One On One with ASP World Junior Champion by ASL
GOLD COAST, Australia (Friday, January 9, 2009) - The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships wrapped two days ago, and Maui’s Kai Barger and France’s Pauline Ado will forever have their lives altered. The two trounced an all-star field to claim their respective ASP World Junior Titles and are now part of an impressive pedigree of champions. Australia’s Surfing Life caught up with Kai the day after his big win to see what makes him tick. This...is their story...
Kai As A Satellite By Surfing Life’s Binnsie
After his big, if slightly unexpected, win at yesterday’s Billabong ASP World Junior Championships at North Narrabeen, ASL caught up with an excited, if slightly hungover, Kai Barger to find out what the hell happened out there.
ASL: Mate the commentators couldn’t sort it out, is it pronounced BarGer, or BarJer?
KB: It’s BarGer.
Cool, tell us a bit more about yourself.
Well, I’m a 19-year old half Korean, half Haole who grew up on Maui, surfing at Ho’okipa my whole life. And now I’m a big, fat, happy kid.
19, so you’ve got a couple more years in juniors?
Yeah, but I don’t know if I’m going to do any more. I might just run with it. I don’t want to turn up next year and lose and look stupid, haha.
What were your best contest results before yesterday?
I won a few National Championships at home in menehunes and boys divisions, but apart from that I haven’t done squat, ah ha.
So what does the win mean to you?
I don’t even know yet. It’s always been my biggest goal and dream to win this contest, so I don’t even know where to go from here. It’s going to change a lot of things for me I’m sure, but I have no idea what’s going to happen.
In your interviews you said you don’t even remember the Final?
Yeah I still can’t. I think there was so much pressure and I was so nervous that spur of the moment I couldn’t remember any of it. I remember the beginning of the heat and Jadson (Andre, Kai’s fellow finalist) being super serious and I was like ‘alright, it’s on!’ And then it was like I clicked into some other mode and didn’t come back to life until I hit the beach.
Have you surfed in the ASP World Juniors before?
Yeah, I surfed the year Kekoa Becalso won. I was like 16 and lost in the third round. But it was so cool to see him win and that became a huge motivation to me. If he could do it, I could too so that fired me up this year for sure.