Shane Dorian & Kai Lenny Skewer The Karen Model Of Parenting: ‘Celebrate Dad Strength @ Jaws!’
“I got the biggest waves of my life after having kids,” said the 2023 Eddie Aikau contestant.
“People might consider what we do to be ‘reckless,’” says big wave surfer Ridge Lenny. Indeed, if you were to map its level of safety in comparison to other endeavors, being a big wave surfer would fall somewhere between accountant and sword-swallower — notably closer to sword swallower, though.
In the latest Keith Malloy directed episode of Life of Kai, two of surfing’s coolest dads: Shane Dorian and Kai Lenny – speak to how having kids changed their approach to big-waves. “I’ve never been worried about Kai going out and surfing big waves,” says Molly Lenny, “but having kids kind of changed that.”
The 17-minute episode is an interesting exploration of the tug-of-war between freedom and responsibility, how the concept of ‘risk’ changes once you have kids and how subscribing to the Karen school of parenting just wasn’t an option for either gentleman.
“You can’t just stop doing what you love to do just because something has changed,” says Kai – one of surfing’s most well-rounded surfers and individuals, who’s likely experienced some form of ‘Karen shaming’ for his exploits in big waves since becoming a father. “After having kids I was just more stringent on which days to push it,” says Shane Dorian – who surfed this recent Eddie Aikau alongside fellow 50+ rad dads: Pete Mel and Mike Ho. “I look to him (Shane) as the ultimate model for how I want to raise my kids,” adds Kai – a sentiment shared unanimously within Stab’s office.
Does being a ‘responsible family man’ mean curbing your enthusiasm to surf big stuff? Dad responses only.
For the next five weeks we’ll be dropping new episodes of Life of Kai weekly.
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