Makuakai Rothman is the North Shore incarnate—intimidating, powerful, and undoubtedly intriguing.
Born to Eddie Rothman, founder of Da Hui and a commanding presence on the North Shore, Makuakai grew up around some of the heaviest people and waves that the sport of surfing knows. It’s no wonder the guy has been a standout in massive surf since he was a kid. Sunset and Waimea, no biggie. He started towing with Derrick Doerner at 13 years old and at 17 he surfed the biggest wave of the year—a 66 foot Jaws cavern—and collected 66 grand for his effort. Not bad for someone who couldn’t yet buy a Playboy.
A few years later he would win the O’Neill World Cup at Sunset, a dream come true for Makuakai. Today, he’s a consistent nominee in the Billabong XXL awards, as he stays loyal to his heavy water heritage. A proud Hawaiian, Makuakai backs his reputation in the ocean with extracurricular activities beyond surfing: fishing, free diving, hunting, running, boxing, riding motorcycles, and grappling. Kinda makes you realize that your after-work yoga class isn’t so cool after all, huh?
Makuakai continues to push the limits in and out of the water, and is following in his dad’s footsteps as being one of the most respected and well-known surfers on the North Shore. Just don’t go say what’s up during one of his grappling practices.
Enjoy Makuakai with a freshly speared fish and a side of respect.