Keanu Asing is an 18-year-old stocky natural-footer from Hawaii. Over the last couple of years, he’s gained a reputation for not only having a mean frontside gaff, but also as a gentle grom with a heart full of Aloha. After seeing him bro down with all sorts of gnarly Hawaiians, we thought we’d have a conversation with him to see if he thought the Aloha spirit was dead and buried.
What is exactly is Aloha?
Aloha actually means a lot of different things: love, being welcoming. There’s a lot of different meanings of Aloha. To me though Aloha means showing respect to everyone. I don’t want to be a crazy Hawaiian who beats people up. I want to get along with everyone. I just want to be a Hawaiian who everyone likes.
How do you be the guy that both the angry Hawaiians and the nice Hawaiians like?
If you treat people the way they would like to be treated, then people can’t hate you for being nice.
Do you think Aloha has died in recent years?
I think Aloha has died a lot. A lot of people who come to Hawaii are kinda scared. They think they’re going beaten up. But then, you also have people like Jason Shibata and Bonga Perkins who show the Aloha spirit and welcome people to Hawaii. They show people what Hawaii is like, much in the same way someone like Duke Kahanamoku did.
What killed Aloha?
I’m not too sure. Some Hawaiian people are really territorial and are passionate about being Hawaiian. I guess, people stealing our land changed their mentality. I think we share the land. There’s a fine line, between the good and bad side of Hawaii. Some people who visit Hawaii don’t deserve good Aloha.
Who are the biggest advocates for Aloha?
Jason Shibata, Rainos Hayes, Bonga Perkins, Fred Patacchia is a good example, Kekoa Bacalso and Joel Centeio. There’s a lot of people like that. They’re the kind of people who make people want to visit Hawaii.
Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone not showing Aloha?
No, I’m friends with a lot of people and I like to keep it that way. I don’t like to make enemies.