with Clifford Wenger
Growing up on Maui, how has skimboarding influenced you?
I find that the key being happy on Maui (with the high cost of living and everything) is getting in the WATER! The ocean has always been a huge part of my life growing up and continues to be today. When I am at the beach skimboarding I channel all my focus into what I'm doing at that exact moment. It is my form of meditation. Having a hobby or sport that you can have fun and progress in, influences me to keep for that next best wave or trick, and the possibilities are endless.
When did you begin skimming/surfing?
I grew up bodyboarding (boogieboarding) but have been skimboarding and competing for about 4 years.
What skim events have you been involved with lately?
2012 Santa Cruz Oneil Skim Bash / 2012 HASL Finals @ Yokahamas, Oahu.
Are there any films we can see you in?
No films yet…but you can see a short clip and some great pictures at https://www.hookit.com/members/cliffordwenger/
What do you ride and who are your sponsors?
I ride "Maui Skimmers High Performance Skimboards" and am a team rider for the company. I'm also sponsored by Stella Blues Café, GoPro, Globe Shoes, SPY Optics, and Six Feet Deep Clothing.
What role models/heroes do you look up to in the world of skim/surf?
Easily my favorite skimboarder is Brandon Sears. I met him on our trip to Santa Cruz and he has the sickest style and is a super chill dude. I also look at all pro surfers cause I try and bring that style to my skimming.
Walk us through your most progressive skim move that you've conquered or are working on.
Currently I've been trying to do this trick it's a variation on what we call a "wrap" but in this wrap you come at the wave frontside, do a spray, but instead of stopping your spray your continue turning and pull into the barrel switch… good-luck right?
Share your worst wipe out/injury.
I wipe out horribly every time I go. Skimboarding can be brutal. My best advice is to get up and do it again, and again, and again…
What are your goals and where do you see skimboarding taking you later in life?
After meeting some of the pros at the Santa Cruz contest reality is skimming is not as big as the surfing world. Even the pros got 9-5 jobs. But I'm okay with that, I just wanna win a 1st place in UST (United Skim Tour) contest and i'll be happy.
Do you feel skimboarding has advantages/disadvantages over other board sports?
The main reason I love skimboaring is the accessibility. I can go when its 1ft or 6ft and have a great time. No crowds, not nearly as long waiting and more freedom to do as I like.
Who should we watch for in the skim world coming out of Maui/Hawaii?
We have our own league here in Hawaii called HASL (Hawaii Amateur Skim League) With many guys that compete in pro contests as well. Some names to watchout for are: Brandyn Benson, Kyle Olsen, Keith Fowler, David Sterman, Ace Conlon, and of course Clifford Wenger.
You're also an accomplished free diver and fisherman. Are there any other hobbies that you can't live without on Maui?
Like I said earlier the key to being happy in Maui or Hawaii for that matter is being active and taking advantage of the beautiful island we're blessed with. Go hike, surf, paddle, skim, dive, fish, anything that gets you out and about. These thing will help redefine your appreciation for the natural wonders we have surrounding us.
All skimboard photos courtesy of Sergiorio Photography
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Happy #alohafriday! Video by @epiclava_ - a quick note: we get 20-30 messages every week about whether or not it’s safe on #maui. Yes SAFE. the #lavaflow is in a concentrated area on the south east side of the #bigisland of #Hawaii. Maui is FAR away from it. I’m not even noticing more vog. Pretty safe from #lava over here.