We are happy to announce a new, quite young team member: Ten year old Bobo Gallagher from Maui!
Born Anderson Ellis Kainalu Gallagher, he goes by Bobo – much simpler and it also fits his personality much better. When we met Bobo and his dad Andrew for the first time during our photoshoot on Maui this spring, we could not believe how he was pumping around the lineup at Baby Beach on his SUP Foil board our shaper Sky Solbach had just built for him. The waves were small and he caught one after the other with the boundless energy that’s to be expected of a kid of his age. But he had confidence in his equipment and a strength and focus that made him appear much older. Bobo recently completed the 26-mile Molokai crossing on a SUP foil and is actively training for and competing in foiling, paddling and SUP surfing competitions. Some voices say Bobo could become Maui´s next big waterman. Let´s stay tuned!
Sky Solbach about Bobo: “It’s been inspiring to work with Bobo over the past few months tuning his equipment and watching him excel in everything he does. He’s very focused for his age, incredibly fit and approaches all these new challenges he’s setting for himself – like open hydrofoil channel crossings and competing in giant surf at Sunset Beach – with a smile on his face. He’s doing it because it’s fun and for the thrill of the next challenge that lies ahead and I believe this is the best possible mindset one can have. I’m stoked to have him on the Fanatic Team and to have the opportunity to put him on the best possible equipment to tackle his future endeavors.”
We have catched up with Bobo to find out more about him – read hereafter:
What do you think of the new gear:
I love it. All my fanatic gear is really fast. I am into design on boards and I like the logo, its simple but it’s recognizable. It’s cool to have people like Sky and Ken who can make a dream to reality by creating boards and foils to meet my style and for them to be right here on Maui is amazing.
You like to surf, SUP, surf foil, downwind foil- we can see that you like to do it all! Whats your most favorite style of riding these days?
Honestly, I don’t really have a favorite. I kinda just choose what I am going to ride depending on conditions and occasion. One of my favorite things is to take all that I can load in my dad’s car and when I get to the beach, I switch it up depending on how I feel.
How did you get into SUPing/surfing/foiling at such a young age:
I remember a taco Tuesday hanging with our families and our friends the Claydon’s lent me a SUP board. I liked that it was easier to get into the wave. December 21st, 2017 was the day I opened my Christmas present, a new foil. I remember what I said exactly after hitting the water, “That’s so cool.” I also remember letting my parents know that I wanted to try out race boarding. We had an old SUP board that I used for the first time in January 2018. I felt very prepared with my backpack on and thought I was so far out and I only did about 30 minutes, I remember being so tired, which is funny to think about now. I have always loved water and Maui offers the ultimate water playground.
Who do you look up to in sports?
Kai Lenny. I loved watching how he was so good at so many different disciplines. It has been really inspiring. Airton Cozzolino, I think he’s the best SUP surfer in the world. I get my drive to be like them. If they can do it, then I can do it.
What motivates you to progress in your skills on the water?
I like goals. Like setting a world record, when I completed the Maui to Molokai as the youngest person to cross the Pailolo Channel on a foil and youngest person to complete the crossing, that was pretty cool. I would like to do an ultimate crossing one day, which involves many different crossings on the islands. I want to go to the Olympics. What motivates me most and my drive is to complete these goals I have that involve a variety of water disciplines. I am having fun so that motivates me and increases my skill. I also really like meeting new people, building relationships and making connections. I also sometime motivate myself with food. If I can do a new trick, I can get a Jamba Juice. (…but don’t tell my dad)
You had a chance to meet some of your new team mates on a recent photo shoot in Maui, what was it like to ride and work alongside well known athletes like Arthur Arutkin, Sky Solbach and Airton Cozzolino?
When I first showed up, some of the athletes looked at me and wondered who I was. Thankfully, Karin gave me a Fanatic shirt. They looked like, Oh okay, but still who are you?” It was funny. It was super cool to surf beside those guys. They are so good and I got in the water with them. It raises my game. I really like how they ride and their style.
What’s coming up for you that you are really excited about? Any events or special challenges?
I’m going to Hood River, excited for course races. I really like those, they are a favorite. You are always within 10 feet from another person, there is hope you can catch up with them and win. With down winding, you could be a mile away from the first place finisher.
What do your parents think about your competitions and long distance challenges that you do?
They are scared sharks are going to gobble me up. They are relieved when I make it and that they are super proud of me. (From my dad & mom: Bobo chases fun, that is most of what I see. He also has this incredible energy that needs an outlet and we are so thankful he has found such a love and a way to express himself in water. I think as he grows he will be able to give us even more words to express all that he feels and experiences in the water. For now, we are glad to be along for the ride. Steering when we need, but also letting him not be so tied to the harbor. He taught us that early on that he would need room and freedom. Some days that is easier than other days. We are so proud of Bobo.)
Is it hard to get your school work done and still have enough time to spend on the water?
Yes. I usually do school for several hours and then I have to wait for my dad to get off work.
Do you have any advice for other kids who want to start foiling but are hesitant?
Honestly, I think it’s the parents who are more afraid. I think they should do it because its fun. Always wear a helmet and impact vest when trying new tricks or going at high speeds behind a boat. Use a kevlar filled paddle.