MEET A REAL LIFE OCEAN HUNTRESS AND FREE DIVER
MEET A REAL LIFE OCEAN HUNTRESS AND FREE DIVER
At the age of five, Kimi grew up in tropical environments on Maui, where her father was a dedicated freediver. Back then, underwater hunting was simply a way for her father to put food on the table. With a desire for the simple life, Kimi followed in her dad’s footsteps, winning a U.S. National Spearfishing Championship in 2008.” Fast forward twenty years, Kimi Werner is a freediver, shark whisperer, chef, artist, inspirational speaker, and an United States National Spearfisher Champion.
She quickly rose to the top of competitive spearfishing.
But decided to give it all up for her love and passion of the ocean. Kimi quit the sport and turned her passion toward becoming a chef and a conservationist, realizing that living a simple life, like the way she grew up, was what her gut was telling her to do. “The moment I took up freediving and spearfishing again,” she says, “I reconnected to the happiness of my childhood.
“BEING A GREAT SPEARFISHER DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO TAKE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.”
Honoring nature has helped world-class spearfisher, free diver, chef, artist, and environmental advocate Kimi Werner find her purpose. From champion freediver, to ambassador for ocean conservation, and certified chef, we can’t help but be inspired by Kimi Werner. Speaking up for conservation began as a hard virtue for Kimi, given her past in competitive spearfishing, but it would eventually become the major part of her life. “Being a great spearfisher doesn’t mean you have to take as much as you can. In fact, it should mean the opposite. It was tough to quit competition and hard to speak up for conservation but my love for the ocean kept me true to my values and through that, I learned to embrace my voice and I’m so grateful that others embraced it too,” she stated. Werner now has over 175,00 followers embracing her conservative lifestyle on Instagram.
Kimi Werner is a 37-year-old Hawaiian professional free diver and a decorated spear fisher.
Living a conservative lifestyle gifted Werner with many new opportunities and paid off for her in the long run. The accomplished lady holds the title of Patagonia Provisions ambassador and has received sponsorships from major companies like Patagonia, Maui Jim Sunglasses and Riffe International. But one of her biggest accomplishments, one of the most intense moments of her life, was swimming with a Great White shark.. Werner has also starred in television specials with National Geographic and The Discovery Channel.
Kimi Werner’s high success breaks all the rules when it comes to employment. She has never and will never work in an office. Living freely and doing exactly what she wants, is one of the greatest things about Kimi Werner. “I’ve never had a five-year plan,” she says. “Or even an one-year plan.” Living life simply day by day gives Werner such joy. She has dived all five of the planet’s oceans, explored the Artic to the Antarctic, and has spent more time underwater than anywhere else.
“THE OCEAN LOOKED VERY DIFFERENT THAN IT DID WHEN I WAS A LITTLE KID AND THAT REALLY GOT ME THINKING ABOUT HOW I COULD GIVE BACK.”
Soon after quitting competitive spearfishing, Werner shortfall in earnings made her flew to Palau, an island in the Pacific famous for its diving and radical approach to conservation. This trip forever changed her life. It got her thinking about how she could give back to the one place that was always there for her, the one place that felt like a second home to her; the ocean. At that time (and even to this day), the ocean needed her help more than ever. Corals were dying. Plastic pollution was an affliction. Reef health and water quality were diminishing. Fish populations were shrinking. So Werner added environmentalist to her long list of job titles. Times were tough at first, but Werner didn’t give up and in a surprising and fluid way, her life was just then starting to come together in a way worthy of her liking. In addition to her conservation work, Kimi also uses her freediving skills and ocean knowledge to help scientists and ocean researchers with their work. She became a PADI Open Water Diver so she could participate in a great white shark expedition.
“EVEN DURING THE TIME I WAS COMPETING IN SPEARFISHING, I WAS MORE INTERESTED IN HOW TO PROTECT OUR OCEANS FROM OVERHARVEST AND FROM SO MANY OTHER ISSUES THAT LEAD TO THE DEPLETION OF OUR OCEAN RESOURCES.”
Although Kimi Werner doesn’t spearfish for competitions anymore, spearfishing will always be a part of her daily/weekly routine. By being selective when fishing for her meals, she is helping protect the ocean. She is also a strong believer in using reusable bottles and reusable utensils to help better the effects taken out on our ocean every day. “Caring for the ocean starts on land, with the products we use, how we live and what we consume. A healthy ocean in my mind starts with a healthy reef. It’s full of color and has a variety of healthy coral species and seaweeds. It has a variety of fish from the baitfish to the big predators and it’s action packed.” Kimi stated. Like many of us, Kimi feels most at home in the ocean and thus is doing what she can to preserve it. An amazing role model, Kimi lives her dreams and passions, follows her heart and leads by example
Justin Turkowski / Perrin James
Kimi Werner / Free Diving / Spearfishing / Hawaii / Spearing Magazine / Red Triangle Spearfishing / Deep Worldwide / Spearfishing Baja / The Ultimate Pacific Experience / Oregon Freediving Experience / Deeper Blue