Keanu Asing: Detonating Lips, Politely
In an age where kids seem to have everything handed to them on a silver platter and manners have gone the way of the Atari game system, Keanu Asing from Ewa Beach on the west side of Oahu is a breath of fresh air. He was in the TransWorld SURF offices recently, and what struck all of us was how polite the kid was. When offered a glass of water, he said, "Yes, please." When he left he said, "Thanks for having me."
"My dad [Tommy Asing] always taught me to treat others just like you'd like them to treat you and to put yourself in other people's shoes," says the stocky sixteen year old.
Born in Kailua but raised in Ewa Beach, Keanu left the below-average surf of his hometown for the Haleiwa shorebreak at an early age. "My dad and Uncle Bonga [World Longboard Champion Bonga Perkins] would push me into the whitewash at Haleiwa and looked after me from day one on the North Shore," explains Asing. Nowadays, he doesn't need to be pushed in by anyone, and he posts up at the Billabong team house at Off The Wall before and after surfs.
While being polite will get you far in life, you need more than good manners to make the Now/Next list … you need to flat-out rip. And yes, Keanu rips, hard. For starters, last year alone his contest record makes top ams drool with envy. He won the Nike 6.0 Pro Junior at Huntington Beach before heading to Ecuador for the Billabong ISA World Junior Championships where he took first place honors in the Under 16 division against the world's best junior surfers.
And his freesurfing has impressed at least one world champ. "He's a mini-me, except he can do airs and tailslides—so he's a younger, better version of myself," says 2000 World Champ Sunny Garcia. "He's got good parents, good friends and surrounds himself with good people. I think he has all the opportunity to be a great surfer and I can see him going a long ways in surfing."
When asked what he sees as his strengths in surfing, Keanu passed a chance to hype himself up. "I don't know. I guess the fact that I'm always having fun and enjoying the ocean is good," he answered modestly. And what could he improve? "I could improve so much. I need to surf with more power, get better at airs, and do bigger turns. There's always room for improvement."
While Keanu cites Sunny for his power surfing and Jordy Smith for his amazing skills and friendly demeanor as surfers he looks up to, it's really his father, a karate fighter of 30 years and, more recently, Keanu's surf buddy, who has shaped him as a person. "My dad is teaching me how to become a man and everything that goes with it," said Keanu before a session at Off The Wall.
Nice job, Tommy, not only did you raise a polite and respectful kid, he's also one hell of a surfer.—Justin Coté
For a chance at making our Now/Next list yourself for 2011 head to the Now/Next Video contest presented by Monster Energy here.