We were lucky to catch up with Kaliko Kahoonei recently and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Kaliko, thanks for joining us today. We love heartwarming stories – do you have a heartwarming story from your career to share?
Being in the Ocean Sports / Health and Fitness realm I come into contact with some amazing athletes and overall great human beings. But It wasn’t until I started working with special needs kids and their families that I really got a feeling of genuine happiness. Its not just the smile of their childs first wave its the absolute gratitude the parents have for you when you are helping their kids. The ocean is the great equalizer it treats everyone the same so when I am teaching a kid how to catch a wave on a Bullyboard or Surfboard its the same no matter their disability or limitation.
We are divided by land and connected by water. One moment that really touched me is this past year in Malibu while I was helping the Mighty Under Dog surf school. There was a family with 2 special needs kids who are non verbal. The mother was considerably stressed out trying to get the kids to focus in and get geared up to go out in the water. She listed off the number of concerns she had but I re assured her that it would be ok. We start the day and I end up keeping the kids in the water for just about 2 hours. It was a great session and there was lots of laughs and waves ridden. By the end of the day the mother came to me and told me how great it was to see the kids smiling and laughing.
She also told me that when she shows the kids pictures of me and the boards the kids smile and get excited. To be able to make an impact in their life is the best feeling. She also expressed how thankful she was to get a break from having to take care of them and she was able to enjoy some time at the beach. Since then I always try to help any family or person with special needs/ anxiety / trauma or any other type of stress.
Kaliko, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I consider myself a Waterman. That means I am efficient in most ocean sports. Surfing, SUP, canoe, bodyboarding and foiling are just some of the sports. But I now share my love and knowledge with groups and individuals who want to learn these sports by offering local lessons and coaching. I am perpetuating the beach boy lifestyle. I am personally proud of all the different clients I can reach through my experience. I am by no means a pro but I am highly skilled so I believe it is less intimidating for people to connect and learn from me.
For any new client or wave rider looking to have fun just know there is a craft/ board for you and we just have to find it. Maybe you cant stand up and surf right away or maybe you have an injury that you think will hold you back but it doesnt have to…I got you covered.
Training and knowledge matter of course, but beyond that what do you think matters most in terms of succeeding in your field?
The biggest key to success is sort of 2 pronged for me. Its 1 that life is a MARATHON not a sprint so no matter what the situation be ready for the long haul not the shortcuts. 2 is that you have to have 100% dedication to what you believe in. Its an unwavering passion that you are willing to stand behind and die for. You literally have to go through every emotion on the road to chase those moments of success.
How did you put together the initial capital you needed to start?
Funding is easy when you are genuine and passionate. Networking with people without the intention of taking their money makes it easier for people to buy into your dream or end goal. Lead with passion and a caring heart for your business or product and the money and following will come with it.
- Instagram: @Kaleeks84
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZp_qDcBtkgfYFqzTTQPX9g