Introducing My Hero a new regular, best read with Dave Grohl singing softly in your head. First up big wave charger Keala Kennelly…
“I am really inspired by Shane Dorian and have been ever since I was a kid. Back then I was so impressed with the way he surfed. He killed it in small waves with really fluid style, critical turns and airs but then he would paddle out on the biggest days at Pipeline and dominate.
I remember being about 14 and hanging out with Andy and Bruce Irons and one of them had gotten hold of Shane’s phone number so we called him and to our surprise he answered and we were all awkward on the phone with him and didn’t know what to say because we were all a bit star struck and couldn’t believe we were talking to Shane Dorian.
I don’t remember where I met Shane for the first time, it was probably on the ASP World tour.
All the Hawaiians kind of hung out together and looked after each other on tour so that is how our relationship started. We both rode for Billabong so we would find ourselves on a lot of the same surf trips and promos together in different parts of the world.
Shane has always been very encouraging and supportive of me, especially when we are out surfing big waves. He even called me in to my biggest paddle wave at Jaws last winter which probably gave me the extra confidence I needed to scratch into that wave. The stuff that Shane has accomplished in the last 5 years in the big wave surfing world has been absolutely mind blowing and I feel so lucky to have been able to be in the water and share some of those monumental sessions with him.”
And you can watch what Shane inspired in Keala here: