Ian Walsh was in the water shortly after he could walk. When most 16-year-olds in Maui were riding BMX or hanging out in town, Ian was paddling out at Jaws. By 18, he’d graduated valedictorian of his high school, but was also giving himself a crash-course in weather mapping, with the motive of finding the biggest, ugliest waves he could.
At 21 he bounced down the face of a proper 70-footer at Jaws and was nominated for Wave of the Year at the Billabong XXL Awards. Skip forward a few years and several more XXL nominations, and he's still searching for the wave that'll top the rest. But the beauty of Ian is, he doesn't do it for an award. He does it for himself.
Ian's tackled everything from maxed-out Jaws to maxed-out Chopes, been nominated for numerous heavy-water awards, towed into mysto bombs 100 miles off the California coast, and pretty much seen everything in between.
"I'm just stoked to be doing what I’m doing," he says. "There aren't a lot of people in the world who get to go ride waves for a living. That's my job, and I'm having a hell of a good time doing it."
Ian's most recent exploits took him back home to Jaws where he cast the jet ski aside and paddled into some serious mountains, on one wave getting barrelled all the way across the inside on his 10'6". “You gotta keep it interesting, I guess," he says. At the very least, he definitely knows how to do that.Read more