October’s Grom of the Month is a twofer. After all, we couldn’t give it to just one of the Simpson-Kane siblings, knowing how equally awesome they are, and how they’ve each set a high bar for Maui’s groms.
Ty Simpson-Kane has been surfing on his own since he was around 3 years old. Now 15, he’s grown to embrace his kuleana by taking special needs children surfing, showing up for beach clean-ups, and visiting those in the hospital who are forced to miss beach events in the community. Ty is a goal-driven and motivated straight-A student at Kamehameha Schools Maui, yet he remains humble in everything he does.
Ty’s the youngest kid to ever paddle surf Pe‘ahi (Jaws), an objective he set for himself a long time ago. What’s more, last winter Ty borrowed Kai Lenny’s board and got towed into a 30-foot wave by surfing legend Darrick Doerner. Ty has earned his reputation of being an all-around solid, mature grom.
Chrislyn Simpson-Kane has also been surfing since she was 3 years old. She’s followed her big brother’s example, minus the Pe‘ahi action – but who knows, she hasn’t ruled that out yet. Ty was off-island this summer when a girl suffering with cystic fibrosis was in town and wanted to get out on the water. Chrislyn stepped up and set up a surf day for the girl, which just happened to coincide with a paddle out for Maunakea at Launiupoko. The girl got to experience Hawaiian cultural activities all day, first-hand with Chrislyn. It was an experience she’ll never forget.
Since learning about the tremendous microplastic problem in the oceans, Chrislyn has been making it a point to do her part to battle litter everytime she is at the shoreline. She is extremely driven to excel in surfing and is improving fast. Chrislyn charges! We predict this Maui winter will be a big season for her surfing progression.
Look for big things in and out of the water from the Simpson-Kane groms. We’ve watched both of them develop into all-around solid individuals from their early, mini-grom days, and know that the best is yet to come!
Age: 15, Insta/FB: @tysimpsonkane
Passion: My passion, besides surfing, is the ocean. When I am not surfing, I am fishing or diving. Creating a sustainable lifestyle for myself and others, and raising awareness for others to start becoming more sustainable is something else I am passionate about. I’ve recently joined a team through Parley Hawaii where we’re studying commercial fisheries and how we can implement new practices to lessen the dependency on plastics in the operations. It’s been a real learning experience and an eye-opener for sure. The world needs to start making some serious changes.
Why do you love surfing?: I love surfing because it is a release for me from everything else. I get to go out in the ocean and release all my energy out there.
Community Service: This summer I spent three weeks touring the East Coast with Mauli Ola Foundation. We visited a few different states where we took children with cystic fibrosis out surfing. We also did hospital visits to the kids that were unable to attend the surf day. My family and I also host visitors here on Maui with cystic fibrosis for Surf Experience Days. We also volunteer with Deep2Peak at Imua Family Services Camp Imua, Imua Keiki o Ke Kai, and Camp Imua. We do several beach clean-ups throughout the year and we’ve recently started passing out footwear and food and drinks to homeless people in Pa‘ia and Lahaina.
School: I am a 10th-grader attending Kamehameha Schools Maui Campus
Board: I currently ride a 5’10” Code Green by Jud Lau Surfboards & a 9’0” Grasshopper HP Longboard from Manuela Shapes
Sponsors: I am currently sponsored by: DaKine, Deep 2 Peak, Olukai, Hi Tech Surf & Sports, Mauli Ola Foundation, Dooma Photos, Xcel Wetsuits, Vertra, Nano Graphics, Huckleberry Fins, Like Poke, Sticky Bumps, Manuela Shapes (longboarding), and Jud Lau Surfboard – and of course my parents, my Baba, and my Aunty Lisa all help me make things happen.
Coach: I am coached by Samantha Campbell from Deep2Peak//Peak Performance, Kahea Hart of North Shore Surf Clinics on O‘ahu, and Jud Lau.
Fave Wave: My favorite wave to surf is Honolua Bay. It’s such a perfect, dreamy wave and if you’re lucky enough to catch it on the right swell it could be the best wave of your life.
When did you start surfing?: I’ve been surfing my whole life. My dad would take me out on his longboard with him from before I knew how to walk. But I started surfing on my own board when I was around 3, and by 5-years-old I was determined to paddle into my own waves. Yeah, me and Sissie kind of grew up the same. Surfing has always been a part of our lives.
Favorite Food: My favorite food is spam musubis and ahi katsu from Uncle
Danny at Like Poke.
Age: 12, Insta/FB: @chrislynsimpsonkane
Passion: My passion, besides surfing, has been art. I love painting and drawing. I have recently started to get really passionate with photography. I love capturing my friends and the landscapes around me. Another thing I am very passionate about is microplastics and finding a way to remove microplastics off our beaches and shorelines. I always make time to collect microplastics at each beach I utilize.
Why do you love surfing?: I love surfing because it’s such a release for me. I feel free when I’m surfing. Surfing lets me be me.
Community Service: I’ve grown up doing things in our community that I didn’t even realize would be considered “community service.” My family and I are really active in beach clean-ups around the island. We also assist Mauli Ola Foundation with Surf Experience Days here on Maui where we take kids or young adults living with cystic fibrosis surfing. We also participate each year with Deep 2 Peak and volunteer at the Paddle Imua events: Imua Keiki o Ke Kai, Camp Imua, and Paddle Imua. They’re activities and events that get children and families with special needs into the water and a week-long camp full of really awesome activities. This summer I started an initiative within myself and my friends to do our own beach clean-ups at each beach we surf, fish, camp or just hang out at. We spend at least 30 minutes picking up ocean debris, washed up nets and ropes, garbage left by other people, and my biggest issue – microplastics.
School: I am a seventh-grader attending Hawaii Technology Academy (HTA).
Board: I currently ride a 5’4” Code Green by Jud Lau Surfboards and a 9’0” Mokukahawai HP Longboard from Manuela Shapes
Sponsors: I am currently sponsored by: Jud Lau Surfboards, Deep 2 Peak, Hi Tech Surf & Sports, Olukai, Dooma Photos, Xcel Wetsuits, DaKine, Nano Graphics, Brown Eyed Bella, Like Poke, Huckleberry Fins & Manuela Shapes (longboarding) and of course my parents and my Baba help me make things happen.
Coach: I am coached by Jud Lau of Jud Lau Surfboards here on Maui, Samantha Campbell of Deep2Peak//Peak Performance in Ha‘iku, and Kahea Hart of North Shore Surf Clinics on O‘ahu. I am blessed to be able to work with these amazing coaches and I learn so much from each of them.
Fave Wave: When it breaks, my favorite wave to surf is “the end of the road” at ‘Ahihi-Kina’u. The power and the beauty of this wave captures my heart and soul every time I am blessed to be able to surf it.
When did you start surfing?: I’ve been surfing my whole life. My dad would take me out on his longboard with him from before I knew how to walk. But I started surfing on my own board when I was around 3, and by 5-years-old I was determined to paddle into my own waves.
Favorite Food: My ultimate favorite food to eat is my mom’s curry. She makes the best curry ever. And my other favorites are chili and sushi. I could seriously live off of these three foods.
Grom of the month is a monthly feature where we will select one talented Grom from Maui and showcase them. Our Grom of the Month will be a Maui youth 17 years or under and have a variety of strengths from community, school, ohana, environment and of course love for the ocean and shredding waves. This project is a collaboration with DoomaPhotos and Jen Russo. Monkeypod Kitchen will be donating a $50 gift certificate to our Grom of the Month, and dinner for 4 prize for our annual Grom of the Year.
All Images by DoomaPhotos
Groms@mauitime.com + @jenrusso
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