When a surfer is at the top of their game it seems like everything goes their way. Just ask Hawaiian Kai Barger, May's Now/Next Monster Energy Performer of the Month.
Padding his title as ASP World Junior Champ, Kai snagged two covers since last fall (Surfer's October '08 and TransWorld SURF's July '09 issues). When our July issue came out, Kai happened to be in SoCal for the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge U.S. Qualifier, which meant he got to see the cover—and interview—hot off the presses. We'll chalk it up to karma when, new cover in hand, Barger proceeded to demolish Lowers, win the event, and qualify for the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge in Bali this October. Was there additional confidence from the TWS cover shot, or was it added pressure to perform well?
We wanted to find out the answer, but in Kai's July issue interview, he talks about how much more traveling he's been doing since the Junior World Champ win. Sure enough, that was the case: Kai is currently in Bali, then on his way to the Maldives, then back to Bali, and making one last stop in Indo for a boat trip. Talk about a whirlwind. We'll leave you with Kai's words on his current status from the July issue interview: "I'm like Mike Jones-'Back then hos didn't want me, now I'm hot hos all on me!'" -Ryan Brower
Hometown: Haiku, HI
Sponsors: Hurley, Nike 6.0, Oakley, Local Motion, and DaKine
Congrats Kai and good luck trekking the globe this year and defending your title.