10-year-old smokes field in Air Invitational
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Dayton Morinaga
Kalani David likes to breathe clean air when he does his aerial surfing maneuvers.
Thanks to his victory in the Surfer Hot 100 Air Invitational yesterday, the air will be a little cleaner.
"My dad said if I won, he would quit smoking," Kalani said. "I think we're going to buy the patches for him today."
Kalani is just 10 years old, and he upset several older competitors to win the contest. He recently completed the fifth grade at Sunset Beach Elementary.
The Air Invitational featured some of the state's best youth surfers. The surfers had to complete aerial maneuvers above the waves to earn points.
It was part of the 11th annual T&C Surf Grom Contest at Kuhio Beach, Waikiki.
David David, Kalani's father, said he will keep his promise to give up cigarettes after watching his son's performance.
"We know he's good at doing airs; he's exceptional at it for his age, actually," David said. "But there were some older kids in it, so we weren't expecting him to win.
"But he called me out on the smoking thing, so I'm going to do my best to quit. It's going to be hard — 30 years I've been smoking. He did his part, now I have to do mine."
Andrea David, Kalani's mother, said: "It's pretty amazing. I'm so scared when he goes out there, but he keeps surprising us."
Kalani clinched the victory when he completed two aerial maneuvers on the same wave.
"I like doing airs because it's fun," he said. "If you do a really big air, you just freak out. It's a good feeling."
Kalani is considered one of Hawai'i's young stars in two sports — skateboarding and surfing. He won a national championship for his age group in surfing last month, and has been invited to participate in the skateboarding competition of the ESPN X Games next month at Los Angeles.
"We're just blown away with the things he does sometimes," David said. "He's mature for his age, but we try to keep in mind that he's only 10 and we want him to be a kid still."
Kalani was the youngest surfer invited to the Air Invitational.
In past years, the Air Invitational featured professional surfers. This year, contest officials opted to invite the state's top-ranked youth surfers.
"There's more and more kids at a young age who are surfing at a high level these days," said Adam Borrello, a T&C Surf director of marketing. "What some of them can do is phenomenal. And this contest is about the younger kids, so bringing in some of the older kids to do the (Air Invitational) was more in line with what the whole contest is about."
Isaiah Moniz, 14, placed second; Keanu Asing, 15, was third; Alessa Quizon, 14 and the only girl in the event, placed fourth.
Kalani received $1,000 for the victory, and said he will use it for an upcoming trip to Bali, Indonesia. He was presented an over-sized mock check at the awards ceremony.
"He'll probably carry that thing around for a week," his father said. "This was a great day."
The age-group divisions of the T&C Surf Grom Contest will run today at Kuhio Beach.
WOMEN'S LONGBOARD CONTEST CONTINUES
Joy Monahan of 'Aina Haina advanced to the fourth round of the Roxy ASP Women's World Longboard Championship yesterday.
The second round and four heats of the third round were run in 1- to 3-foot waves at Biarritz, France.
Monahan defeated South Africa's Sarah Baum, 11.0-5.1, in the third round.
Crystal Dzigas of Honolulu was eliminated in the third round in an upset by California's Rachel Barry, 9.25-9.0. Dzigas was the No. 5 seed — the top seed among the Hawai'i surfers.
Hawai'i surfers Kelia Moniz, Carissa Moore and Miku Uemura have yet to complete their third-round heats.
Reach Dayton Morinaga at firstname.lastname@example.org.