May 22, 2012 4:02PM
Kai Lenny performing during the Red Bull Rockets event in Pozo Izquierdo, Gran Canaria, Spain on June 24th, 2011 // Alberto Lessmann/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20120217-89750 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Updated: June 29, 2012 9:27AM
K ai Lenny is used to surfing off the shores of Maui, Hawaii — especially because he has been involved in some type of surfing since he was 4.
But Lenny, 19, is moving to a new challenge Friday, when he plans to windsurf across 50 miles of Lake Michigan from Wisconsin to Michigan. Hopefully the weather — and the wind — will hold up so Lenny can have interesting stories to tell when he makes an appearance Sunday at Montrose Harbor. Lenny took time out from his surfing schedule in Maui for a quick phone call to the Sun-Times before making the long plane ride to Chicago:
Lenny took time out from his surfing schedule in Maui for a quick phone call to the Sun-Times before making the long plane ride to Chicago:
KL: Yes. Here in Maui we have so many islands that are close together. I’ve done multiple crossings from Molokai to Oahu. That’s why I was so excited to come to the Midwest.
S-T: Have you ever surfed Lake Michigan?
KL: I was there two years ago in Wisconsin, and we did the same project. Halfway through, the wind died. I think this time it’s different. I have a better understanding of the conditions. I was amazed at how beautiful [Lake Michigan] was. It felt like an ocean because I couldn’t see the other end.
S-T: Why do it this time of year compared to late summer?
KL: I think it’s because of the fronts coming down and the winds. There are a lot of guys who windsurf on the lake, and this time of year has consistent winds.
S-T: Is this impossible?
KL: This is more than possible. It’s definitely going to be a challenge, going in a straight line. Maybe a little tiring, but that’s what I train for.
S-T: Whose idea was this?
KL: Red Bull came to me with the idea. But I had always looked at a map in elementary school at the continental U.S., and I thought the Great Lakes were massive. I am stoked to have an opportunity to come out to your neck of the woods.