By Sean Reilly
Photos: Tyler Rock
Hometown: Kailua, Oahu
DOB: April 18th, 2004
Height/ Weight: 4’4/ 60 lbs.
Sponsors: Rip Curl, Dakine, Raynor Surfboards, Proper Rideshop & Live Olley
You may be smarter than a fifth grader, but I’m willing to bet you can’t shred like one, or at least like this one. Diego “Super D” Ferri is busting maneuvers that kids twice his age haven’t even contemplated. Forget red rover and gummy worms, this 10-year-old is already sticking backside reverses and frontside 540’s.
Recently picked up by Rip Curl, Diego is captivating audiences left and right. During the Volcom Pufferfish Surf Series at Makaha, the announcer mispronounced Ferri (Diego’s last name) as Ferrari (the Italian luxury sports car). Ironically, the Italian descendent surfs much like the sports car he was mistaken for, flashy and explosive!
An all around ripper, this Oahu native is no one trick pony. Sponsored surfer, accomplished skater (remember that 540 I mentioned earlier?) and Hawai`i State BMX champion, this eastside wonder grom shralps all things gnar. Look out world, here come Diego Ferri. Or is Ferrari?
Congrats on your new Rip Curl sponsorship, how did that come about?
I was surfing Kewalos and Rip Curl invited me to the team session. As I was coming in, I got this super good wave and banged it like five times. That’s when Wyatt McHale said, ‘Oh were picking him up today.’ I came in and he said I was sponsored. I’m really stoked Rip Curl picked me up because that means they think I’m a good surfer, but better yet they think I’m a good person.
You seem pretty familiar with that wave. Would you consider Kewalo Basin your home break?
Yeah, it’s about a half hour commute over the Pali (Highway). It’s the spot I surf most. That spots got air sections, barrels and opportunities to crack the lip really hard.
Kewalos has been breeding ridiculous amounts of talent and is definitely the go-to spot for kids your age. Do you have any friendly rivalries over there?
Oh the kids. It’s really crowded, but it’s still fun. I think my division is the gnarliest division because everyone competing is so amazing. Jackson Bunch is amazing, Makana and Luke Swanson and everyone else in the division. I think of all of them as my friends. They push me a lot. I know they’re getting better and better so I know I have to get better and better too. Everyone’s ripping so hard right now.
Do you look to any of your peers for inspiration?
Brisa Hennessy. She’s my eastside sis and has worked super hard to get where she is, and now she’s a national champion! When I’m skating I look up to Heimana Reynolds because he is the nicest kid around and rips super hard, and he’s so styley.
What is something that everyone knows about you?
That I like skating just as much as I like surfing.
What is something that no one knows about you?
That I was the BMX state champion when I was 7, but my mom made me quit because it was too gnarly.
What is your first memory of surfing?
Kalama Shore Break Classic when I was 4. I did it for the goody bag and I called the semi finals the samurai finals. I could have made it to the finals, but I didn’t want to compete anymore. Before the semi final I was playing a fun game with my friend, then during the heat I paddled in to go back and keep playing.
It sounds like surfing didn’t quite captivate your attention the first go around. Do you remember when it did?
When I started skating I learned how to get gnarly and not pull back. So when I started surfing again that’s when I really started liking it. Skating helps me a lot.
What is your favorite surf spot?
PK’s on Kauai because there’s an outside peak and an inside peak and an awesome reform. You can do a couple hits and even get barreled.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Still surfing and skating with my friends. Maybe winning Nationals. I hope to one day be a national champion, and maybe even a world champion.
Favorite post session grindz?
Luibuenos bean and cheese burrito. And then vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Any last words for the Freesurf audience?
My dad always says, “the best thing to do is be a good person no matter what all the time.”