Friendship of tech giant and Hawaiian goes next level…
In a revealing just-published interview on Wired, Kai Lenny, the daring multi-discipline surfer with sea-spray eyes shaped like pecans, skin the colour of buttered cocoa and lips as red as if he’d just applied a fresh coat of pomegranate lipstick, has described tow-buddy Mark Zuckerberg as “super cool, super into water sport, really active. Super fit. Like … strong, strong strong. Physically strong.”
Lenny, who is twenty-nine and discreet as anything given his adventures with Facebook founder Zuck as well as Google creators Sergey Brin and Larry Page, says Zuckerberg is “an athlete, for sure. Probably the most athletic of the tech people I’ve ever met.”
Re: Sergey and Laz, Lenny says, “Yeah, I’ve met them and they’re super cool. I’ve kited with them, actually. Sergey came out to Mavericks”—the California big-wave surf spot—“on our boat and watched. He’s super cool. They’re all pretty active people. I mean, why wouldn’t you be when you own the world?”
Earlier this year, Zuck described Lenny as “magical” during a Live Chat with Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri and said it was Lenny who got him into foiling.
In the video presentation for his recent metaverse announcement, Zuck leveraged Lenny’s considerable cool.
At one point, a digital avatar of the Hawaiian appears and says, “Hey Mark, down for a VR foiling sesh?”
Suddenly, Zuckerberg’s avatar is sitting on a foil board in aquamarine surf. Floating to his left, on yet another foil board, Lenny’s avatar watches affectionately as Zuckerberg toggles through a set of virtual outfits that evoke previous outings with Lenny in the real world—including a white-face one called SPF 5000. Both avatars then lie prone on their foil boards, side by side, and paddle with their arms to catch a flawless digital wave. Hopping to stand, Zuckerberg wobbles awkwardly—as if to show the entire world, See, I’m human, too! Just like you! Lenny’s avatar zips past Zuckerberg and, like a friendly mentor, says, “Whoa! Hang in there, Mark!” He then coaches the Meta CEO through a series of foil boarding tricks—“All right, back flip!”—then leads him through the hollow tube of a curling wave and across the virtual finish line, winning handily.
“Kai, you’re out of control,” Zuckerberg says.
“Don’t worry, I’ll let you win next time, all good,” Lenny says.