Senior Editor

The Inertia

It’s no secret that Kai Lenny often looks to snowboarding for inspiration in surfing. It’s obvious when one watches him ride a wave, and most obvious when he’s riding waves the size of mountains. That’s part of the reason he found himself in Revelstoke, British Columbia, to go behind the scenes at the Natural Selection Tour.

“I’ve been watching Natural Selection events pretty consistently,” he told The Inertia’s Mikey Nixon during the Revelstoke event. “It’s a big inspiration for my big wave surfing. I watch snowboarding to get excited for big waves. So to actually be here in person and see my favorite riders and the amazing lines they draw and the big maneuvers, it’s inspiring.” 

Travis Rice was there, of course, as were others like Mark McMorris, Austin Sweetin, Sage Kotsenburg, and many more. Kai is a surprisingly good snowboarder, considering the fact that he doesn’t actually ride all that often.

“I snowboard about once a year,” he said while riding the lift to hit a few groomers before watching the event unfold from the bottom. “I’d say I have probably snowboarded above my skill level, as far as terrain goes. In my head, I always want to be better than I am.”

Kai is not a one-sport man, not by any means. If it involves water and a board, he’s likely either mastered it or could master it. And snowboarding does include water and a board… it’s just that the water is in a different state.

“Surfing and snowboarding are similar, but very different,” Lenny explained in the video he put out, above. “For one, you have all these clothes. You’ve got bindings. You’ve got a board with sharp edges all the way through; no fins. The turning’s a little bit different; you’re really riding edge to edge where surfing is a lot more of a roll. It’s a different experience, but I like riding boards of all board sports. This is just one way to channel my inner surfer, just on frozen water.”

Kai Lenny is relatively close with Travis Rice, who is the mind behind the Natural Selection tour, and Rice has thrown Lenny out of the frying pan and into the fire on a few previous occasions, most notably in Alaska.

“He took me up to Alaska and scared the life out of me,” Lenny remembered. “I’ll never be scared in the ocean again because I witnessed God up there. I’m excited to watch him do his thing again, because in person there’s nothing better.”


Only the best. We promise.


Join our community of contributors.