Stab Magazine | Soft Serve: This Massive Lien Put Kael Walsh On Crutches

Soft Serve: This Massive Lien Put Kael Walsh On Crutches

When you surf like this, you’re gonna get hurt.

Words by stab

What goes into the modern surf edit? 

It depends. Some come from a few sessions around home filmed by a friend. Others can be years in the making, with budgets that would baffle most people. And then there’s a whole lot of middle ground. 

Here are a few things that went into “Soft Serve”, the latest from Kael Walsh and Wade Carroll: 

Two trips to Indonesia. Four good swells in Western Australia. One cyclone swell. Six broken boards. A few meltdowns. One mangled ankle.

The last of those things played a big role in “Soft Serve”. Kael, who is 20 years old, was on a heater during the first few days of the second trip to Indo — until the injury put an end to that. You can imagine what would have gone down if his ankle stayed intact. Or, instead, you can just watch Soft Serve and get fucking amped to surf. 

More to come from Kael. Maybe next time there’ll be sprinkles. 

Soft Serve 2

Stab: Tell us about Soft Serve. 
Kael Walsh: I started filming for an edit with Wade Carroll last year. I did a trip to Indo and got a few clips around Australia, then hurt my ankle on a second trip to Indo. We were holding onto the footage, but then Coronavirus happened and we figured we should at least see what it looks like on timeline. We decided to release it rather than hold onto it any longer — that’s why we called it “Soft Serve”. 

You all healed up now? 
Yeah, almost. I’m back to trying airs and shit. A few of the clips in “Soft Serve” are recent, like the water footage in the beginning. 

Any good stories from when you were working on the edit? 
One of the sessions [starting at 8:47], we were doing step-offs and Joel Paxton and I were sharing a board. We busted his back fin out pretty early on. We couldn’t really do anything about it so we had to ride the board as a twin fin that entire day. 

Mikey Wright was with you there, too. What’s your relationship with him like? 
He’s been a bit of a mentor to me. I go to him for advice. I think him and Wade are both really good people and they’re great at what they do, so I try to learn from them. 

Do you feel like you’ve learned anything through working on this project? 
Everyone wants to get on a hot streak, where you’re making everything and getting a ton of clips. It’s sick when that happens quickly, but I learned that you have to put in the time and surf for like five hours. When I hurt my ankle, I had been out for three hours and just started feeling like I was turning on. I got a few clips, then that happened. 

Screen Shot 2020 07 06 at 12.23.35 PM 

How do you feel like growing up in WA has influenced your surfing? 
Everybody here learns how to get barreled early on. Then we get a lot of onshore wind in the afternoon, so you also learn how to do airs. We don’t really have any long waves, so mostly you’re just getting barreled and doing punts. 

Do you ever get scared in the ocean? 
People wig on sharks here, but I don’t think about them. If the waves are fun, I’ll surf alone. I get scared of some big waves, I guess. The waves up north can be really scary — more scary than Pipe to me. I don’t get too scared though, like to the point where I won’t go a wave. I think everyone gets a little scared on the bigger days though — that’s part of why you do it. 

Would you ever go full Dave and surf The Right? 
I have friends who know some of the bigger waves around here. I want to try it when I’m back to 100%. Towing looks like it could be sick. Maybe I’d get spooked and not wanna go again but I at least wanna try it once. 

Would you ever pursue competitive surfing? 
I’ve thought about it. But I feel like it doesn’t have the appeal it used to have. Like, back in the day when Taj and Andy and all those guys were competing, everybody wanted to be on tour and nobody wanted to free surf. Now, the free surf scene is sick and just so much more fun. Being able to go on the trips you want to go on and make clips that make people want to surf seems way more appealing to me. Right now, I don’t see myself competing but I don’t know, that could change. 

Do you watch the comps? Big fan? 
Fuck no. I watch like one or two comps a year. I would way rather watch clips…. Now I’m talking shit and gonna get ripped in the comments. 

Favorite surfer? 
Probably still Dane. And I love watching Noa surf. But nah, say Rolstie! [laughs] I’d rather watch Rolo than a comp for sure. 

What’s been your favorite recent surf edit? 
Creed’s Cult Of Freedom section. Everything about it was so sick — the music, the surfing, it all came together and nothing felt forced. 

What’s your favorite part of all time? 
Dusty’s Mexico part in Lost Atlas. He was one of my favorite surfers growing up for sure. 

What’s something you want to land? 
Maybe a 720, spinning the air rev way, not alley-oop. I would rather try really big spins and different rotations than super tricky technical stuff.

What’s next? 
I want to make another surf clip but with the best surfing I can do. I’m also making a little YouTube channel called Idiot Box and I’ll try to drop more stuff on there. 

Last question: Who are you? 
What a shit question. I don’t know how to answer that… I’m still trying to figure it out.

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