Pedigreed surf-world prodigy from San Clemente, California; son of former world tour competitor Dino Andino; record nine-time National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) champion. Andino was born (1994) and raised in San Clemente, and began surfing at age five. By eight he’d won his first surf contest, and by age 12 he was signed to a sponsorship deal with Billabong.
Starting in 2005 Andino went on an amateur competitive tear, compiling nine NSSA titles in multiple age categories, topped off with the 2009 Open Men’s (18 and under) championship; not even 15-and-a-half years old, Andino was the youngest surfer ever to win that title. At the end of 2011, the 17-year-old regularfoot qualified easily for the elite pro tour, riding, as surf journalist Joel Patterson put it, like “a combination of a young Bruce Irons and a mid-career Mick Fanning, with a touch of [Tom] Curren thrown in for good measure.”
Along with John John Florence of Hawaii, Andino was by that time the sport's most-hyped and closely scrutinized young surfer. His competitive success up to that point was in part the result of a fanatical training regimen that included five hours of daily surf practice, a raw foods diet, plenty of yoga and rope-skipping cardiovascular exercises, video clips of all his surfing sessions for later study, endless advice and and input from father Dino (more than Kolohe cared for, at times), and the full-time employment of former world tour pro Mike Parsons as coach. Still, Andino's 2012 rookie year on the world tour, hampered in part by an ankle injury, was a disappointment, as he finished #23.
Retail giants Target and Nike had meanwhile lured the blonde-haired blue-eyed dreamboat away from Billabong, for what was rumored to be $1 million-plus a year; there was some surf-world grumbling at the intrusion of deep-pocketed non-surf companies on traditional surf industry turf. But it was hard to argue with the cash. “There are only a handful of people in surfing making NBA money,” Surfer magazine reported in 2012, “and now Kolohe is one of them.”
2014 was a breakout year for Kolohe, as he made his first WCT final (at the Billabong Rio Pro), finished the year rated #11, and took ninth at the Surfer Poll Awards.