FITNESS PROFILE | KALANI ROBB
Shaped by the ocean
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By Christine Terada
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Christine Terada
It's been less than a year since surfer Kalani Robb retired from the World Championship Tour after 11 years, but the 29-year-old North Shore resident is not your typical retiree. In fact, Robb is as busy as ever — and he's still surfing.
"I thought I was going to be home more, but I've been home a lot less than when I was on tour," he said, describing a hectic schedule that included traveling to California, Japan, California again, and back home within a month.
He is now sponsored by Fox Racing, Gravis footwear, Electric eyewear, DaKine and Channel Islands Surfboards, and is often off the Island shooting surf videos, doing promotions and working with magazines.
"It's crazy now," said Robb. "I've been flying a lot more."
But don't get him wrong, he loves it.
"It's kind of hard to take a job like that seriously. But then again, somebody's gotta do it," he said, laughing.
LOCAL BOY AT HEART
Despite the adventure and thrill of surfing and working around the globe, Robb remains a true local boy.
"I like surfing at home a lot, so maybe Pipeline's one of my favorite spots," he said, after taking a moment to remember all the places he's been.
And he doesn't forget about Ala Moana Bowls, where he first learned how to surf when he was 6 or 7 years old.
He actually learned from his babysitter, who wanted an excuse to get the attention of a surfer she liked.
"She would take me there and push me around," he said, while she waited for her crush to come and talk to her.
When Robb surfs nowadays, he likes to paddle out with his high school friends. "I haven't gone out and surfed with them for 12 years, so it's cool seeing everybody surf again."
"Everybody surfs," he said. "After work we meet and surf."
He also spent some time out of the water during his few days back on O'ahu last week, helping his parents build a home that he bought for them in Pupukea.
When Robb's not busy running around, you can find him getting his fill of sleep, beer and food — especially sushi.
"I go crazy," he said, when he eats at his favorite local sushi restaurants Sushi King and Yanagi Sushi.
THE GOOD LIFE
From his home on the North Shore to an upcoming surf trip in the small outer islands of Japan, Robb is living the good life.
"Being on tour for a really long time was really fun," he said in reflection. "I saw the whole world."
"My highlight of my career was my career."
And all those surf films will come in handy "when I'm too old to surf," he said, because then "I'll have something fun to look at."
He also looks forward to using the photos and videos to brag to his grandkids — someday.
In the meantime, the pro encourages those who wish to pursue a career riding waves.
"There's a lot of world champs coming out of Hawai'i now, so my advice for kids is just keep that in consideration every day when you're surfing. Anybody from Hawai'i can do it. I wanted to do it, so I just did it."
Robb has recently enjoyed watching younger kids come up in the ranks of surfing. Bobby Martinez is the first who comes to mind, and "is one of my favorite surfers because he's goofy-foot like me," he said.
He also singled out Fred Pattachia, who shares Robb's hometown and is also a fellow goofy- footer. "I'm biased, I ain't afraid to say it," he said, laughing.
So will he ever compete again?
"I might go back on tour, so you never know," he said. "You never know."
Reach Christine Terada at email@example.com .