Kalani Lattanzi is not your normal 23-year-old. He is a big-wave bodysurfer. Yes, such a thing exists and Lattanzi is routinely at the best big-wave spots around the world when they light up.
Spending time in Hawaii and Brazil, Lattanzi is also a well-accomplished big-wave surfer. But as he told Red Bull in a recent interview about his big-wave bodysurfing, “It’s the most pure way to ride a wave.”
Lattanzi also admits that he feels safer bodysurfing in big waves than surfing them: “I feel much safer with just my body than with a surfboard. The board can hit you in the head, but when I’m bodysurfing I feel really safe - I use swim fins to duck dive, and they really offer a ton of power to move around.”
In theory, that makes a lot of sense. But in practice, he does not mention (or appear to be) wearing an inflatable vest -- and we imagine that might be quite difficult to do while bodysurfing. But he’s also not swimming at the world’s biggest waves on their biggest days -- that’s when he’ll still surf them.
“I think 20 to 25 feet is about the limit for bodysurfing,” Lattanzi notes.
It’ll certainly be interesting to see if he pushes that ceiling in the future.
More about big-wave surfing from ASN