Kimi Werner: The Most Bad Ass Chick In The World
Kimi grew up in tropical surroundings on Maui, where her father was a dedicated freediver. With a craving for the simple life, Kimi followed in her dad’s footsteps, winning a U.S. National Spearfishing Championship in 2008. She’s also an artist and accomplished chef. “The moment I took up freediving and spearfishing again,” she says, “I reconnected to the happiness of my childhood.”
Growing up on Maui, diving was a huge part of Kimi Werner’s childhood. It was her favourite way to spend time and bond with her dad. Kimi’s parents practically raised her and her sister in the ocean and made sure that they knew how to swim before they could even walk.
Kimi recalls, “My earliest years were spent growing up in a small shack in Haiku, Maui, where my family raised a few farm animals and grew some fruits and vegetables. We were apparently very poor back then, but my sister and I never knew it. Life was magical. Living simply off of the land and ocean gave us our values.”
A favourite pastime of Kimi’s is tagging along with her dad whilst he would go diving for fish, octopus and lobster. He taught her to take only what they needed and her mother, who was always an excellent cook, taught her to never waste any part of a harvest. For Kimi, it felt like such a harmonious lifestyle.
She remembers moving into a subdivision when her dad’s business got on its feet. It was nothing fancy but it was the first time living somewhere with paved roads and neighbours. Everything slowly started to change after that. Kimi’s parents got busier with work, and as she grew into a teenager she became busier with school, friends and parties. It seemed like a very normal and healthy progression at the time but one day Kimi looked up and realised that she was living a completely different life.
"I was all grown up and out of college and had a culinary arts degree under my belt. I was living on my own on the island of Oahu, where life was fun and fast yet somehow didn’t feel complete. I bodyboarded and spent much of my free time in the ocean but something was still missing for me.”
A petite yet phenomenal freediver, check out Patagonia ambassador Kimi Werner as she swims freely with a 16-foot Great White shark off Isla Guadalupe in Mexico. At one point Kimi becomes so connected with the shark that she swims up to it and hangs onto the dorsal fin for the ride of a lifetime.