Getting to Know: Kialani Hines

May 3, 2018
by Sarah Moore  
Sea Otter 2018.

Who is Kialani Hines?


Kialani: I'm 20 years old. I'm from Washington, Seattle, Washington. I started off in BMX racing, that's what got me into bikes. I raced BMX from 8 to 17 or 18. But in the last three years I've just been transitioning into mountain biking and doing all things on the big wheels. I put my BMX bike away three years ago and haven't touched it. So I'm all mountain bike now. I'm just finding my place and what I like to do.

So after a decade of BMX, what made you change for the bigger wheels?


Kialani: BMX is really different from mountain biking. It's really intense, it's a lot of commitment for very little reward. I wanted something different and I've always heard about mountain biking since I know people around my area who have transitioned into the sport. But I never made the jump until I got a bike, and then I just went straight into racing it. That was when I was 17. I just needed something new.

Kialani during the Sea Otter Dual Slalom.


BMX is an Olympic sport, while the gravity disciples in mountain biking aren't. How did that play into your decision?


Kialani: Well the Olympics were always a goal for me. I won't get into it too much. BMX is hard. I personally feel there's a lot of politics in it and I wanted to get away from that because I'm so about racing. I've always wanted to do the Olympic thing and it was a goal, but it just didn't work out.

What are your goals now?


Kialani: Well now that I'm in mountain biking I feel like it's a fresh start. I have a lot of options now with Crankworx. It's kind of nice because I do what I'm good at in it. So this year I'm doing a lot of Crankworx events, and that's my goal as far as right now, but I do want to try to keep going with the downhill route. Right now it's just figuring out what I want to do as far as racing and series. I'm not an indoor rider, so downhill and slalom is more my thing.

What races will you be doing this year??


Kialani: All three Crankworx events, and as many of the Pro GRTs as I can make it to. A lot of stuff overlaps and I'm doing the Pump Track World Championship qualifiers as well, so that take priority over a Pro GRT. One of the Pro GRTs I'll be in Europe, so it's a bit all over the place, but I'm going to try to make it to most of those and nationals.

What are you racing at Sea Otter?


Kialani: I'm racing the downhill and slalom. There's no pump track this year. I'm kind of bummed about that.

1st Place Danielle Beecroft 2nd Place Anneke Beerten 3rd Place Kialani Hines
Last year Kialani came 3rd in the 2017 Sea Otter pumptrack.

Who do you look up to in cycling?


Kialani: When I did BMX, obviously it was Alise Post. She's the fastest American and one of the fastest women in the world on a BMX bike, and so for a long time it was her. In transitioning into mountain biking it was Jill Kinter. Now I'm racing a lot of the girls that I've always looked up to, because I am a lot younger, so I have to just focus on racing them and not being like, "I'm racing so and so." It's just about trying to be up there with them.

The veteran and the up and comer. Experience took the win on this one
Racing against Jill Kintner in the Dual Slalom at Sea Otter.

What would you say are some of your strengths?


Kialani: I don't know... My riding style is just flowy and I don't try too hard. I just kind of go with how I feel in the element. Off the bike, I think I am focused. I need to get there, but once I do get there, I am focused. When it comes to racing I am really focused, and it's what I want to do so it's easy for me to ... Naturally, as a person I'm all over the place, so racing is what keeps me straight and just focused on one thing and goal.

What are some of your weaknesses?


Kialani: Weaknesses? I think... Oh man, it's a lot more than that. I think my confidence in myself as a rider. Not only on the bike actually, but off the bike and in other aspects in life as well I lack that general confidence. I've been working on that. And my training. I'm not the biggest fan of training. I know what to do and I know I need to do it, but I won't lie, I don't want to do it all the time.

Do you feel like you become more confident as you get older?


Kialani: I think so. I've always struggled with confidence, so even in BMX when I was winning it's like, it's always a struggle because there's always an obstacle. When you're racing you never know what will happen. Even when you are winning there's that much more pressure to win, and to keep winning, so I think everybody's different in that way with the confidence thing. It's just that I personally struggle with that more than anything else, but I am working on it.

Where's your favorite place to ride?


Kialani: Probably Port Angeles, Washington. It's home for me but it's a favorite spot for a lot of people. I've heard there's a lot of good riding up in Canada, and that's a goal to do more trail riding up there because I've never done any trail riding up there, just in Whistler. But Port Angeles is for sure my favorite right now.

What's your favorite type of trail to ride?


Kialani: Obviously, coming from BMX, the flowier stuff with lots of jumps on it is my favorite. I know it's not realistic for racing, but it is my favorite and it's the most fun for me!

What are your favorite foods?


Kialani: Anything sweet. I have the biggest sweet tooth. Ice cream, cake, pizza. I kind of eat like a kid, not going to lie! That is my biggest weakness actually when I think about it - my diet.

Sea Otter Classic 2018 Dual Slalom

What do you do outside of racing?


Kialani: Nothing. Not much actually. I just work with my parents, and I just ride. That's all I do.

You work in a family business?


Kialani: Well they own an animal crematory. That's kind of interesting, I know, and it's just the two of them that own it and run it. It's kind of like a funeral home for pets. People always take it differently whenever I tell them, but that's what I do other than riding my bike is work for them.

What are your tasks at the crematorium?


Kialani: I pick up the animals from the vets so I get to work with a bunch of vets, and then I just do whatever they tell me to. I clean, I'm a janitor, I do everything that they tell me to do because it is only the three of us. So there's a lot to do that's not necessarily dealing with the crematorium, but office stuff. I'm like the intern. I get paid sometimes.

So throughout the year you work with them?


Kialani: In the wintertime I'm working mostly because it's always raining out here, so in the future, I'm planning on making trips where I'm not in Washington during our winter. Going somewhere warmer, and then be at home for the summer. I have goals of what I want to do, but as of right now it's just working at home when it's bad weather.

Are you working with a coach or different coaches?


Kialani: No. As of right now, no.

How are you progressing and getting better?


Kialani: Riding, doing the training that I can do when I have the time to do it. This last winter I've definitely been progressing a lot more with the training. It's like I'm getting back into it. When I quit BMX it was like a relief. It was so stressful racing all the time and training at a really young age. I was kind of over it, so I'm getting back into the training because I want to do it now. It's not how it was before. It was like I had to do it or else I couldn't ride. There was too much pressure on training and not the riding. Now because I want to train and it makes it easier. It's totally different now without so much pressure on it.

After siding out in seeding Kialani Hines had a flawless run putting her on top of the podium. Pro Women

So you're leaning on your BMX training?


Kialani: Yeah. I used to have a coach when I was training for BMX, but since I started racing mountain bikes I haven't really been so hard on the training, which I need to be. I know I do, but it's just been a personal transition for me. It hasn't been super intense.

So you do gym work as well as riding?


Kialani: Yeah. People probably think I work out and train like crazy. I don't train like that, but I do need to get a coach again. That makes a big difference. It's hard to motivate yourself on your own. For me especially since my attention span is so short.

What are some of your biggest accomplishments?


Kialani: I'd say right now honestly New Zealand. Going to New Zealand and getting a podium for me was one of my biggest accomplishments because it was my first time abroad, overseas. I'd never traveled. It's always been a goal of mine to do that and I'd never done it before. I've done everything in the states and had gone to Canada, but that was such a big step in my racing, and even just this year alone it's made such a big difference for me in my confidence. It's actually given me confidence for the rest of the season. So for me personally, New Zealand and doing well there was my biggest accomplishment. Not necessarily what place I got, but just doing well, you know?

Crankworx Rotorua Dual Slalom

And what about in BMX? What was your biggest accomplishment there?


Kialani: I got ROC 1. That's the Race of Champions. It's at the end of the year and it's a Grands. I crashed at that Grands though and the main event. I was always that person that was just there to win. I was always that person when it came to Grands, you got to win there or else the rest of the year never really counted. So Race of Champions, too many State Plates to count, and then... A lot of nationals. My last year racing BMX I went to 22 nationals in one year. Then I crashed at the Grands and broke my collarbone in two places, and then I quit and went to mountain biking. For me, breaking my collarbone was kind of my transition into mountain biking because then I was in between that year of am I going to keep racing BMX or go to mountain biking?I decided to take a break from BMX and go straight to mountain biking, and I put my BMX bike up and started racing downhill.

What sponsors do you have now?


Kialani: Shimano, Troy Lee, Deity, ODI, Stan's, Ryno Power, Fox, Maxxis, BikeMaster.

Are your parents mostly supporting you or are your sponsors?


Kialani: My sponsors support me, but my parents also support me. Hopefully that'll change soon, but they're super supportive, they really are, and they encourage me to keep doing it. I'm not going to school right now. I don't know what I'm going to do next. I'm so lost outside of riding, but they are really encouraging because most parents would probably be like, "You have to figure it out." But they just want me to do what makes me happy right now, so that's really nice.

Do your parents have previous experience with racing?


Kialani: My dad races. He's my stepdad, but he raced sprint cars. That was before I met him. But yeah, he's a really competitive person himself. Anything racing he's like, "You're not going to do cars, at least do something that's racing," so I got into it. Naturally, I don't think I'm a super competitive person, but as far as racing BMX and having my dad who's really competitive, being competitive is something I've grown to love. I don't think that I was born to be a person that's super competitive. Outside of racing I'm not like that at all.

How many full seasons of mountain biking have you had?


Kialani: I'd say ... I don't know, I want to say three but it's really been like two full seasons, like two and a half I mean. Two and a half seasons of racing. My Mammoth injury was the end of 2016 and so then I was out for that whole winter. Then in 2017 I didn't get to do some of the races at the beginning of the season. I feel like 2017 was kind of hard because I was out for a lot of the winter. It's like you have to get healthy through the season and I didn't, so it was kind of hard.

What was your worst injury?


Kialani: My first year racing mountain bikes I went to nationals Mammoth and I broke my tib/fib. I snapped it. It was pretty bad. That was my worst one. I had to have surgery down at Mammoth, but I didn't have a scratch on the rest of my body. I hit the tree at the bottom of the chute, and I just snapped my leg. But everything else was good because the shoot was so soft. I just rolled down and I was totally fine besides my leg, but that was my worst one. That was my first year I started racing mountain bikes.

And it didn't deter you?


Kialani: No, and I was out for a while. It was supposed to be three months until it healed and I could start getting back into moving it, but I had to go back in and get the screws taken out because it didn't heal because I got a rod in it. There was a gap between my bones still because they put two screws in the top so my top two bones couldn't settle. They were in place for three months and didn't do anything, so then I was off the bike for another three months. So it was almost half a year of not riding, most of the off season. It was pretty bad just because of the mistake during surgery the first time.

Do you still have any pain from it?


Kialani: Running I do because I have a rod in there. It affects my running so I don't really run. Other than that there's no pain.

A leg injury in 2016 and a minor concussion this year meant we haven t seen much of Kialani Hines recently but whenever we do she s going full bore. Finals was no exeception as she grabbed the win Pro Women . I wanted to end my year on a win so my goals was to come out here and do my best. I rode a few times before the weekend but I ended up kind of just winging it and it worked out.
Photo by Eric Ashley from Stevens Pass.

If you weren't a mountain biker what would you be doing?


Kialani: Something with animals, definitely. I love animals. I don't know what I'd be doing, but I know it would be something with animals. I always wanted to be a vet when I was younger. Obviously, my parents have a business, that's kind of what I do now. It's the opposite of that, but I still love animals. That's my favorite thing besides bikes is animals.




65 Comments

  • + 40
 You just need more stoke. Stoke up. Stoke up until your neighbors complain about how stoked up you are. Then GET MOAR STOKED.
  • + 26
 This girl seems badass and seems like she just wants to get stoked and race.
  • + 18
 I'm badass, too. Yet no one wants to write an article about me.
  • + 13
 @MindPatterns: do you win races ?
  • + 24
 @MindPatterns: If you can proofread this dog's dinner of an article I'll write a complimentary sentence about you.
  • + 17
 @MindPatterns: people that say they're badass, are usually the ones that aren't badass at all!
  • + 2
 Ouch
  • + 3
 @BenPea: will it be a run-on sentence as well?
  • + 2
 @BenPea: Glad it's not just me.
  • - 1
 @MindPatterns: Do you work in any type of crematorium? If so, I'll write an article about you.
  • + 12
 @Nagrom77 @weebleswobbles This interview was done in-person at Sea Otter and then transcribed, so shouldn't be a reflection of Kialani's writing abilities. I've gone through it again to make it more readable.
  • - 3
 @sarahmoore: "That's my favorite thing besides bikes is animals." Don't worry, we'll get there in the end. Proofreading sucks the life from me daily, but it has to be done in our professions.
  • + 4
 @sarahmoore: my comment was actually directed at @benpea for calling someone out for grammar whilst his post was a run-on sentence
  • + 1
 @weebleswobbles: here, have a comma: ",". Stick it where you want.
  • + 0
 @weebleswobbles: pretty sure BenPea was taking the piss on pinkbike not on her... Pretty sick that somebody would out do trumpore on shitty proof reading...
  • + 1
 @BenPea: haha well played sir
  • + 3
 @mollow: 2.5 full seasons though
  • + 2
 @mollow: Such a precious little troll. You were so missed the two times PB suspended your account recently. Glad to see you back with your cowardly one liners. Hugs kisses little troll princess.
  • + 0
 "Proofreading sucks the life from me daily, but it has to be done in our professions." Pompous as f*ck. Downvoted myself.
  • + 5
 @BenPea: nah, it's the truth but sometimes no matter how much proofreading gets done things still get missed. Tired eyes after long days see what they want to see. We've had times when basic stuff has slipped past three off us when pushing stories out at 2am. It happens, and sometimes people just need to roll with it rather than sling out insults.
  • - 1
 @davetrumpore: I lose my mind going through my own translations sometimes. It becomes paranoia. There's also a visible difference between things slipping through and just rushing a job. One of those is understandable.
  • + 18
 I appreciate how honest she is. We all assume pros are confidence filled alpha daredevils but here we have a normal pro racer barely out of her teenage years who is seemingly like the rest of us. It’s refreshing.
  • + 10
 We need to have an American woman that will actually go to WCs and compete.
  • + 6
 She's a badass. Hopefully she'll get a coach or someone that can help her with training and structure. She almost sounds like she's in limbo and just hoping that her talent will take her far enough in the sport. I'd hate to see her lose out on opportunities if she's struggling with a few things. It almost sounds like her mind isn't totally in it. But she's young, she's got time to figure things out.
  • - 9
flag aaronfpeet (May 3, 2018 at 7:31) (Below Threshold)
 Hopefully that coach can help her with her sentence structure too.
  • + 6
 @aaronfpeet: I think this is a case of "shoot the messenger". Someone clearly recorded it, transcribed it in a hurry and published it without a second glance. Not her fault. She's a decent rider and she's nails, that's all we can ask of her.
  • + 9
 @aaronfpeet @BenPea: Entirely my fault! This was an in-person interview at Sea Otter.
  • + 6
 @sarahmoore:

We forgive you!!!! But you forgot to ask about any Hawaiian roots. Her name means Sea and Sky in Hawaiian.

Kialani - careful when you shoot the chute!
  • + 3
 @endlessblockades: Thank you! You're right, that would have been an interesting question!
  • + 1
 Now that's a normal and constructive comment comming from an emotionally balanced person. Not a hater frustrated jealous f#$ker who wants to attack a cool girl at first chance. Don't they have any sisters or daughters, or at least some human empathy?
  • + 6
 "an animal crematory"

i want to start my own business, has a trail digger you always dig holes to get the gold dirt for building berms and jumps. So to finance the trail building i could offer to bury your dog/cat/pet near the trails in one of the holes !
  • + 5
 This girl needs to get on a team and ride with other girls (or guys) who can mentor her and bring her along. A little luck and some guidance would really get her to the next step.
  • + 3
 Her response to Question 3 about BMX & the Olympics vs mountain biking, was awesome hearing her say! ..."It was always a goal for me, but just didn't work out." that's SUCH a mature, responsible, and honest of an answer from her, especially for being 20 years old! The world needs more people like that!!
  • + 3
 Man had totally lost track of her - absolutely amazing to watch ride a bmx bike, lazer precision and focus sooooo talented. Pumped to find out she is still digging the two wheeled life. BMX misses her but, in her MTB life it will be amazing to watch her progress, good luck out there Kialani!
  • + 6
 Good luck Kialani! Remember: the fastest guy to ever ride a mtb, still rides his bmx bike once a week!
  • + 1
 When does Gwin ride a BMX bike?
  • + 1
 @MOLDTRUTH: I've seen vids of him killing it in a skatepark on BMX when he was a young'n. Somewhere. Can't speak for now though.
  • + 3
 He rides his dj/4x bike at the local bmx track
  • + 1
 @MOLDTRUTH: Somewhere near Morongo Valley (in the deep IE) but don't stalk, OK?
  • + 1
 @MOLDTRUTH: That's in Berdoo County,, SoCal BTW
  • + 3
 She's right about the training with BMX. The kids at locals have trainers and coaches. To win a ROC is no joke. it's not a surprise that everyone who transfers from BMX to MTB excels. I've seen it with my own kids just in riding ability. If the training continues, these folks are almost untouchable.
  • + 2
 my boy won grands and I can't keep up on a downhill/ flow. But I can out climb him still!
  • + 2
 This is rad! I would love to see an interview with Clare Hamilton, Juliana's Free Agent, who is also 20 years old and got 3rd in the Dual Slalom at Sea Otter! She's another up-and-coming protégé that we all better keep an eye on!
  • + 1
 Thank you for the suggestion!
  • + 2
 When one is completely concentrating on themselves and their passion, there is nothing else. Nothing.
Then it is often envy or a wish that propels another towards them.
Saying that you are not being noticed means the equation has a third element now, and no longer is what is important....a being and their passion.
Aka...champions don't five a f$ck about others...not even when passing them!
  • + 1
 I'm just glad she's back on the bike after a tib/fib fracture and what sounds like a long tough recovery. Having done the same in February, it gives me hope. But, if it takes six months to get back on the bike I'm gonna be pissed.
  • + 5
 Is that Semenuk"s female alter ego in the middle there?!
  • + 1
 Good luck Kialani, I have a new favorite racer! I snapped my Tib/Fib 5 years ago. I can't really run either, so no basketball or tennis. Also, all the internal hardware doesn't play well with my ski boot. I'm glad MTB is far-and-away my favorite sport, because I am pain free on the bike. However, I do miss my courage, which has never fully recovered. Kialani is more resilient both physically and mentally.
  • + 4
 running sucks anyways. No big loss there!
  • + 1
 Kialani is one of the most humble, down to earth people I've met. She is so genuine and I really appreciate the vulnerability in her answers.
  • + 3
 Sounds like she needs to get serious and train
  • + 1
 I've been following Kialani over the past 48 months. Massive potential and growth - keep it up!
  • + 1
 Great interview, Kialani is definitely one to watch! Super nice and mad bike skills!
  • + 1
 She loves her animals -well done...
  • + 0
 dead...
  • + 1
 Kialani rules! Such a good person to be out representing!
  • + 1
 PB is scary, there are definitely stalkers in here!! No wonder Emily left!
  • + 1
 She just needs to move to Bellingham now!!!
  • + 1
 someone get this chick a frame sponsor
  • + 0
 Nice shirt
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