Young Fearless Tanek Rucynski
This week we head over to Hawaii to catch up with a new generation rider who likes nothing more than taking on the biggest scariest waves Hawaii has to offer.
"My name is Tanek Iokepa Rucynski and I am currently 18 years old. I was born and raised on the island of Maui in Hawaii and currently live on Oahu.
(Teahupo’o, Tahiti 2017-Photo by Ryan Isherwood)
When I was real little I enjoyed boogie boarding a good deal but didn’t actually start bodyboarding consistently until I was around 11 years old.
Sort of funny, I actually mainly surfed a shortboard prior to getting my first bodyboard, but because of my older brother and some other friends getting into bodyboarding I also made the switch.
Something about the unique feeling of being on a bodyboard and the versatility that came with it made me fall in love.
As a grom some of my heros included, Jacob Romero, the Hubbard brothers, Mack Crilley and of course my brother Tristan Rucynski.
My local break growing up was a shorebreak on the south end of Maui known by the name of Big Beach. I spent most of my days down there rain or shine pulling into any little tube I could find with my best friends.
I still have many spots to explore but so far my favorite break in Hawaii I have surfed is Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu.
(Pipeline, Winter 2017/18-Photo by Manny Gonzalez)
As far as my favorite break in the world goes, I can say that I also have much more searching to do but a few favorites are definitely Teahupo’o, and Pipeline. I’d love to one day surf Gran Canaria, Puerto Escondido and several other zones.
(Keiki-Photo by Kai Hemmitt)
My very first board was an LMNOP Kona Gold edition.
Some of my crew as a grom included Riley Shimabukuro, Cole McPherson, Kai Hemmitt, Noah Hamman, my brother Tristan Rucynski and his boys.
Nowadays I still surf all the time with Kai, Cole and other amazing friends such as Travis Hackett, Vaun Stover-French, Mack Crilley, Justin McCrary, Spencer Archuleta and many others.
(Cruising Big Beach as a grom-Photos by Travis Hackett and Ipo Kahele)
In highschool I competed on the surf team, in 2016 I competed on the Hawaii pro tour and in the future I plan to continue competing, and soon go on world tour.
Recently I started riding for 662 Boardshop, NMD Board Co. and Ally Swimfins. Since my early boogie days I have also been sponsored by a killer clothing company known as BoobieShack. All of my sponsors have been really great to work with and have produced nothing but the best gear. You can check them out on social media or their websites to update your quiver and ride the best. @662mob @nmdboardco @allyswimfins @boobieshack
(Photo by Jaymi Vierra)
Pre surf I listen to a huge variety of music- usually depending on the conditions (some intense hype up music for a gnarly session and maybe some reggae for a cruise smaller sesh) Often times, I actually listen to my brothers original music which has been going extremely well for him. He and a few other friends have dedicated countless hours to make some really creative and unique hip hop tracks. In fact, his latest album has recently been nominated for “best hip hop album” at the Hawaii Music Awards. If you want a little taste give his stuff a listen, @openeyes on Spotify, itunes, or soundcloud!
I’ve made tons of insane memories growing up bodyboarding and to pick just one favorite would be wrong. Some remarkable times I can think of off the top of my head were when, my hometown would light up with swell.
The small town of Kihei I was raised in is flat as a lake almost 100% of the time due to the outer islands blocking swell, but once in a blue moon when a decent sized swell with the correct direction comes in the entire south coast becomes a waveriders dream.
On these rare days you could find us slotted in big barrels where tourists normally learn to snorkel and swim with leisure…...those unbelievable days no doubt left me with more stoke and stories than plenty of other sessions I’ve been through.
(Photo by Spencer Archuleta)
(Kihei, Hawaii-Photo by Ipo Kahele)
Day-to-day as a pro rider I of course find myself putting every opportunity to score good waves near the top of my priority list, staying active and healthy with cross training, diet, and working to save up for travels! Bodyboarding is my greatest passion and has always pushed me to experiences that prove what seems impossible to be possible. The sport really gives me a drive greater than no other.
(Photo by Reis Shimabukuro)
In the past I’ve been to Mexico, Tahiti, and all around Hawaii for waves, scoring some truly unforgettable rides. Last summer in Tahiti was incredible- a few friends and I stayed right on the beach, surfing chopes for 2 weeks straight, scoring waves we dreamed of.
The waves, food, culture and people there were just so interesting and unique. As of recent, I just returned home from Indonesia where I spent a couple weeks chasing more perfection and I really mean it when I say I wish I could have stayed forever.
I am relatively new to the idea of surf trips in comparison to most other pros but I have a strong hunch that I’ll be exploring the world's coasts in search of waves for years to come. Travel just sparks so much joy and provides the best life experience in my eyes- not to mention scoring perfect waves along the way.
Thanks for the feature and big ups to you guys at LidLife for providing such a great platform to help keep the bodyboarding flame alive! Mahalo!"
Tanek your passion and drive will take you everywhere you want to go.
You ride with the style and confidence of a seasoned pro and you drop in on bombs that most guys your age would pull back on, we loved catching up with you and look forward to catching up again in the future ....
Next week we Catch up with the Woman's champion in Arica, her first win of 2018, Ayaka Suzuki from Japan.