FUTURE WORLD CHAMPIONS
HUNTER & KUMAKA
“EAT MY WAKE KUMAKA!” bellows Hunter at the top of his lungs as the air horn blasts and the heat begins. It is the start of the Adaptive Surfing Division at the Ken Whalen Surfing Challenge
presented by CAF and young competitors Hunter Pochop and Kumaka Jenson are all business.
Hunter and Kumaka are fearless Adaptive Surfing phenoms who are the best of friends, but can be archrivals in the water. Both boys were born with spinabifida and have not let that slow them down in the slightest. They shred in the water and also in the half pipe, as they both excel at Adaptive Surfing and wheelchair motocross. These young up and comers have matching sponsors, matching wheelchairs, matching wetsuits, and matching daredevil attitudes.
Don’t let their competitiveness fool you though, they love surfing together, but whether it is a free surf or a competition, all these two want to do is one up each other. This is the healthy sort of rivalry that pushes the sport to new extremes. The Mark “Occy” Ochiluppo vs. Tom Curren rivalry enthralled the global surf community through the 80s and early 90s. The Andy Irons vs. Kelly Slater saga mesmerized us through the early 2000s. Enter Hunter and Kumaka, some of the greatest rivals the surfing world will come to know and, with more than a hint of prodigy, we at Adaptive Surfing Magazine predict that one, if not both, of these young athletes will be future World Champions of Adaptive Surfing in a not so distant future.
Luke Kumakalehua Jensen
H: I have been surfing for 6 years now. I first started surfing with Life Rolls On in La Jolla, California. I had a tracheotomy and my parents talked to some of the girls that worked for LRO
and they said I would be safe and I was. I had so much fun that day and love to surf whenever I can.
K: I have been surfing for three years. I started with Life Rolls On.
H: I like to surf big waves!
K: My favorite waves are the big rights.
H: I have two “best waves”. The first was the last wave of the Junior Seau Surf Clinic in July of this year. There was a competition at the end of the clinic and I had the coolest wave ever. I even received a 10.0 for that wave. Also this year I participated in the Ken Whalen Surfing Challenge and caught the BIGGEST wave of my life while surfing with Alex Reynolds. I won first place with both of these waves!
K: The time I was surfing in La Jolla and rode right over a shark.
H: At the Junior Seau Surf Clinic, I was super excited to surf with one of my mentors and friend Alana Nichols. We were out in the water and Alana got on the board with me. We waited for
a good wave and when it finally came we were pitched into it. I slid forward to the nose of the board then we both went flying off. It was my first big wipeout so it was the first time I had to
flip myself over without any help.
K: When I was paddling out going over a wave and it caught me and made me flip
upside down and my board was on top of me.
H: My favorite able-bodied surfer is Rob Machado. He is super cool and friendly and of
course an awesome surfer. My favorite adaptive surfer is Christiaan “Otter” Bailey.
He is an awesome coach, mentor and friend and pushes me to be better and do more
than I think that I can both in and out of the water.
K: My favorite adaptive surfer is of course Christiaan “Otter” Bailey and my favorite
WSL surfer is John John.
DREAM SURF SESSION:
H: I would love to surf off the Gold Coast with all my surfing buddies - Kumaka Jensen,
Josh Brass, Luzi Castillo, Alex Reynolds, Cory Staley, Patrick Ivason, Christiaan
Bailey, and Dani Burt.
K: Going back to Costa Rica with Hunter and all my other friends and my family.
FAVORITE PRE SURF SONG:
H: I don’t really listen to music before I go surfing.
K: Happy by Pharrell Williams.
FAVORITE AFTER SURF MEAL:
H: Whatever my mom gives me to eat!
K: Macaroni and cheese
H: I really, really, really want to get barreled! I also hope that surfing is added
to the Paralympics so I can compete for the US.
K: I want to surf in the Paralympics and win a gold medal.
To continue reading Adaptive Surfing Magazine Vol. 1, click here.