Kai Lenny talks about Mark Zuckerberg’s claims of surfing 15ft waves

Kai Lenny and Mark Zuckerberg enjoy a foil session in the ‘Metaverse’. Photo: Meta//YouTube Screenshot.

On rare occasions, surfing news intertwines with the rest of the world and goes viral among the general public. Recently, a decent chunk of this “world surfing news” has revolved around Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook (aka Meta), and his sometimes awkward relationship with surfing.

Zuckerberg was spotted foiling with way too much sunscreen as well as foiling with an American flag in tow, and was roasted by the internet for both. He also used the surf to promote Facebook’s “Meta” rebranding (below) with a simulation of himself and Kai Lenny foiling together in the Metaverse, prompting many questions about the possible friendship between the two.

Delving deeper into these questions, most recently Zuck claimed he surfs 15ft waves during a podcast with MIT researcher Lex Fridman (you can find him here) who had some on the internet wondering if Kai Lenny was lending a helping hand (or towing a rope). The interview itself received over 2.9 million views, as well as the attention of Kook of the Day, where the commenters had a blast.

“Well, I train hard,” Zuckerberg said in the pod. “If I have to go out to like a fifteen-foot wave, I’m going to make sure we have the right safety gear and I’m used to this place and all of it. But you know, you might take some head shots along the way. The comments created a lot of jokes online, to say the least, with some confirming Zuckerberg’s claims (below). In an effort to weed out internet hearsay, I had Kai Lenny on the phone to find out more about his exploits with Zuckerberg, and whether he’s ever towed him in 15ft waves, or waves of the everything.

Kai, of course, transcends surfing. It is therefore natural that he attracts the attention of a Mark Zuckerberg, obsessed with surfing and surf culture. But did he really tow surf with Mark Zuckerberg? The answer? No.

“I hung out with Mark a few times, but never towed with him,” Kai told me. But he confirmed that while he’s not the one who did it with Mark, it’s highly likely that the rumors that Zuckerberg is surfing 15fters are true. “I know he’s been towing big waves on Kauai,” Kai said. “Relatively big, like 15 foot waves, which on a foil are quite big. But he does with the Kauai team there. I’ve never towed on Kauai, just done foil downwinds.

We dove into Kai’s relationship with the social media mogul.

“I often think he has a worse reputation than he deserves,” Kai said. “I think it’s just ironic sometimes people complain and hate someone while using their platform… In my experience he’s been nothing but nice. His family is super cool and if you ask him, he doesn’t care. He’s just like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m a public figure that’s what you’d expect,’ and I’m like, ‘Wow man, that’s a lot of warmth you always carry with you.’ He really can’t do anything right.

mark zuckerberg american flag

The Zuck apparently can’t do anything right… Photo: Mark Zuckerberg//Instagram.

Kai Lenny has dated many luminaries and says when he met Zuck it changed his perspective.

“For me, it motivates him to want to do other water sports and be active…” Kai said. “When I first had the opportunity to meet him, I saw him as one of those things where, if you have the opportunity to meet someone very important in history, I don’t know why you wouldn’t because at least you would have the opportunity to look them in the eye and see who they really are… And when I met him I was surprised because ‘he’s really nice and gives back a lot more than people give him credit for. He was really cool, and I met a lot of people who aren’t cool and have done a lot less with their lives, so I was pleasantly surprised. He just seemed like someone who really enjoyed doing water sports, and we never really talked about anything other than the kind of surfing conversation you might have with your buddies. So I had a great experience with him, and from my perspective, he’s just a really nice guy.

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