Top Tips from the Pros: Kody Kerbox

When you're the son of a surfing legend, grew up on Maui in the water around the likes of all-time great watermen Laird Hamilton, Dave Kalama and Darrick Doerner, and train with the top young guns in SUP, people's expectations of you are going to be off the charts. Luckily, 20-year-old phenom Kody Kerbox has the skills and the happy-go-lucky attitude needed to not just manage such pressure, but to thrive on it, even on the biggest stage in the sport.

Over the past few years, the Haiku native has proved his chops in SUP surfing contests, grueling ocean downwinders and both sprint and distance events on flatwater. His top results include taking the overall title at the Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge, winning the Ta-hoe Nalu Thunderbird Run and placing second in the 14' solo division at the 2013 Molokai2Oahu World Championships. Here, Kody shares his top three tips with SUPtheMag's Brody Welte from PaddleFit.

1. Train with the Best

Kerbox recognizes that not many people have the daily privilege of working out with Connor Baxter. But, even if you don't have access to a world champ for a training partner, Kerbox still advises you to find someone who can push you in each and every training session, whether on water or land. "Having someone to compete against is going to get you maximum results and keep it interesting," Kerbox says. "And, if they're a little faster, more disciplined or excel in areas that you're weak, all the better."

2. Keep it Fun

When you're traveling as much as Kerbox is—in the past few weeks he's been filming a new documentary in Tahiti, whitewater paddling at the Payette River Games in Idaho, recording more footage in Peru and surfing and doing promotional work in Japan—it'd be easy for life to just become a grind. How does Kerbox overcome this? "I just try to have fun no matter what I'm doing," he says. "I change up my workouts, play soccer and go for runs, goof around with my buddies, whatever it takes to not let things get stale. If you enjoy what you're doing, you're going to succeed."

3. Set Goals

With such a busy schedule, Kerbox's life might seem chaotic to outsiders. But in reality, even his busiest months are carefully coordinated to ensure he's balancing competition, training and rest. "I started out the season wanting to win at least one Tour event, one surf event and one distance race and that's what has kept me motivated," he says. "I also try to set smaller goals in training – whether it's beating a certain time or finishing a run without feeling fatigued. I always need something new to work toward."
Phil White

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