Looking to the future of surfing, Maui Time is kicking around the idea of featuring younger surfers on a regular basis. When it really comes down to it, the kids are the ones that will be shaping the future. They will be the ones on the covers of all of the mags someday. But until then, we thought an insight into the lives of younger surfers would make good reading. Let us know what you think. For our first attempt in this new area of investigative reporting we caught up with Wesley and Granger Larsen at their home in Kahana. With the guidance of their parents Ric and Tanya, these two groms have come along way in the surfing world in a very short time.
[2016 editor’s note: At various moments in the following Q&A, the exact speaker isn’t clearly mentioned. We have chosen to reprint the interview exactly as it first ran, with these ambiguities left intact.]
WESLEY LARSON: Dec.7, 1987
GRANGER LARSON: Feb.3, 1990.
MAUITIME: So how long have you guys been surfing?
GRANGER: Four years.
WESLEY: Five years.
MAUITIME: Who taught you?
GRANGER: Wesley taught me. And my Dad practices with me. My dad taught Wesley.
MAUITIME: So who’s the better surfer?
GRANGER: I’m better than him at longboarding. We’re about the same.
MAUITIME: What do you like to do when you’re not surfing? Hobbies?
GRANGER: We like to play. We also play soccer, baseball, skateboard, wrestle and ride bikes.
WESLEY: I snorkel in the pool.
MAUITIME: Who are your role models? Any local surfers you look up to? Influences?
WESLEY: Mark Anderson.
GRANGER: Laird Hamilton. I like the video.
MAUITIME: How have you guys been doing in the contests?
GRANGER: I got fifth place at the Shapers contest at Ho`okipa last June and second bodyboarding.
WESLEY: I got two first and one third in the last three contests. First in short boarding and body boarding, third in longboarding, but that was in an open division with older kids.
MAUITIME: Was that your first contest?
GRANGER: Uhm, that was my third.
MAUITIME: What divisions are you in?
WESLEY: I’m in at 10 and under and Granger is in 8 and under.
MAUITIME: What’s your home town?
MAUITIME: Home wave?
Iron Woods at Kapalua, when there’s no swell you can usually surf there because of the wind swell.
GRANGER: I dominate Launiupoko.
WESLEY: Honolua Bay.
MAUITIME: Favorite wave?
MAUITIME: Have you ever gone on a surf trip, or surfed somewhere other than Maui?
WESLEY: I’ve surfed Lanai and Oahu.
MAUITIME: What are your goals in surfing?
WESLEY: What’s that? (after explanation) I want to compete, but also just to have fun.
MAUITIME: What do you want to be when you grow up?
WESLEY: A famous surfer.
GRANGER: I haven’t decided yet.
MAUITIME: What school do you go to?
King Kamehameha, Kam third for short.
MAUITIME: What grade are you in?
GRANGER: I’m going into second grade.
WESLEY: I’m going into fourth.
MAUITIME: What is your favorite subject in school?
WESLEY: English, I like to read and write.
GRANGER: Math and reading.
MAUITIME: What do you like most about school? And you can’t say recess.
Playing inside and I like the beginning of school because of all the food.
MAUITIME: What kind of grades do you get?
We get a lot of pluses, we never get “N’s.”
MAUITIME: What do you like best about surfing?
WESLEY: I like the wave, I like catching the wave. I like when there are waves every single time, and not having to wait fifteen minutes.
GRANGER: Yeah, like sometimes at Launiupoko you have to wait.
MAUITIME: How long of a board do you ride? Do you have more than one?
WESLEY: I have five boards: a 6’1”, 5’8”, 6’3”, 9’0 and I have a Gerry Lopez Minitanker.
GRANGER: I have three.
MAUITIME: Tell me about the first wave you caught?
GRANGER: I don’t remember.
WESLEY: I do. I was at Launiupoko with that big brown board. And I was with my Dad. Or maybe that was my Mom.
GRANGER: I remember–it was at, it was at, right by Launiupoko, Puamana! And I was with my Dad.
MAUITIME: What friends do you surf with?
Matty Swietzer, Howard Davis, Willie Wood, Casey Summers, Johnny Pitzer, Billy Ball.
MAUITIME: Would you like to have sponsors?
WESLEY: I already have one. I’m a team rider for Quiksilver.
MAUITIME: What do they do for you?
WESLEY: They give me clothes, wetsuits, jerseys, fins, boards. Thanks.
MAUITIME: So do you guys go out surfing by yourselves?
Sometimes we have waves right out in front of our house, we call it Noah’s Bay. And if there’s waves we are the only ones that go out. Once in a while we weave through the neighbors here but it’s kinda like our secret spot. It’s a left and a really fast, great wave. And sometimes it’s a right.
MAUITIME: So where do you guys surf?
WESLEY: We surf everywhere. I’ve been to Windmills three times. Once when it was huge, me and my friend Matty went out and it was four feet with and occasional five. The current was very strong. It was scary looking down.
GRANGER: Oh and this summer we went out to Hana, out at Hamoa Bay. All those guys out there surf there. They all live out there.
MAUITIME: Do you guys surf a lot?
Everyday, everyday. It’s our favorite thing to do.
MAUITIME: Any last words? Any advice to new surfers?
Have fun… Can we go outside after this?
MAUITIME: Who is your favorite surfer?
WESLEY: Mark Anderson.
GRANGER: Laird, Laird Hamilton. We like Wake Up Call, you know, the video from Jaws.
MAUITIME: What is your favorite cereal?
GRANGER: Frosted Mini-Wheats.
WESLEY: Fruit Loops.
MAUITIME: What does Maui Time mean to you?
Maui Time would like to extend an invitation to all young riders for future interviews and stories, if you are doing something we should know about, tell us!
This story originally ran in MauiTime’s September 2, 1997 issue.
Photos courtesy of Ric Larsen