Ridge Lenny is a 24-year-old waterman from Maui, who was a rising star in bodyboarding and stand-up paddling before heading off to college on the mainland at the University of San Diego. He’s now back on Maui, pursuing a couple of business ventures, wing-fishing, and pushing the limits of tow-in surfing with his older brother, professional big-wave surfer Kai Lenny.
Ridge and Kai could not be more different, but that’s just the way Ridge likes it. “I feel like we complement each other well,” Ridge told me. “Kai can help me out with big waves, and I can show him a few things on the business side as well.” I think Ridge is selling himself short though, because he’s got more to offer than just business acumen. Whereas Kai is the dreamer, albeit a very driven one, Ridge has a very frank and clear perspective that shows him what will work and what’s maybe a bit too far, which showed when we discussed his and Kai’s efforts to innovate in the field of big-wave surfing by borrowing from the sport of snowboarding.
Definitely a strange year to go all in on a sport that involves chasing massive swells around the globe, but there was plenty of swell to go around this winter, and from the clips and photos we’ve seen it looks like Ridge made the most of it. It was great to sit down with him, virtually of course, and catch up on his big wave season, tow-surfing with Kai, and his recent TikTok fame.