Stab Magazine | We Actually Want To See Kai Lenny's New Film "Paradigm Lost"

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We Actually Want To See Kai Lenny’s New Film “Paradigm Lost”

Is Mr Lenny the chosen validator of surfing’s dorkiest genres? 

cinema // Sep 12, 2017
Words by Morgan Williamson
Reading Time: 3 minutes

We were sceptical about Kai’s new film. Not that Kai doesn’t interest us, he does. He’s a specimen. He surfs everything from shortboards to rhino chasers, kiteboards to SUPS, windsurf boards to hydrofoils all at the highest level – but seriously, how many times can you hear about the greatest “Waterman” since Laird? 

“So John, tell us, how many times does the word ‘Waterman’ come up in the film?” We asked John DeCesare, the filmmaker and man behind Poor Boyz Productions when he came by the office promoting Kai and his new project, Paradigm Lost.

“Not once,” he said.

“What a relief!” We laughed. “We want to kill that word. There’s no such thing.” Save fictional characters like Aquaman….and, uh, Davey Jones. “Alright, John, sell us. Why do we want to watch this?” 

ANDY MANN 2017 03 30 THESURFER 9661

Surfing’s all inclusive, and we cherish Kai’s approach to the ocean.


Andy Mann

“They are so many different players in the film,” said John. “We have John [Florence] and Kai together ripping. We were on the deck of Jamie O’Brien’s house at Pipeline when Kalani Chapman almost died during the Backdoor Shootout this winter. The drone was flying above him when they put him on the ski. It was scary; the footage is crazy. Then you got all the Maui guys, like Matt [Meola], Albee [Layer], Dusty Payne, Ian Walsh.”

“But, what about Laird?”

“Of course Laird’s in it! So is Kelly; we had to cut the scene of him riding the foil though.”


“He just couldn’t figure it out. Usually when Kai teaches people how to foil, he takes them behind a jet ski first. But while we were in Fiji, Kelly was just like ‘Give me that!’ Then he paddled straight out to Namotu Left and was trying to pull in backside. He almost killed our cinematographer with it.”

“Was that right before he posted on Instagram saying how hard those things are to ride?”

ANDY MANN 2017 03 31 THESURFER 7646

While most surfers weep during flat spells, Kai takes advantage. He’s one of the few surfers, who has (almost) never missed a swell-less day.


Andy Mann

“Probably. We were having a hard time getting Kelly to sign the release. Our editor Cody was talking to Albee about it. So Albee put them on a three-way text saying, ‘Hey Kelly, Sorry for putting out your phone number but you didn’t invite me to your wavepool event…’”

“So what’s the end goal here?”  

“Our goal with the film is to take you outside the normal surf world,” continued John. “To open your eyes expand your surfing beyond your current activity. It’s about surfing and utilizing wind, waves, whatever it is. Also, it’ll help people better understand Kai.”

Paradigm Lost also features Julian Wilson, Clyde Aikau, Ryan Hipwood, Ridge Lenny (Kai’s younger brother with a penchant for finless surfing), Levi Silver, Kala Alexander and more.

AJ MESSIER 2015 01 10 THESURFER 1600

The little man loves a big tube. Doesn’t matter if it’s double-overhead or 50 feet.


AJ Messier

The movie will premiere on Friday, September 22nd in Maui at the MACC. 


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