native already has eight national surfing titles under her belt and was recognized by the State Legislature for being the youngest waterwoman of the year.
When did you start surfing?
My father is a world champion longboarder; he always took me surfing. I caught my first wave when I was 5 months old. I would sit in my father’s lap and catch little waves in Waikiki. Now I pursue shortboarding as a career and have trained to be a professional shortboarder for about four years.
Mahina Hawai‘i dress, shopmahina.com. shopmahina.com PHOTOGRAPHED BY IJFKE RIDGLEY
You come from quite a famous surf family!
On the DeSoto side, we are all surfers and all-around watermen and women. On the Ka‘aihue side, we are all fishermen and fisherwomen. Put those together and you get me! And luckily that’s the legacy I get to share on and live.
How do you approach health and wellness growing up in Hawai‘i?
As a Native Hawaiian, I’m highly sensitive to the responsibility I have to take care of my onehanau (birth sands). I’m always looking at ways to give back to our island home or influence my generation to activate on their kuleana (responsibility) too. That is really how I think about well-being and Hawai‘i. At the core of my well-being will always be my relationship to the land and ocean.
Ronny Kobo dress, ronnykobo.com PHOTOGRAPHED BY IJFKE RIDGLEY
Favorite beach: Naluomaihiwa in Makaha is the wave that raised me and is where so much mo‘olelo (stories) and love of my ‘ohana (family) is.
Style stop: Vans, Aloha Modern and Anu Hawai‘i
When John Michael Van Hohenstein (@johnny_the_ripper) isn’t riding waves in his home turf of Waikiki, you can find him skateboarding in the neighborhood’s streets. His early childhood was spent in the Philippines and Thailand, but this competitive short- and longboarder has called O‘ahu home since he was 6 years old. With his good looks and eye-catching moves, the 18-year-old surfer and skater has piqued the interest of surf aficionados and brands alike, having recently walked in the spring 2022 Jacquemus show.
Tell us how you got into surfing and skating.
I got into surfing and skating because of my dad. He would take me and my brother, Michael, to the beach every day and I would always see someone skating. I got the worst skateboard at Walmart just to be able to try it. I then saved up enough money to buy my first-ever boogie board and started sand sliding with it. Eventually one of our friends’ dads got us our first shortboards, and we started riding those more in Waikiki.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
My greatest accomplishment in my young surfing career would have to be winning the 2018 and 2019 USA Surfing Championships for the 18-and-under boys longboard at Oceanside Harbor North Jetty.
Anything exciting coming up?
I just got back from Mexi Log Fest in Sayulita, Mexico! I hope to compete more this year. Hopefully I will be traveling more around the world, making new friends, helping people and just having a good time surfing. I think that’s what it’s really all about. I also hope to get into modeling and acting more.
How would you describe your personal style?
I’m goofy, but I surf regular!
STYLED BY JADE ALEXIS PHOTOGRAPHED BY IJFKE RIDGLEY
Who has been your key surfing inspiration?
Who inspired me in my sports journey for longboard surfing would have to be Duke Kahanamoku.
Best place to catch the sunset: Waikiki Beach or the Kūhiō Beach Hula Mound
Favorite postworkout snack: Banan or Jamba Juice
After a childhood spent between England, Australia and the United States, Olivia Jenkins (@oliviarjenkins) found her calling in Hawai‘i. The 27-year-old athlete can be found in the Maui surf shortboarding, longboarding or foiling, but she’s made a name for herself with kitesurfing. She was the first woman to kitesurf Pe‘ahi (Jaws), and is frequently the only woman out kiting on the infamous wave. While she eschews competitions, keep an eye on her social media for stunning footage of her Maui training and global surf trips.
Cinq à Sept orange dress, cinqasept.nyc MAKEUP BY KYMBERLY MARR PHOTOGRAPHED BY IJFKE RIDGLEY
Tell us about your love of water sports.
I started kiteboarding when I was around 16 years old while on vacation in Maui. I sailed a lot in my childhood, so I was naturally drawn to another sport that was centered around maximizing the wind’s potential. Once I transitioned into kitesurfing with a surfboard, this really pushed me to start to learn how to paddle surf. I learned how to surf foil in 2018 and was hooked ever since. Overall with these sports, my goal is truly just to maximize the amount of time that I can spend on the water.
How has living in Hawai‘i influenced your idea of wellness?
After I moved to Hawai‘i, my whole world began to transition into focusing on my personal health and wellness. Everyone seems to be active on any given day, so this really pushes you to do the same yourself. Additionally, there is so much incredible, fresh, locally grown produce in Hawai‘i, so this really pushed me to focus on what food I am putting into my body.
Topshop neon top, asos.com PHOTOGRAPHED BY IJFKE RIDGLEY
How would you describe your personal style?
Relaxed, natural and sporty. I wear a lot of flowy silk sundresses, rompers, a lot of gold jewelry, swimsuits, and you can often find me in a matching Lululemon workout set. Although I tend to dress very relaxed, I do love to dress up in nicer silk dresses and heels, but I don’t often get the chance to do this on Maui.
Best postworkout snack: I love a smoothie and a kale salad from Choice Health Bar in Paia.
Onia Swimwear black bathing suit, onia.com PHOTOGRAPHED BY IJFKE RIDGLEY
Favorite boutique: Acacia and The Shoppe by Hale Zen in Paia, and Driftwood in Makawao
Ryland Hart (@rylandhart), a 21-year-old athlete from Hermosa Beach, Calif., has been making waves in the paddling community as a professional stand-up paddleboarder and outrigger canoe paddler. He won multiple U.S. championships and just finished an undefeated OC1 season for 2022, and he counts surfing, diving and sailing as hobbies when he’s not training.
Abercrombie & Fitch swim shorts, abercrombie.com STYLED BY JADE ALEXIS PHOTOGRAPHED BY IJFKE RIDGLEY
How did you get started with paddling?
My family was involved with escorting paddleboard races in California, and through that we were introduced to Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club. I was about 6 years old when my family started, so I grew up in and around the sport. The club was led by Danny Ching (multiple-discipline world champion) and he took me under his wing at a young age. I’ve been hooked ever since.
How has living in Hawai‘i influenced your idea of health and wellness?
Through living here, I’ve learned that a healthy lifestyle can be easy and low stress. Modeling my day-today activities and free time around what I view as fun has allowed me to play and keep healthy. The ocean is the greatest resource we have. It’s the best playground on the planet, and we are so fortunate to have it as our backyard.
How would you describe your personal style?
I’m very laid back and chill. If I can get away with wearing board shorts every day, I would!
Best place to catch the sunset: Mākua Beach
Favorite postworkout stop: South Shore Grille
Banks Journal green pants, banksjournal.com STYLED BY JADE ALEXIS PHOTOGRAPHED BY IJFKE RIDGLEY
There isn’t much that this 20-year-old Mauiraised waterwoman can’t do. Annie Reickert’s (@annie_starr) list of sports she practices includes shortboarding, longboarding, big wave surfing, towing, foiling, winging, kiting and stand-up paddling—just to name a few. In 2019, she placed third in the WSL Jaws Big Wave Championship, and she was the only female to have crossed the 32-mile Ka‘iwi Channel between Moloka‘i and O‘ahu on a foil that same year.
Ronny Kobo black dress, ronnykobo.com MAKEUP BY KYMBERLY MARR PHOTOGRAPHED BY IJFKE RIDGLEY
Tell us about surfing Jaws, the biggest surf break on Maui.
I was 18 at the time, and it was one of the best days of my life. Getting to be in a lineup that powerful and special with a few other women out was so unique. Usually the Peʻahi lineup has 50-plus people, so getting to surf it empty was the opportunity of a lifetime.
How did you get started with surfing?
I started surfing on the front of my parents’ board when I was 3 years old. When I was 10, I tried stand-up paddling for the first time, and that’s what launched me into a world of water sports other than surfing. I’ve always loved being in the ocean and could never get enough water time under my belt, so learning all of these different ocean crafts was a game changer for me. I eventually got into foiling, and now it’s one of my favorite ways to be in the water.
Acacia black bathing suit, acacia.co. acacia.co MAKEUP BY KYMBERLY MARR PHOTOGRAPHED BY IJFKE RIDGLEY
What does growing up in Hawai‘i mean to you?
It has shaped who I am completely. The island lifestyle is a special one; I am so encouraged by the natural beauty around me to spend time in the ocean and be active. I feel so blessed and lucky to live in a place where all of this is possible and to have the support where I can follow my passion.
What activities keep you entertained out of the water?
One of my favorite things is drawing and doodling—it’s a form of meditation for me, and I love being able create anything I want on an empty piece of paper. I kind of translate it to surfing a wave; they’re both empty canvases of opportunity, but one is about doing turns and moving with the ocean and the other takes a very meticulous hand, some paper and lots of patience.
Best place to catch the sunset: The bluff at Hoʻokipa Beach Park (usually after an evening surf session)
Favorite boutique: Driftwood Maui