Maui grom skateboarding

Some of our Kama’aina are born to surf and some are born to SKATE. Phoenix Kai Makana Medwedeff was “Maui built” for speed, impact, and agility. Today he is a wonderfully talented ten-year-old skateboarder who dreams of becoming a Pro.

Phoenix was born at home in Haiku under the loving care of beloved Midwife Tina. Entering into this world under water in a kiddie pool, he was comfortable in the ocean even before he could walk. Walking soon became running. As a toddler, he had so much energy, we both discovered our happiest days were spent playing at the beach. At Baldwin Cove, people would marvel at my adorable ball of energy as he would run up and down the coast for hours, pushing his big Tonka truck. When he was four years-old, one of his favorite things to do was to run his “pushy car” up to the top of our steep driveway, jump on it, and fly down the hill, laughing wildly until he crashed into the curb! He did this over and over. Amazingly, he never got hurt (or at least he didn’t feel it).

It became apparent he was a “sensory seeking” risk taker with endless energy. I had to constantly find activities to meet this insatiable need for thrill-seeking movement. He lived to “roll” with or on his toys. I now understand that this was all part of his training, as today Skateboarding is his life!

In fact, he is the youngest among a few other talented Maui boys to be sponsored by a new Maui born skate company called “ISLAND LIFE SKATEBOARDS MAUI.” Their motto is “Rolling with Aloha,” as they want to promote skateboarders on the Hawaiian Islands with a positive attitude for life. “I.L.S. Maui” was created by longtime resident and skateboard aficionado, Randy Pye. He and team member/photographer Xander also help kids learn to skate at the “Skate School” in Paia, founded and run by Skate Pro and “I.L.S. Maui” team member, Yancey Meyer.

I guess all those countless hours watching our son at skate parks has paid off. Today Gabriel and I are still proud parents, and we will continue to support our son to follow his dream.

Special appreciation goes to Phoenix’s second home, Paia Youth and Cultural Center (PYCC) and StoneWave Skate Park, for providing an incredible place for our keiki to thrive.  Lo, Brando, Ben, Pete, Olivia, Susan, and all the other wonderful and devoted staff behind the scenes, you are making a difference. Thank you for your care and positive impact.

Mahalo Nui Loa.

Image Credit: Xander Robertson

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  1. I stumbled on this post while looking for information about skateboarding on Maui for my skate loving 8-year-old daughter. I smiled reading about another kid who loves skating (and is much farther along than mine) and then was surprised to see the author name. Is there any chance you are the same Lisa Medwedeff I knew at VCU? If so, and if you want to say hi, give me a holler. I’ll be in Maui with my family next week! And either way, congrats on that serious skater!


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