In our new ‘Natural Born Influencers’ series, we interview young talents who are taking the world by storm, presented by Oakley. Kolohe Andino wears the Oakley EvZero and Frogskin, available at Oakley O stores and online. Words by Gabriel Spadaccini and images by Mitchel Ross.
His father was also a surfer and passed on his passion at an early age, while his grandfather played drums on albums by The Doors – so it seems that Kolohe was always destined for greatness in some form or another. The scariest part about it all? Kolohe is just 22 years of age. To call his future blindingly bright would be an understatement, so put on some shades and chatted to the Californian native about his approach to the ocean, his legendary peers and surfing’s potential place in the Olympics:
I have always had a competitive spirit and I think that has carried over into my surfing. Whether I am competing or just surfing by myself, I always want to be better than I was the day or wave before. Being a grom you always have a super-stoked mindset, like you have to be in the water all day. Holding onto that feeling is something I try and do and even bring into my professional career. My surfing is always maturing and adapting, I think it has to be in order to stay relevant. There is always something that I can be working on and improving. I try to stay true to my own style but also channel some of my surf idols like Andy or Mick.
Taj is one my great friends, and I am super stoked for him and all that he has accomplished in his professional career. He will always be someone I look up to. He is moving on to a different stage of life with his girl and daughter, and I think that is super cool.
No, I never played baseball. I really like Kershaw because he is one of the best in his sport. I guess you could say he is a role model for me. He is super dedicated to his craft and works extremely hard to get where he is at and never stops. I guess you could say that I try to channel that, and having his number on my back is a reminder to keep pushing myself to be the best. He is also a family man and is super humble. Him and his wife created a not for profit, so he is using his fame for something greater, which is also an inspiration to me.
I just recently started to like country music about a year or two ago. I have always liked old rock & roll, so I guess in a way its sort of a spin off on that. Certain artists like Merl Haggard and Chris Stapleton are guys that I really enjoy. They are more soulful. I actually just saw Chris Stapleton in concert with my girlfriend a few months ago, and he was awesome. I also like pop-country, too. Guys like Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney. It just a type of music that always keeps you up and positive.
Yeah, definitely. My Dad had a huge influence on my taste in music. The stuff he listened to has a kid and learned from his Dad is something he passed onto to me. He introduced me to a lot of great bands such as The Doors that I still love today. I don’t play any instruments, but that would be cool if I could. My dad is actually an amazing guitarist, something a lot of people don’t know about him.
I can see both sides to that argument. There is a carefree and natural aspect to surfing that you don’t see in a lot of other sports. I don’t think you could ever take that away from surfing though, it will always be there. This argument touches on the same views people have on competitive surfing vs. free surfing. I do not think there is anything wrong with either. I think introducing surfing to the Olympics would be awesome. It would bring competitive surfing to the next level and truly recognize it as a global sport. I would be honored if I could represent my country doing the thing I love most. I think that it will give the world a different view of surfing and bring it more to the forefront of action sports. If you ask me, I think surfing is one of the most difficult competitive sports in the world and I think it would help our industry in a positive way.