AN UNAPOLOGETIC STORY OF A SURFING WORLD TOUR OVERACHIEVER
Where did you grow up?
Tathra, far south coast NSW Australia.
Where's home nowadays?
Currently reside in Curl Curl, Sydney northern beaches.
What does a day in the life look like for Kai Otton?
Depending on swells. In sydney I wake early head straight to my favourite coffee shop and assess conditions. Surf forecasting is so easy these days I’ll generally have a plan in place for surfing. I’ll spend the day with my young family if waves are bad. That consists of skate parks or swimming pools.
Who influenced you the most in your career?
Prob my dad. Good and bad he was there from the start. We didn’t travel much together but he always had good advice whenever required."
"What made you pursue professional surfing?
I was just a young kid with big dreams from a really small town. I would buy every magazine or video available. The life style looked so amazing I had blinkers for everything else.
We noticed you have been chasing some recent slab’s. How has life been off tour?
Off tour has been so great. I have chased as many waves as possible. It’s also great to not miss out on my family life. I was travelling away from family and was missing the little things. Kids grow so fast and change so quick it was hard to be away so often.
Scariest moment while surfing?
Definitely a set that came through in my round 5 heat in Tahiti 2014. I thought it was a tidal wave and was going to land on me. I’ll never forget how scared I felt but then the relief as I went over it alive ha ha.
What drives you being off the World tour?
Being the best parent to my kids is my main focus now.
What regrets do you have looking back at yourself?
I regret the moments where I took my lifestyle for granted. Any professional surfer is truly blessed. Best job anyone could have.
What advice to you have for young kids that aspire to become professional surfers?
It’s a wild ride. People are going to judge you a lot. Take it in your stride and enjoy. Don’t ever forget you surf cause you love it.
Your favorite quote?
My grandad once said this about our time or energy. Give 1/3 to yourself, 1/3 to your family and 1/3 to your community. I’m angling to live this way."