Ian Walsh

Maui, Hawaii

Professional surfer Ian Walsh is a sporting legend internationally recognized for his exploits riding big waves and his advocacy for ocean conservation. A regular chasing the biggest waves on the planet, the long-time Red Bull and Patagonia sponsored athlete, Walsh is widely regarded as one of the best surfers of his generation.

Walsh’s long list of performance accolades includes surfing ‘Jaws’ (the name lent to the iconic surfing break on the Hawaiian Island of Peahi) at the age of 16.

When he isn’t shooting for the cameras or traveling the world chasing the next big wave, Walsh can be found giving back to his Maui community through the Ian Walsh Menehune Mayhem Foundation.

In his teenage years, he acknowledged a lack in amateur surfing events on Maui (and
none offered free entry) and decided to create an annual surf contest. Built exactly the way he would
have wanted as a young child growing up on the island without much money, the first event took place in 2003.

From its humble beginnings as a local youth contest, the Menehune Mayhem has now evolved into one of state’s biggest free youth surfing events. Its core principles remain unchanged: ensuring free participation for every child and harnessing a love for surfing, academics, the arts, and the environment. As the event continues to grow, Walsh’s dedication to the Maui community ensures the Menehune Mayhem event will continue to empower future generations.

What inspired you to become an 11th Hour Racing ambassador?

Young people are the future stewards of this planet, and it’s always been really important to me to share with the next generation. As a performance-driven athlete, I have always admired 11th Hour Racing’s involvement in the world of international sports. Their projects are inspiring because of their ability to align the excitement and passion for sport with the organization’s ingrained values of education, innovation and ocean conservation. I witnessed this first hand in 2022 when I joined the crew on Mālama for the Newport to Bermuda sailing race. Such a fun experience! How 11th Hour Racing uses people’s passion for sport as a platform to raise awareness and drive positive change is powerful and to have the opportunity to be a part of that was really inspiring.

Why are you passionate about ocean conservation?

As a surfer, my entire world revolves around being in the ocean. Taking care of it helps deeply to ensure a sustainable future for our environment and for generations to enjoy it the same way we have for years to come.


Supporting the mission

Project name: Ian Walsh Menehune Mayhem Foundation

Project mission: To elevate the potential and well-being of youth through surf-focused activities


Profile photo © Zak Noyle / Red Bull Content Pool
Ian Walsh Menehune Mayhem Foundation