By Joel Einhorn, HANAH founder and CEO
I met Kalle Carranza last summer in Sayulita, Mexico, on a surf trip with our mutual friend Jimmy Chin.
Kalle is an interesting character. He grew up surfing in and around Sayulita. He’d reached surfing stardom at a young age, gracing the cover of the biggest surf magazines, winning a national title, and being recognized as one of the top 100 surfers in the world. And then, he left.
Kalle went to Finland to get a university degree in marketing. It was there that he realized his true passion was dissecting the sport of surfing and teaching others. He moved back to Sayulita and now runs a company called I Love Waves where he teaches every level of surfer.
At this time last year, I’d surfed about 45 days in my life, and never really learned the fundamentals. So basically, I’d flail away in the water and catch the occasional wave.
When I was in Sayulita last summer, I caught a few waves toward the end of my trip, and I saw the way in which Kalle was able to reach the beginner. I’d told Jimmy that I wanted to deep dive into surfing and find an instructor that I could spend a few weeks with. Kalle seemed to be the right guy. I told him I’d be back next year.
Surfing gets harder the older you get, and not just from a physical standpoint. Not many people want to ask someone to walk them through the elementary steps of a new sport. We also have a tendency to not want to be beginners and look like a total kook in a sport that’s perceived as cool. I fortunately don’t seem to have this problem.
I spent 17 days in Sayulita this summer with Jimmy and Kalle. To spare you the details, I went from kook to catching 30 waves a session by the end of the trip. It was a life-changing experience.
I’m super stoked to have met Kalle and to pick up a new sport. HANAH is excited to add Kalle to the HANAH Hero team, and work together with him to assist in his mission to get more people in the water.
Learn more about all our HANAH Heroes here.
All photo credit to Nik West. Instagram: @beachbrakebynikwest