We love this Keala Kennelly TED x Malibu talk. She starts poignantly saying:
I’m the only woman that does the kind of surfing that I do, but it can be kinda lonely when you’re the only one
People want to know what drives me into these life-threatening situations…
Before launching into one of the most beautiful descriptions of the appeal of big wave riding that I’ve ever heard:
Time slows down and some of your senses like smell, taste and sound fade away, while some are so incredibly heightened, you feel like you have superhuman powers, your sight has pinpoint precision focus and your sense of touch is so amplified you can feel every drop of water on that wave…at that moment I feel connected to everything in the world and at that moment I feel like I’m the master of the universe
She then brings it back down saying:
But I’m not the master of the universe…[I’m a] women in a male-dominated sport, a lesbian in a sport that favours heteros and a domestic partner that will probably be in the dog house for skipping out on my creative duties to chase the swell
She speaks about her time on the ASP Women’s World Tour and how she felt obliged to stay in the closet, conforming, but then (best phrase ever alert!):
This little pony wanted to get that pole out of my ass and run free
Keala Kennelly also chats about her love and awe for Teahupoo, the break where “I almost died” and another time suffered this horrific face smash [ONLY CLICK HERE IF YOU AREN’T REMOTELY SQUEAMISH!]. She says:
I was so excited to ride that beautiful wave. People think I have no fear but I’m terrified but once you’ve felt something like that and you know it exists it’s impossible to pretend it’s not there. It’s constantly gnawing at your soul telling you there’s something more…
And she finishes off with a reminder to keep the old consumption in check as we all know life experience and dream fulfilment trumps buying shit every single time. Keala Kennelly says:
The way you fulfil your desire is not by investing in things but by investing in yourself, by staying true to yourself, doing what you love and most importantly not letting your gifts go to waste.
Watch Keala Kennelly‘s TED x Malibu talk below:
And if you’re hungry for another rad TED talk Easkey Britton’s and Kim Woozy’s are boardsports-inspired, fully thought-provoking and super worth a watch as well.