Two Reckless Minutes With Kael Walsh
Familiarize yourself with West Australia's next stud.
There is something raw about Western Australia.
The land, the waves, and especially the people. To create one generalization and swoop it across over 10,000 kilometers worth of coastline, individuals from WA seem to give less of a fuck than most — and in the best of ways.
Kael Walsh comes from a long line of Emu Export drinking denizens of the West. He moved from Perth to Yallingup when he was around 12 years old and has been doing reckless things on a surfboard ever since. Kael is 18 now, fresh outta high school and ready to take on the world. Or at least a few QS 3000s for now.
Dig his latest edit, above, and chat with him below.
A Matt Hoy-approved WA gremmie.
STAB: Tell us about the clip, where'd you go, what was the plan, etc...
Kael Walsh: A lot of it was shot around South Africa. I was there for a few weeks to do some QS events and we drove around looking for waves in between comps. We even went up to Skeleton Bay — but it wasn’t really good. I did get one wave though, which is in the clip. Other than that, there are a few bits from around home in Western Australia and that’s it.
How do you like growing up in WA? Itchin' to get out or happy to roam near home?
WA's sick. The waves are better than most places and there are not many people around. A lot of our waves are really hollow, too. It can be kinda hard to leave. I’d much rather be home when it’s pumping than anywhere else — cause you can catch way more waves.
You hate crowds more than most, don’t you?
Yeah, I definitely fucking hate crowds. I can only surf for like 30 minutes when it’s crowded. I’m in Hawaii now and I think I caught three waves the other day. If I catch three waves a day and I’m here for fifteen days, that’s 45 clips, right? So maybe like 3 minutes of surfing? [laughs]
Comfy under the ledge at most any of WA's mutant wedges, Kael's success rate will only improve as the young bruiser matures.
"It can be kinda hard to leave [WA]," Kael tells Stab. "I’d much rather be home when it’s pumping than anywhere else — cause you can catch way more waves."
How did growing up in WA influence your surfing?
I think I line sections up a lot more than most people. I won’t take off and try to do a turn right away. Instead, I’ll wait for a proper section to show up. I don’t know what you’d call that. I’m more patient, I guess, cause a lot of the waves in WA let you be.
Who are your favorite people to surf with?
At home, I like surfing with Taj Burrow and Jay Davies. I surf with them whenever Rabbits is good and I’ll run into them at other spots now and then — they’re pretty secretive, though. I really like surfing with Mikey Wright too. We’ve been on a few trips together and he goes so hard — it pushes me for sure.
You tend to surf like you don’t give a fuck about getting hurt, breaking boards, any of that. Is that conscious thing or is it just how you naturally surf?
Nah, I guess it’s just natural. I grew up skating a bit and I was never really that good, but I would definitely huck airs into flat concrete. I think if you get into skating before surfing, you get used to falling on concrete. So when you start surfing, you’re like, Oh this is water, this isn’t bad. With surfing, it’s fun to go big and never hold back. You might get a little hurt, but you’re never gonna really hurt yourself. I guess you could break a leg or something at worst. [laughs]
"With surfing, it’s fun to go big and never hold back," Kael tells Stab. "You might get a little hurt, but you’re never gonna really hurt yourself. I guess you could break a leg or something at worst. [laughs]"
What’s your plan this year?
I’m going to do the small QS events and try to build up a seed to get into the bigger ones. And in-between comps, I’m going to film as much as I can and put out some edits.
Oh yeah? You pretty psyched to surf in the Murasaki Shonan Open this summer in Japan?
Some of those things are a joke. It’s funny because you’ll see guys who are in the Primes surfing all these random events. I don’t get why you would you do a comp in 1-foot slop for no money, no points and no publicity, when you could be getting real waves somewhere. Some guys just really like competing, I guess. But I’ll be stoked when I can get into the Primes.
But you’re probably more focused on getting clips at the moment?
For sure. Just going surfing and getting clips is more fun, and that’s what gets you noticed.
"I don’t get why you would you do a comp in 1-foot slop for no money, no points and no publicity when you could be getting real waves somewhere."