HOMETOWN: Kilauea, Kauai
After a successful junior career that saw Koa Smith claim three national championships, an elite-level career beckoned. Instead, Smith chose the life of a professional freesurfer and has been paid to travel the world and surf the dreamiest waves he could find. Away from the surfing world, Smith made a splash in 2015 when he won the prestigious VMAN/Ford modeling competition and became the face of that year's Alexander Wang campaign. With his brothers Travis and Alex, Smith also runs several coffee and health food shops in Hawaii, California and Japan called Sunrise Shacks. While Smith's undoubted positivity and charismatic personality have made him a star, it is his surfing ability that has underpinned all his success.