World-class surfer Lani Doherty's full name is Kaiulani, a Hawaiian name which translates to "Highest Place in Heaven." One can only imagine that when the 16-year-old phenom from Maui finds herself ripping through the surf enveloped by a 20-foot wave, that is exactly where she believes herself to be.
But things haven't always felt "heaven-sent" for the teenaged ripper from the Aloha State, who recently finished ninth in the world at the Quiksilver International Surfing Association (ISA) World Event in Ecuador.
Doherty had to overcome her fair share of adversity on her way to the crest of the wave, and currently finds herself among the world's elite female athletes in the popular offshore sport.
Lani was practically born on the waves, as both her parents were surfers. She began riding on the nose of her father's board at the age of six months.
"I was riding my Dad's board before I could even walk," explained the affable teen with the golden locks. "I started riding my own board when I was five, and entered my first competition when I was only seven."
Lani and her 13-year-old sister, Kulia (which translates to "Outstanding Beauty"), w...
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