A Girl Stab Adores: Kimi Werner, Freediving Femme Fatale
A venerable Bond-girl, this Maui maiden will put food on your table.
Maui-born spearfishing champion, and venerable Bond-girl in slick-skin suit and spear, Kimi Werner popped onto our radar a few years ago, the Hawaiian “Freediving Underwater Huntress” casually hanging on the dorsal fin of a meaty, 17-foot-long Great White shark.
Growing up on Maui, Kimi spent her childhood learning to sustain herself on the island’s remarkable ecosystem, tending to chickens and foraging fruits and vegetables from their land, and eventually taking up spearfishing like her father. In the decades since first slipping on flippers and picking up a spear, Kimi has become a stalwart conservationist, taking up the hunter’s considerable responsibility as steward and savior.
After winning a National Speardiving Championship in 2008, much to the protests of those in the sport, Kimi hung up her competitive spear, conflicted about her relationship to the ocean and its inhabitants, and exiled herself on the island of Palau, comprising the western range of the Caroline Islands, a region known for remarkable ocean visibility and a strict, internationally recognized approach to conservation.
Kimi Werner right at home—underwater, off Maui.
In the decade since, Kimi’s become known for pulling stunts like lounging underwater with hammerheads at the Maui Ocean Center or, more reasonably, giving TED talks in the name of conservation and environmental awareness, and most recently garnering international attention for hitching a ride on a car-sized Carcharodon carcharias.
“At first when sharks approached me I would cower, and I’d get kind of bullied,” Werner told Outside Magazine for profile earlier this year. “But then one time, I was working so hard to get this fish, and as I was pulling it in I saw this shark coming up to eat it, and I was just like, ‘No! Not today, buddy. You go get your own dinner. This one’s mine.’ As soon as I did that, the shark just took off. It taught me a lot.”
“She’s the most legit person I’ve met,” Mark Healey, Werner’s dive partner, told Outside Magazine.
Starring in everything from Discover Channel and National Geographic specials, to Keith Malloy’s Fishpeople, Kimi dazzles with her delicate beauty as much as with her dizzying ambitions, freediving in the Arctic, spearfishing “in all five of the planet’s oceans and off each of its seven continents,” and hunting or growing at least 80-percent of her food, which, as if she weren’t the total package already, she’s quite deft at preparing, garnering praise for her culinary skills as an accomplished chef and Patagonia Provisions ambassador.
Working with director Oliver Würffell on the “She’s Mercedes” film above, Kimi discusses her experience following her own expectations in a world of competition, and how she managed to find a sense of belonging she felt missing from her life for so long.
For more on Kimi, visit her site here, and scroll through the gallery below for a look at her life at home in Hawaii, diving and cooking the way we were all probably intended to.
Globe Pulls Out Of The Apparel Game
…and, Taj Burrow and Dion Agius are now looking for new main sponsors.
Owen Wright Announces Retirement From Competitive And Heavy-Water Surfing
But will surf final CT event at Bells.
Fancy An Ale, Some Good Music, And A Bunch Of Tubes?
Ballet's minimalist full-length will satiate your needs.
Take Stab’s 2023 Audience Survey, Win A 3-Board Quiver
Stab towels and Premium subscriptions also up or grabs.
Jessi Miley Dyer On The New Challenger Series Schedule And More
Did you know that you could miss the mid-year cut and still theoretically win the…
Don’t Miss The Last Wave Of The First 2023 SEOTY Entry
Jacob Willcox's ‘Into Dust’ just set the bar.
Warren Smith on New Welcome Rivers Range and Buying Jaguars on Facebook Marketplace
Now available in the Antipodes...
Wavegarden Spills How The Sausage Is Made
BTS of their global air wave rollout ft. Yago Dora, Dion Agius, Reef Heazlewood and…
Minds, Machines, And The Magic Of Hands
How modern shapers split their time between designing files and hand-finishing boards.
Are Hectic Lefts The Final Finless Frontier?
William Aliotti is on the right-foot-forward fringes.
Watch: Luke + Eddie
A mostly unknown, on-duty lifeguard won the most prestigious big-wave event in history. How Luke…
A Pipe Master, Ryan Burch, And Some Pickle Forks On The Eastern Seaboard
This one ticks a lot of boxes
Brazil Has A Talent Problem
And three other things we learned from the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
Mick Fanning On A Unicorn, Bags Of Dicks, And A Shocking Script Read By Surfing’s Biggest Stars
Vaughan Blakey and Nick Pollet on their outrageous film, 'The Greatest Surf Movie In The…
Italo Ferreira Caught 63 Waves In An Hour
And other stats from our Stab in the Dark production.
Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.
Already a member? Sign In
Want to join? Sign Up