Seabury Hall’s shredders are back in action

Joy Gentil, Staff Writer

Imagine looking out into the waves at Ho’okipa, enjoying your Saturday, and suddenly spotting a fellow senior from school completely shredding the waves, or a classmate you didn’t even know possessed this hidden water talent.

This year completes the third year that Seabury Hall’s surf team has been going strong.The beloved leader of the team, Coach Rodney Kilborn, has guided the members through weekly surf practices and several MIL heats over the course of the years.

Under his leadership, Seabury hall has talented 21 talented surfers. Surf practices are usually held at Sugar Cove or at Ho’okipa on Maui’s north shore.

Coach Rodney Kilborn is an avid surfer himself. When asked what led him to coach the surf team at Seabury Hall, Kilborn responded, “Martin Lenny asked me, or begged me for a month to coach the Seabury team.” He continued, “I said, okay Martin. One year, that’s it. This is my third year.”

Now that surf team is back in action, there will be many opportunities to witness these surfers as the season plays out. “We had our first surf meet on the first Saturday of Spring Break and that was at DT Flemings,” said team captain of the team Juston Nees, a junior who was been surfing since the seventh grade.

Many consider surfing to be more of an individual sport rather than a team sport, but Nees challenged this idea. “It’s really cool ‘because it’s a really individual sport but the way the team comes together…We have an awesome coach that is really supportive and helpful. Just being with the same group of guys and surfing most of your sessions with the same group of people, you make friends with a lot of kids that you probably didn’t know surfed. It’s really individual when it’s not a school sport,” Nees said.

Surfing has impacted his life so much, that Nees wants to incorporate it into his future endeavors after graduation, “I would love to work for a surf brand or something like that and still do amateur contests,” confessed Nees.

When asked what makes surfing unique from other sports at Seabury Hall, Nees responded, “The most unique part about it is it’s just like so reliant on nature which is good and bad. It changes all the time. You can never really tell what it’s going to be like. Whereas a sport like basketball or even paddling, you can practice over and over in the same situation but you can’t really do that for surfing.”

Surfer and senior Hayden Timmons agrees that with this sport, you can never predict perfect conditions. “Basically, mother nature dictates when you can practice and when you can’t. It’s not something that you can just go out on the field and work at every day. You have to wait for the right timing and many things have to align in order for the conditions to be good,” said Timmons.

“You get to prove to your team that you belong in it—that you really want to help them out by doing well in events and getting points for your team,” said Timmons.

While Timmons is inspired by avid surfers, such as John-John Florence and Conan Gentil, senior Sophia Domingo feels most inspired out in the water by her younger sister. “She’s always ready to charge, and she’s only 11, but she’s a way better surfer than me and I think without her, I would’ve just left surfing as a once in awhile occasion, but now I like to go out as much as I can.”

Domingo admits that she will continue to pursue this sport even after the season is over, sharing that surfing “takes [her] stress away” and makes her “connect to the ocean, and realize how lucky we are to be living here.”

In order to continue improving, Timmons shared that each team member needs to “practice every day and put in the hours, go with friends that like to push you and create little competitions.” Not only that, but Timmons makes it a point to stay healthy and he reveals his tip: “I like to eat acai bowls as much as possible. I think that helps fuel my surfing, and I run whenever I have the time to.”

Coach Kilborn shared that he hoped for his team to always “keep smiling and loving themselves for who they are” as they continue to pursue this passion.

If you have any questions about the up and coming events, speak to any of the members of the team. Go out and get some vitamin D at the beach, and support these surfers while they continue to shred.