Film: Kai Lenny
Watch: Kai Lenny Stays Strapped
Is there any room in the lineup for high-performance, tow-in surfing?
There is no doubt that tow-in surfing adds another level of progression to the sport of surfing.
Backflips, corks, and 720s are all made possible by the addition of two straps and a tow rope. 15-foot airs and searing turns on 30-foot faces have now become feasible maneuvers, and it is hard to deny the entertainment value in that.
But is there a threshold, when something is altered to the point where it becomes unrecognizable, thus taking away the authenticity of the sport we all love?
It’s the girl from high school who goes to college, joins a sorority, bleaches her hair, gets a spray tan, loses some weight, and changes her makeup. Yeah, she may have just went from a 5 to an 8, but it’s just not real.
While tow-in surfers, like Kai Lenny and Nathan Florence, are the first to admit to the differences between the two techniques, the push for progression remains.
Are you buying into the hype? Do you want the natural 8 or the fake 9?
Watch Kai and Nate stretch the spectrum of surfing at massive Haleiwa during Monster Energy’s new film project, “The Big Wave Tow-In Invitational,” above.