We’re excited to introduce a new addition to Team Cariloha – Austin Keen – a 26-year-old World Champion Skimboarder, and professional Wakesurfer who has taken the world by storm.
Born in Tybee Island, Georgia, this United Skim Tour Champion now spends his time in Southern California preparing for his next competition. Let’s get to know Austin and welcome him to the Cariloha family.
How did you get into skimboarding?
I got started on the beaches of Tybee Island, GA around the age of 12. I saw videos of pros skimming Laguna Beach and learned that I could slide out to waves and ride them back in. It turned into a way for me to stay active at the beach and be in the water when there were no waves to surf, which was pretty often on Tybee.
What is your favorite skimboarding spot?
My favorite place to skimboard is Aliso Beach in Laguna Beach. It used to be my dream to one day skim the beautiful covey beaches and clear waters of Laguna Beach, and now it’s been my local spot for almost nine years. Some other favorites are Solmar Beach in Cabo San Lucas, Dreamland Beach in Bali, Malibu in California, and Sununga, Ubatuba in Brazil.
What has been your favorite competition/accomplishment thus far in your career?
So far my best accomplishments have been winning the 8 Stop International United Skim Tour in 2013, winning the 40th Annual VIC World Championships of Skimboarding in 2016, all while traveling the world and living through what I love to do.
What are your personal goals in and out of skimboarding?
I just hope to inspire others to do what they love to do. I would love to give the sport the worldwide exposure it deserves. I hope to create something bigger beyond my athletic career.
What are your passions and hobbies outside of skimboarding?
I love being at the beach and in the ocean catching some waves even if I don’t have my board. I love creating music on my ukulele, guitar, and keyboard. I enjoy running and throwing frisbees. Lately I’ve really enjoyed going to places and events completely outside of my realm and industry. I enjoy seeing athletes in other areas excelling at what they do best. I love wakesurfing when I get the chance, and it’s given me an opportunity to create content while travelling to places I never would in skimboarding.
Who is your inspiration?
I would say people like Kelly Slater who perform as good as they are when they’re in their ’40s as they did when they were in their ’20s. Seeing any athlete in top physical shape performing at their very best is so inspiring to me. Seeing people start from humble beginnings, work hard, and become successful and well respected in their industry is very inspiring.
What is your favorite Cariloha product and why?
I love being involved with people who create sustainable products. So far my favorites are the super soft Comfort Crew Tees and the Bamboo Briefs. Everything is so soft and buttery. Putting on my Comfort Crew Shirt is an excellent way to get my day started.
We’re very excited to have Austin join our team, and we’re looking forward to seeing big things from him in the days and year ahead. Be sure to follow along with Austin’s adventures and welcome him to the Bamboo Nation.
Photos are from Austin’s Instagram thanks to photographers: Joe Bailey, Larry Beard, Matt O’Brien, and Les Morales.