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Kai Santos

May 05, 2015

3-Time World Handboard Champ/Bodysurfing Legend/Documentary Star

Passions: Handboarding, Bodysurfing, Family

Philosophy: YOLO… You only live once

Kai is a legendary Hawaii waterman who’s still making waves 45 years after he learned to bodysurf at Sandy Beach in 1969. Fast forward to 2015, and Kai just made history body surfing Jaws on Maui. That was one of his bucket list items. “Big waves definitely fuel my fire” explains Kai.

Kai knew bodysurfing was his calling when he was little and describes the rush this way: “Bodysurfing is the closest feeling to flying.” His reputation in the sport led to an invitation to film a Bodysurfing documentary in Tahiti. During the shoot, Kai was given the nickname ”Mad Dog.” Now that he’s crossed Jaws off his bucket list, what’s next? Indo, New Zealand, & Fiji -Tavarua are on his wish list.


What 3 words best describe you?

Friendly, ambitious and athletic

Who inspires you?

My father AL Santos is my role model. My proudest accomplishment is my daughter Kailani Santos.

What’s your go to meal pre & post competition, and your guilty pleasure?

Before and after a competition, bananas are my go to food. Chocolate peanut butter cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory is my guilty pleasure


  • 3-Time Redwing World Handboard Champion (2005, 2007, 2008)
  • Handboard model designed for Kai

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