Excerpt from my recently published article titled, Skate, Surf and Jump: Three Young SoCal Athletes Who Are Making Their Mark
Justin Kalani Burbage – The 24-year-old social media influencer who’s having just too much fun.
Twenty-four-year old Justin Kalani Burbage is a native Hawaiian and social media influencer who’s happily riding his groundswell of popularity to the top. His extremely likable persona is a magnet for major brands that are looking for that magic combination of sincerity, charisma and off-the-chart good looks—with a silly side.
Justin started skateboarding at the age of seven, taught by his homeschooling mom on the island of Oahu. He’s also an avid surfer, splitting his time between both sports, while using his impressive camera skills to launch a worldwide video and film production career. Justin manages to deftly blend the various brands he represents with his adventurous lifestyle, turning what would otherwise be an obvious marketing pitch into a “Hey, if he uses that drink to keep him hydrated … then I need that too” type of coveted response from any one of his 117k followers. Click. Buy. Bingo! Brands are happy, and Justin gets a paycheck. Are you jealous yet?
Yet despite his relatively quick success, the self-effacing Justin is not all that driven, at least not in the typical sense. He still lives in his van on the beach in Venice and finds his greatest satisfaction in having a tight-knit group of friends—and family. That’s the Hawaiian way, which explains his answer to the question, “What big dream would you still like to fulfill?” “To be a father—I really want to be a dad,” Justin replies without skipping a beat. “Of course,” he adds, “first I need to find that wife with a heart of gold.”
As to how he found success, Justin claims that it just kind of “came while doing what I love to do.” Meanwhile, in between surfing, skating and shooting, he’s launching a non-profit that will tap big companies for products that he and his team can distribute to needy kids in the countries where he works. “I don’t want to just travel around having fun, taking selfies and promoting a fantasy lifestyle—where you take all the beauty and experiences a country has to give, and yet give nothing back. That’s just wrong to me.”
Girls, looking for that cute guy with a heart of gold? You may have just found him. (But first you’ll have to pry him out of his ocean-side bachelor van.)
Coming tomorrow … Part Two: Longboard champion Soleil Errico – The sylph-like surfer.