Kaimana Jaquias had been picturing himself standing on the winner’s podium at the NSSA Nationals with the Open Men’s title for as long as he could remember. Kaimana’s father, Kaipo Jaquias, had claimed the same title; it was a win that catapulted him into a successful career as a pro. And now, at Huntington Beach following a hard-fought final, the title Kaimana had been hearing about for so long was finally his own.
Your dad won an Open Men’s national title in ’86 and now you’ve won your own. Can you talk about that a bit?
Yeah, my dad’s been telling me what it’s like to win a national title for a while. There’s a little bit of a rivalry there, but it’s more like we’re just competitive with each other. I’m just really stoked. The whole event was about me getting on board and winning a title. My dad couldn’t be at the event, but he was watching it all on the webcast from our home on Kauai. He’s stoked.
I know a lot of people have different ways they prepare for a big heat. Going into the Open Men’s final, how do you get your head on straight and get focused?
For me, I just try and get some time to myself and focus. I like to go down the beach and think about what I have to do and how I need to do it. I usually just put on some headphones and just think about what I need to do to win.
Can you describe what the vibe was like between you and the other guys in the final? I know you guys are all friends, but what changes happen when the horn blows?
Yeah, we’re all good friends. But when the heat starts, it becomes pretty professional pretty quick. No one is talking, there’s no joking around at all. We all kind of know what we have to do and we’re all trying to get it done. To be honest, it feels pretty serious out there. But after it’s over, we’ll start joking around again and having fun.
So what does a post-national title summer look like for you?
Well, I’m gonna talk it over with my sponsors, but off the bat, I’m going to J-Bay to watch the World Tour event over there and I’m pretty excited about that. I’ll do some other trips, too. I’m gonna go to Teahupoo and then I’m gonna to the Philippines for that barrel contest at Cloud 9.
2010 NSSA Nationals Results:
Open Men’s Champion: Kaimana Jaquias
Open Women’s Champion: Lakey Peterson
Open Junior Champion: Keala Naihe
Open Boy’s Champion: Kanoa Igarashi
Open Longboard Champion: Shaun Thompson
Open Mini Grom Champion: John Mel
Explorer Men’s Champion: Ezekiel Lau
Explorer Women’s Champion: Leila Hurst
Explorer Junior’s Champion: Parker Coffin
Explorer Boy’s Champion: Taylor Clark
HS Varsity Men’s Champion: Ezekiel Lau
HS Varsity Women’s Champion: Kaleigh Gilchrist
HS Varsity Longboard Champion: Jeff Newell
HS JV Men’s Champion: Jonah Carter
HS JV Women’s Champion: Lani Doherty
HS JV Longboard Champion: Eli Gillis
NSSA Air Show Champion: Sam Orosco