Born in Houston, Texas, Ken started surfing at the age of 13. He surfed and worked in surf shops until he had the finances to move to Hawaii where he could ride larger waves.
Ken mastered big wave surfing on Oahu's North Shore. His rise to surf legend was meteoric; his first big win in professional surfing was the Duke Kahanamoku Surfing Classic in 1982. On January 28, 1998, Ken rode the biggest wave ever ridden in history on the North Shore of Oahu. This wave was considered to be in excess of 85 feet. That same day he also rode another 20 waves between 40 and 65 feet to make this the largest day ever ridden. Ken's dream has always been to be one of the best big wave riders in the world. It looks like his dream may have come true.
Today Ken is a Co-Director of the World Tow Surfing Association. He works with the Coast Guard and Hawaiian Life Guard Association to help set guide lines, rules and regulations for this new fast developing sport in Hawaii. He trains constantly.
In the springtime Ken enjoys snowboarding.
At a tiny 4 ft 11 inches and a quarter (And that quarter is very important!) Emma is a small bundle of joy!
She often gets mistaken for a 12 year old, which doesn't bother her, she finds it quite funny!
Enthusiastic about anything and everything, Emma never stops talking, and admits it might be a bit annoying sometimes.
She started surfing 4 years ago, and now she's hooked! She eats, sleeps and breathes surfing!
Emma is qualified as a Pool Lifeguard with The Irish Water Safety Association and next on her hit list is the Surf Lifeguard Award a step closer to her dream of taking time out to travel the world chasing waves and working as a surf instructor
Emma cites Jack Johnson as her idol because he writes kick-ass songs, cares about the environment and leads a laid-back surf lifestyle.
Emma amongst other things is involved in European Youth Parliament and has represented Ireland at International Level in Amsterdam and has also been selected to attend the International Summer Session in Zurich this year."
She is also a self confessed Chocoholic
Ella is a pretty young fashionista and is hugely popular at school amongst her friends.
Ella is one of the cool kids and has a dry sense of humour.
She wants to take part in Big Wave Bootcamp as it will make her family proud.
She has been surfing for a number of years, and cites her determination rather than her ability as her strength.
Ella claims to have great stamina when it comes to surfing. She won't get out of the water until she's satisfied she's caught enough waves.
Outside of surfing, Ella loves jazz dancing and cites her hero as the famous jazz chorographer Bob Fosse. The one luxury item she would take to Hawaii with her would be her jazz sneakers. She has completed Stage 3,4,5,6 and Grade 4 in I.T.D.A (International Dance Teachers Association) exams with Honours results.
She also enjoys other watersports such as kayaking, canoeing, sailing and wake boarding.
Ella is well travelled, and spends most of her summers in New York visiting family.
It is impossible not to like Nicole! She is sweet and naive and very charming with it.
Despite having her head firmly screwed on, Nicole can be hilariously ditsy, something which her family poke fun at all the time… Asking, "Are the Canary Islands just off Ireland?"
Nicole is a do-er, claiming she'll "try anything as long as it's legal" and she's a motivator, encouraging others to join her along the way.
Nicole's family also joke that she "was adopted from the mermaids" because she loves anything to do with the water, and goes swimming at least 3 times a week.
She loves surfing, and gives 100 per cent to it. One of her new years resolutions is to improve her surfing, so she couldn't believe it when the opportunity of Big Wave Bootcamp came up.
She also says that travelling to Hawaii is on her list of things to do before she dies and doesn't see why she shouldn't get cracking young!
Nicole's summer holidays usually include triathlons, swimming in Galway Bay, sailing in Mullaghmore or surfing in Lahinch.
If it's a fine evening she loves to go cycling with her mum or for a run through the woods behind her house and she just loves to cook and bake.
She has various awards in sailing, dancing, camogie, athletics and football.
Melodie has only been surfing for 4 years, however she is already competing at competition level all around the world.
Born in Ireland, Melodie now lives with her mum in Fuerteventura where she gets to surf every day, however she still considers herself Irish and claims she really misses Irish food.
Melodie is a gentle and calm character, disliking confrontation or petty gossiping, however, this is not to be confused with being a weak character, Melodie has a strong mind and knows what she wants.
When she's not surfing, Melodie loves art and playing her guitar.
One day, Melodie hopes to become a professional surfer, and she sees taking part in Big Wave Bootcamp as an incredible opportunity to improve her surf training.
Last summer Melodie took part in a marine biology science camp in Galicia, Spain and did a course of Kiteboarding which she loved.
To earn money, she baby sits and helps her mum with English classes for kids.
If Melodie could take a luxury item to Hawaii it would be her acoustic guitar.
Although surfing is her main passion, she has also tried out SUP, long boarding, canoeing, jet skiing and sailing.
Dan is a self confessed attention seeker! He loves being the centre of attention, and does anything for a laugh.
Dan's mum describes him as a "loveable rogue". He is always getting into trouble at school for talking and being cheeky, but he's so charming they can't help but like him.
He is a very capable surfer, competing at competition level. His dad also surfs and takes Dan surfing when he can. His Dad says he can be lazy when it comes to training.
They have a mobile home in Garretstown where Dan surfs in the summer but they also go abroad once during the summer to surf too.
Dan is into music in a big way too.
Dan says Hawaii has been the main focus of his dreams since he starting watching footage of the big waves 3 years ago.
Dan has travelled the world a lot because his dad is from New Zealand.
He describes taking part in Big Wave Bootcamp as "an epic adventure and I want in…"
A recent article about Dan and 8 other students on a trip to Portugal quoted "Dan was the entertainment for the week for sure" and "there were many funny incidents to remember, most of which involved Dan Mason".
Dan was once a dame in a school pantomime of Willy Wonka!
He describes surfing like "being on a roller coaster with no restraint. One big adrenaline rush with no massive queue".
Dan has completed all 8 levels of water safety and is now tutoring in Irish water safety. He is currently training 3 days a week for level 4 of surf lifesaving.
Daniel spends his summer surfing and swimming.
Daniel works in a restaurant.
Daniel says he has been surfing "for almost a decade" with having experience surfing "4ft to double overhead" waves. He hates it however when he 'face plants' into the cold Irish water.
Daniel wants to be put on an intensive course to bring out the "real confident surfer" in him.
Daniel has a mischievous side to him and describes himself as a daredevil, being prepared to try anything once.
He says his worst qualities are his laziness and isn't very good at getting up in the morning.
Daniel has other talents than surfing, impressively he has travelled around Europe representing Ireland as part of the Irish karate squad.
His friends would describe him as a natural born comedian and always able to put a smile on anyone's face.
He describes himself as a caring person.
Daniel wants to be a nurse, although this surprises most people, he says he has always been interested in helping people.
Daniel has never been to the USA before so he's looking forward to travelling to experience the Hawaiian culture.
He loves meeting new people, trying to put a smile on everybody's face. He says he zones out when he is on the water and the ocean 'becomes his friend'.
Jack is a typical surfer; laid back and chilled out.
He spends his summer working at an outdoor activity camp where he teaches sailing, windsurfing and other water sports.
Jack has many sport awards including; 2011 3rd overall in U18 Longboarding ISA junior tour, Windsurfing Level 2, Level 2 instructor for windsurfing and Silver medal All Ireland Basket Ball 2010 for his school
Jack is a good surfer, competing in competitions regularly. He has been surfing since he was 11. He used to body board before that so it was a natural progression for him.
Jack says he tries to go surfing at least 4 times a week and says he can surf longboards and shortboards but prefers longboarding as it feels more laidback.
Jack recently got a grey belt in capoeria.
He was a T-Bird in his school musical Grease.
He can play piano, guitar, drums, ukulele, harmonica and sings!.
Jack has travelled around the USA extensively between 1997-2005 after being born in Philadelphia but moved to Ireland as a baby.
Jack is heavily involved with projects at school where he is CEO of his schools company and in charge of his school banks advertising and marketing.
He also loves anything to do with art and photography.
Mícheál considers himself to be a young actor and loves drama and therefore has no problem chatting to people or making new friends as he says can't be shy around audiences. He is a member of the Gaiety School of Acting.
He is fantastic at making new friends and says he makes friends where ever he goes. He is also very good at getting on with most people, and rarely falls out with people.
Mícheál works in a butchers shop.
He says he is guilty of being 'mischievous' and the lads say he has great craic and banter.
He says his sense of humour defines him.
Mícheál does an intensive swimming class 3 times a week and would consider himself to be in top physical shape.
One of the most interesting things about Mícheál is that he speaks fluent Irish and considers it his first language; it's very important for him and his family to continue speaking the traditional language.
He says his two most favorite things in life is acting and surfing.
He confesses he used to be hot headed but as he's matured he has learnt to keep this under control.
Mícheál also plays gaelic.
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