Kai Otton was a true Aussie ambassador on tour, a relatable character we could all rally behind, knowing he wasn’t too dissimilar to us. While competing, Otton had a notably well-rounded surfing approach featuring a savage rail game, solid big wave act, and a clinical backhand. Kai exited the tour right before the gymnastic Brazilian storm rolled in and monopolised the upper echelons of the rankings, which isn’t to say Kai couldn’t match their aerial antics. Otton had some pop but did most of his surfing on the wave face and not above it. His scything hooks, tube nouse, and sharp rail attack led to a career win at The Ripcurl Pro Portugal in 2013.
While many retired pro surfers hang on and continue their involvement with the tour in other forms (coaching, commentary etc.) Kai has moved home and opted for the simple life in Tathra. Courtesy of Ranger Outdoor, this short film gives us a look into the goofy-footer’s post-tour journey as a father, occasional carpenter, surfer, and man on the land.