Keala Kennelly was born August 13, 1978 in Kauai, Hawaii. With dogged determination, she broke into the world of surfing and turned professional in 1995. In 2003, she dominated heavy wave competitions in Tavarua and Teahupoo, took the Triple Crown in Hawaii and came in second in the ASP’s Women’s World Championship Tour. She continues to finish in ASP’s top eight although she missed most of 2006 when she sustained severe bone contusions and suffered torn ligaments, following a collision with a coral head in Fiji. Kennelly made a cameo appearance as herself, in the 2003 film, Blue Crush, starring Kate Bosworth and Michelle Rodriguez. The movie went on to become a motivational force in the sport of women’s surfing.
Kai, played by Keala Kennelly on John from Cincinnati, works at the Yost family surf shop and often acts as mediator among the family members. While she appears edgy and tough, Kai has a soft spot particularly for Butchie and Shaun.
(Photo courtesy of HBO)