Can A Bookish Plant-Lover Thrash 12ft Sunset? - Stab Mag
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The short answer is 'yes'.

Can A Bookish Plant-Lover Thrash 12ft Sunset?

Kuio Young is a humble overachiever who says please and thank you.

cinema // Mar 18, 2022
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Here’s 7 things Taylor Paul learned from hanging out with Kuio for the day.    

  • He brings gifts (rum coffee) and says thank you. 
  • This (Stab Highway) is his first surf trip. (Said he went to Tahiti once, but that was for a comp) 
  • His godbrother is Noa Deane 
  • Companies approached his mom (Jodi Wilmott) asking to sponsor him at around 14-16 and she brushed them without telling Kuio. She wanted him to develop other interests  
  • He owns two companies: A plant nursery and creative agency 
  • He has Hawaiian blood 
  • He gets really excited about new plants (“Brah, what is that thing?”) and pigeons (“That things huge…it’s like a chicken!”)        

You may recognise Kuio from The Pick Up, where he took us on a tour of his plant nursery and surfed heaving Backdoor on a number of our progressive craft. Kuio has an interesting backstory that has been instrumental to developing his depth of character. You know those kids who grew up being told they were entitled to the world just by virtue of being good-looking/well-off/special? That’s not Kuio, not that he’s not any of those things… if you get my drift. 

Born to Australian and Hawaiian parents, Kuio spent his childhood between Oahu and Kauai where his mom (Jodi Wilmott, former CT surfer and GM of WSL North America) and dad (Mike Young, talented musician) lived respectively. After graduating from high school, Kuio enrolled at aviation school for long enough to fly a single prop aircraft by himself. “Long story short, I realized that my passion wasn’t in flying, so I ended up going to online college and taking some courses that interested me (U.S. Public policy, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, plant biology, and plant physiology)”.

After falling in love with plants, he ended up founding a plant and installation business specializing in growing fruit trees and vegetable starters. “We do everything from growing the plants, to making custom soils, fertilizers, preventative pest sprays, landscape design and installation.” For shits and gigs he reads scientific forums and journals, and trades stocks and options throughout the week, when he’s not running his graphic design freelance work, that is. 

Kuio, who looks great in those Vans booties, may have some additional support coming soon, allowing him to lay off the tools and pursue tearing the bowl at Sunset a little more. This, we are stoked about. 

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