Some Answers from Hank Gaskell
Maui is everything right now. Maui is Dusty and Barger and Marzo and Granger Larsen. But it's also 23 year-old Hank Gaskell of Hana, whose lofty airs and silky style used to appear all over the contests and mag pages. Not so much lately. What's been up with Hank? We called to find out after he took down Sunset Beach's best to win the 2009 Xcel Pro last week. Don't call it a comeback.
SURFING Magazine: Where have you been this past year, Hank?
Hank Gaskell: This year, without a main sponsor, I couldn’t afford to travel too much, so I got to spend a lot of time at home. I did get to do the ISA World Games in Costa Rica for team Hawaii, and I got on a really good trip to Chile. Other than that, I spent some time in Cali, and that was it.
Are you still unsponsored? Double you tee eff?
I’ve been trying really hard, and talking to lots of people, but everyone kinda says the same thing. They say they’d love to help me out, but their budget just got cut due to the economy. It sucks, but I’m just trying to focus on my surfing and have fun with life. I’m optimistic that good things will come in time.
Anything new in your personal life?
I got a pretty cool girlfriend! Other than that, not much is new. Getting dropped definitely changed my perspective on a lot of things. I feel like I got pretty burned by Hurley. I rode for them since they first started, and considered myself a part of their family. So to get straight dropped and not even offered a pay cut was pretty heavy. Now, I’m pretty much living off prize money until I run out, and if I don’t have a main sponsor by then, I will have to get a real job.
Nah, f—k that. What are your plans for the coming year to make sure that never happens?
I’m taking it one step at a time. Ideally, I will get a sponsor that will back me solidly, and send me all over the world to surf epic waves. Also, I want to do the WQS’s that are held at better venues.
Of course, of course. In the meantime, what are your predictions for the Vans Triple Crown?
Good surf! I think El Nino will send us some swells, and we should see some great contests this year. I love competing in good waves, and the Triple Crown is my favorite time of year, so I'm excited to see it all go down.
[Editor's Note: Hank will be competing in the 2009 Reef Hawaiian Pro starting November 12. We expect big things.]
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