Ian Walsh, 25, represents a new generation of big wave surfers looking to push the boundaries even further. “In the next few years, I really want to draw different lines,” he says. “It seems like everyone is just heading for the channel. I want to take that next step in big waves and do some turns.” Fueled by his passion for surfing and feeding off the endless supply of shreddable waves on Maui, Ian is one of the sport’s most well-rounded and versatile athletes.
Few who rip the small surf can do the same in the heavy water. For Ian, it’s all a matter of choice. Technically sound and capable of sick airs, he’ll tear up waves from 2 to 70 feet. Best known for his legendary big wave exploits at Jaws and Teahupo’o, Ian is also a seasoned competitor on the QS and CT tours. Coming up is the prestigious Eddie Aikau big-wave event and another go at the Vans Triple Crown. At 19 he founded the Ian Walsh Menehune Mayhem Event, one of Maui’s most popular surf contests; now in its fifth year, the free event is quickly evolving into a showcase of Maui’s most promising talent.