Aloha! welcome to the 21st episode of our podcast, four more episodes to complete the first series, thank you so much for following our journey!
Today with us is Kalani Lattanzi, a 26-year-old enthusiastic bodyboarder, surfer, and bodysurfer, who is rising to a cult status thanks to his mind-blowing performances in the Portuguese big wave surfing arena.
Garrett McNamara said of him “Kalani goes in the ocean where fish are afraid. Kalani is a freak of nature.”
Let’s discover more about him, his latest movie “Kalani – Gift From Heaven” shot by director Nuno Dias, big waves riding and much more!
You can find the interview in all major podcast platforms (Spotify, iTunes, YouTube,…), but, if you prefer to read the interview, just stay on our website, forgiving us of course of mistakes in the transcribe of the interview
TTOS : Aloha Kalani, welcome to the show, where are you today?
I’m in Maui, Hawaii.
TTOS : I see you guys can go still out surfing….
Yeah, here they always let us surf
At the beginning it was hard as we were supposed to go surf and then go home, but now is definitively better, now people can hang on the beach, it’s cool.
TTOS : It’s good to see people going back to normality….
Today we are going to talk about something different than we talk usually…. we are going to talk about body surf and of course you’re a great representative of this sport.
The first question that I have for you is, what is the most important thing, in your opinion, in body surfing?
Usually people are saying, at the beginning, “it’s beautiful, it’s nice”, but then when I go big waves, they say it’s crazy….
For me, I like to have fun, I train for big waves, I’m not crazy. And just having fun. And they say like crazy. Sometimes they, they believe in, they say they love it.
It is also a job, when I go like super, super big waves, I’m at work.
I like, when I go for work, testing, pushing the limits, I push myself and make it happen as we are recording movies for instance.
TTOS : That’s amazing.
the most important thing is do it for love
TTOS : When did you first start surfing body surfing ?
Since I was a baby, my mother put me on the water, I went every day to the sea, you can say I spent all my life in the water.
I would say when I was 12, I started what you can call real body surfing, getting the wave, doing bottom turns, not just pushing the body on a wave, trying spins and getting barrels.
And then, after one year and a half, of body-surfing, I started bodyboarding cause all my friends were doing it.
Bodyboarding is easier on the peak, because in bodysurfing you don’t have enough speed at the beginning and sometimes you need to make your way and you don’t have always the priority or the speed compared to the people with boards.
With body-boarding it’s easy to get barrels and do maneuvers, it is a nice sport and I’m still doing it, I love it.
I remember, in 2015, only 5 years ago, I got the third place, in the world tour, that was amazing.
I love it, but I don’t do it a lot because it is not good for me, it hurts my back when I do the maneuvers.
TTOS : Is this 2015 the best achievement of your career?
In the world tour competition, I believe it was the best achievement I reached, but I also won a good competition in Mexico, in 2014, it was the National Mexican in Puerto Escondido. It was very nice for my career.
TTOS : You told us you started with bodyboarding when you are adolescent, but then you decided to raise the bar and now you’re riding forty-foot waves, like Nazare in Portugal, how is the energy when you surf those kinds of waves?
Adrenaline is an energy that is always good, clean, strong.
I like good energy, always, connected with mother nature and the water element.
I love water
TTOS : I’m very curious about something, when you go under water, what is the feeling that you have when you are over there? I guess the pressure of the water is very high, right?
Oh yeah! You’ll feel like a ramp, you don’t have any board with you, your body is your surfboard.
You need always to put your body in the position that you’re going to ride the wave and this is possible only by the experience of you being in the water for long time and get “comfy” with it and be able to go anywhere.
Your mind must be strong too!
It is quite fun for me, especially with the fins, you can kind of be like a fish!
TTOS : Where you ever afraid?
It depends, in certain circumstances, when you stay too much time outside of the water watching other people getting pounded and getting hurt is scary, you know, sometimes “shit can happen”.
But when I get in the water, I don’t feel like that, everything is much easier and I feel better.
In the water you can’t have those kind of feelings (fear), you need to be confident!
If you’re not confident, then you should not go! You should go only when you feel good physically and mentally, when you feel confident!
TTOS : What helps you to be confident? I was talking two days ago with Tom Carroll and he told me that mindfulness and meditation always help when you ride big waves and you are under water.
I believe the secret stays in staying as much as possible in the water, always swimming, training a lot, swim out, swim in, that’s my life, you know?
TTOS : Let’s talk about video- making, this is a new adventure for you…
It is not only about me, there are a lot of people that collaborate with me to make this happen.
I’m the guy in the water, but many other people “make it happen”.
I know a lot of people in Portugal and these are great guys, Pedro Miranda, Mike, Joan, Lisa and many others.
And of course, Nuno Dias that is the director and filmmaker of his latest documentary “Kalani, Gift from Heaven” .
He invested a lot of his time in and he believe in this project, we worked together for four years
TTOS : What was the most difficult wave that you have surfed so far?
Many waves, especially in Nazare.
I almost stopped to remember all those waves.
People like helped me a lot, I became friend of the Portuguese guys/community I go there every year since 2015, cold water, but amazing!
When I got there, I came up alone and never asked for help, but they helped me a lot.
I love Portugal, it is a beautiful place, good food, I have so much passion for that place.
TTOS : I guess that when you’re going over there and you spend time with other legends, this time also allows you to improve, right?
It’s always good to be surrounded by people that surfs good and inspiring you for doing better, you know? I love it!
TTOS : What is next for you? Like what are you going to go? You’re going to stay in Hawaii or you’re going somewhere else?
I want to go to the water, I just want to grab a board and going to surf! (he indicates the sea of a warm afternoon in Hawaii and removes his shirt).
I want to go back to Nazare in December, the waves will be great and I feel we can go back producing some exciting movies! For Sure!
TTOS : We are going to finish our interview with a short Q/A session, please answer the first thing that comes up to your mind…
Hey, it’s me again, Alessandro…. If you want to know the answers of Kalani, his favorite surf spot, music, bodysurfer and relationship advice, listen to the episode in Itunes, Spotify, YouTube and other important podcast platforms!
Recorded June 2020.