Archive for July, 2011

Standing Up for Something, Jenny Kalmbach

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Orginally posted on


World champion paddler Jenny Kalmbach is raising awareness about an invisible—but detrimental—problem in our oceans.By Rob CaseyThey couldn’t actually see it: 16-foot waves blocked any sign of the Kauai beach where they’d land after 16 hours of standup paddling across the Ka’ie’iewaho Channel. But just because the goal was hard to spot, didn’t mean that Jenny Kalmbach and Morgan Hoesterey would give up. The women, both accomplished Hawaii-based standup paddleboarders, were on a mission to cross the 72-mile channel—along with seven other open-ocean channels before the month was out—and also to raise awareness about what Jenny calls “an invisible problem”: plastic debris in the ocean.

Jenny, who grew up playing on Costa Rica’s Pacific beaches before moving to Hawaii in 2005, took the standup paddling (SUP) world by storm in 2008 when she started racing and quickly racked up trophies at the first annual Battle of the Paddle and the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championship. “But even though I’ve spent a lot of time on the ocean,” says the 27-year-old, “it’s only within the last two years that I’ve realized what a problem plastic ocean debris really is.”

Awareness is low because currents move plastic to the middle of the ocean or to remote beaches where tides concentrate it—and few people see it. “Plastic isn’t an in-your-face issue for most people on the water,” says Jenny, noting that during the women’s 300-mile paddle last spring, she never spotted any plastic in the water.

That’s why Jenny and Morgan teamed up with Algalita Marine Research Foundation as the beneficiary of their expedition paddle. Algalita has been conducting research and raising awareness about dense pockets of plastic debris in the oceans, called gyres, since 1997. The organization was founded by a Captain Charles Moore after he sailed through the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre and noticed lots of pollutants—fishing nets, toothbrushes, plastic bottles, and bits of shipping containers—which he later discovered covers an area as large as the state of Texas.

According to Algalita researchers, 80 percent of ocean debris originates on land, and the best chance for reducing plastic contamination in the oceans is by reducing the use of plastics in general. Aside from making the first female SUP crossing of Ka’ie’iewaho Channel and cruising more than 3 degrees of latitude on their paddle across the Hawaiian islands, Jenny and Morgan spoke to community assemblies, reached out to conservation groups on each of the islands they visited, and looked for evidence of plastic contamination on remote beaches. It was on the island of Lanai, near the beginning of the trip, that the reality of plastic contamination hit home for Jenny. “We were visiting Shipwreck Beach on the north side of the island, and the entire beach was covered in bits and pieces of plastic,” she recalls. “It was shocking and really sad to see.”

Through paddling, Jenny’s learned that it’s hard to stay focused on a goal when it’s not visible, and that’s one reason she thinks the movement to stop the problem of ocean debris has only just started gaining momentum as a serious issue and why she’s trying to help raise awareness about it. “People tend to not care about something unless it’s affecting them directly,” she says, pointing out that ocean pollution does impact human health. “As they break down, plastics leech chemicals into the water, and little bits are consumed by fish, which are consumed by people.” So what’s the lesson that Jenny and Morgan want people to take away from their mission? That reducing your personal use of plastics will reduce ocean contamination and health problems associated with plastic chemicals in the environment. “Our trip might not make people go out right away and buy a reusable bottle, and I’m sure some people will still take a plastic bag at the grocery store,” says Jenny, “but if they’ve heard our message, that’s a start.”

In 2009, volunteers for the International Coastal Cleanup collected 1.1 million plastic bags and enough plates and utensils for a 100,000-person picnic.

How you can help in…

…10 Minutes

Read up about how plastic debris affects beaches and the ocean. It’s what inspired Jenny and Morgan’s Hawaiian-Island expedition, “Destination 3 Degrees.” Watch trailers of the film about their expedition—it just hit stores in April—and share their message with friends via Facebook and Twitter.

…1 Day

Join more than half a million worldwide volunteers on September 17th for the Ocean Conservancy’s 26th Annual International Coastal Cleanup. In addition to removing millions of plastic bags and bits of plastic from beaches and waterways—events take place in inland rivers and lakes, too—the data gathered during the cleanup contributes to a report, which helps strengthen and focus policy initiatives for healthy oceans.

…1 Week

According to MarineBio, a California-based conservation organization, learning about the oceans is the number-one way to inspire an appreciation for their fragility. Their advice? Learn to scuba dive. Do it responsibly, with environmentally conscious dive operators, and stick to small-boat tours. Leave only bubbles, take only pictures.

…1 Month

Become an actual researcher and see a gyre for yourself. The Algalita Marine Research foundation’s research vessel—a sailboat called the Sea Dragon—makes cross-ocean cruises trolling for plastics and documenting evidence of plastic contamination. Pick a leg of a journey—from Easter Island to Tahiti, or British Columbia to Hawaii, for example—and spend time as a part of the crew.



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VIDEO – Whitewater SUP- How to Ferry across current

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

SUP expert and fitness trainer extraordinaire Nikki Gregg shows us how to traverse across currents in fast running water.



Saturday, July 30th, 2011
Ben Aipa Fin DesignIf you are like most surfers and SUPers you have probably spent a lot of your time looking at your fins.  It has been said that fins are inch for inch the most critical performance feature on your board.   Fins have always interested me and after thirty years of surfing I still have not totally figured them out.  Fins may seem perplexing,  yet when it comes to surfboard fins, the basics are quite simple.
The Basics- Rake, Height and Base Length

Base Length
The base of the fin is simply what it implies.  That is, the distance from the tip of the front of the fin-base to the tip of the back of the fin-base.  For the basis of this article we shall simplify things.  As a good rule of thumb the wider base will usually create a looser feel to the board while a narrow base will sometimes be create a tighter, stable board.   As an example of this, a Liz Twin Fin (a type of loose board small wave board) will have an extremely wide base length to heighten its pivoting and maneuverability characteristics.  On the other hand a traditional California Noserider will have a narrower based  fin which will help stabilize and stiffen the board during critical noserides.

Fin Rake and Height
Fin rake is the distance from the tip of the rear base to the tip of the extreme top end of the fin measured at a 90 degree right angle. This sounds complex but it is easy to measure.   To find your rake, take a ruler to the tip of the top of your fin (the closet point possible to the tail).  At a right angle to the fin base follow the ruler down to the bottom of the board.  Mark this point with an x with an erasable pen.  Measure the distance from the bottom rear tip of your fin to this point.  It is usually just a few inches yet this design feature has large ramifications in the performance of your board.  A fin which has a longer rake is more “swept”.  These fins are great for larger, hollow waves as their swept aspect holds the tail in the wave in critical sections.  Swept fins with high rake are used also on noseriders  as this type of tail is less likely to spin out in high and critical noserides.   Despite this, swept fins can make a board to tight and sluggish in small mushy waves.  For these types of waves a less swept or more “upright” fin with a wider base is more feasible.  They help you pivot in tighter arcs and have more release (the ability to quickly re-set the trajectory of your board).

Fin height is also very important.  Obviously a 9 inch high fin will sit deeper in the water and have more holding power.  The deeper fin has less chance of spinning out in bowling sections as it holds the tail of the board down.  The disadvantage to this is you will have a little more drag and fin to deal with.  This is great if you want to noseride but if you are a hot-dogger a high fin may hamper your style.  On the other hand a fin with lower height (4.5 + inches) may be looser.  Many small wave short boards have smaller up right fins to maximize their maneuverability and shorten their turning arc.  Shorter fins may also have more release than deep higher fins.  Despite this when the waves get big and hollow a shorter fin may “pop” out of the water and cease to hold your tail in the water.  This is called a spin out

Avoid Dogmatism
The above rules are only very broad generalizations.  Many surfers have their theories which they will die by.  Keep in mind that creativity is part of the fun of our sport.  Anything may work therefore don’t be narrow minded.   Mark Richards rode virtually horizontal twin fins at Hawaiian 10’ foot sunset and won numerous times.  They were not supposed to work but he made them work.  Kelly Slater gets away with riding small wave fins at gigantic Margret River Australia.  It is truly amazing at how fin performance stereotypes can be completely incorrect.

I have ridden the stupidest looking fins and they worked wonderfully for reasons that I cannot really fathom.   My favorite fins are what you call runners. Ben Aipa gave me a pair to try. They were literally 1 inch high and have an extremely long base length and no rake whatsoever.  People laughed at me at the beach when they saw the fins.  For some reason they worked admirably.   I have also used curved fins extensively.  If you look at the fin” head on” they are actually curved inward in a semicircle.  Again, they were one of the best set of fins that I ever had.
In the end, fins are a-lot of fun and an integral part to our sport whether it be surf SUPing or surfing itself.  It is important to keep fooling around with fins to find a system that suits your surfing.  My next article, which will be out in about a week on this post, will deal with fin configurations.  Do you ride a quad, tri-fin, single or a twin?   You could write a whole book on this yet the basics are fairly simple.  Until then, have fun with your fins!

Len Barrow, July 2011.

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Race Results | 2011 Molokai Paddleboard and SUP World Championships Race Results

Saturday, July 30th, 2011
Buy a DVD - Dan gavere and Nikki Gregg

Race Results | 2011 Molokai2Oahu – Molokai Paddleboard World Championships


Paddleboard – Unlimited Men

1st place: Jamie Mitchell 4:40:31

2nd place: Brad Gaul 4:47:45:90 (faster than Jamie Mitchell’s time from last year!)

Paddleboard – Unlimited Women

1st Place: Jordan Mercer 5:22:31

Paddleboard – Stock Women

Joanna  Bilancieri 6:39:02


SUP Unlimited Women

1st place: Andrea Moller 5:26:51

SUP – Unlimited Men

1st Place: Connor Baxter  4:26:10
2nd Place: Scott Gamble

 Paddleboard – Stock

1st place: Eric Abbott 5:26:59

Full results can be found here

Compare them with last years results 


Welchie back on it again!! – Greg Welch

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Molokai 2011Paddleboarding is Perfect.

Even before Greg Welch was forced to retire in 1999 as the world’s top-ranked triathlete, the ‘94 Ironman champion could easily envision paddles in his future. Unfortunately, they were the kind of paddles attached to a defibrillator, delivering body-jarring jolts of electricity to re-start his heart.

After 12 years and 10 heart surgeries lasting a total of more than 60 hours, Welch indeed has found the power of the paddle, but it’s a paddle of a different sort. He’ll be using it to navigate the treacherous 32-mile channel in Hawaii called Kai’iwi, a wind-whipped and shark-infested span of ocean that’s locale of the Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships on Sunday.

“I do have trepidation,” said Welch, 46, his native Australian accent still intact after 21 years of residence in the triathlon hotbed that is north San Diego County. “I’ve gotten over the fear of my heart problem. I couldn‘t care less about my performance. I’ll just be out there for the challenge of trying to get from Point A to Point B. And I know my limits.”

Should he forget or ignore those limits, surely, Welch will have sufficient reminder with him on his 14-foot board. For one thing, there’s that high-tech gadget just beneath the skin on the left side of his chest, an implanted defibrillator. It monitors and responds to accelerated heartbeats that result from the ventricular-tachycardia condition that drove Welch to retirement..

Perhaps more importantly, Welch will be in the standup-paddleboard (SUP) three-man team event with Encinitas buddies Roch Frey and Chuck Glynn in a relay format. Frey, who recently combined with Welch and Paul Huddle to finish the 40-mile event to Catalina, is 43 years old and coming off both hip-replacement and knee surgery. Glynn is 25.

“Chuck’s the young buck, one of the best paddleboarders around,” said Welch, “and he’s got two old cronies who are washed up and almost dead.”

If only Welch was completely joking. Nothing less than the prospect of death would be able to make a veteran triathlete – let alone the winner of five world championships, including the rare “Grand Slam” — walk away from the world’s most grueling sport.

Consider that in ‘99, Welch was the early gold-medal favorite for the debut of triathlon in the Sumemr Olympics, which happened to be located on the Sydney Harbor course where Welch grew up racing. He was already qualified for Team Australia and ranked No. 1 in the world.

During the ’99 Ironman, however, Welch began having what he thought were asthma attacks in the first–phase swim. He stopped thrice in the water to let his breathing calm down. It happened 12-14 more times during the bicycle phase and a few more times in the running marathon, prompting Welch to pull off the road to regain his breathing. Somehow, he still finished 11th.

“I was so mad because I was one place out of the money,” said Welch. “But I could’ve killed myself. I basically had 18 cardiac arrests. But it was the Ironman. There is no (pain) threshold.”

Diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia, Welch was taking a treadmill test in Los Angeles a few months later and went into full “v-tach,” his heart rate racing to 320 beats per minute. Fitted with the internal defibrillator, he’d run, pedaled and swum his last race.

Even when doing nothing at all athletically, though, Welch’s heart issue worsened. Thirty times in 2003, the defibrillator could not control his heart rhythms systematically and zapped him with 800 volts of electricity as the last measure.

“I’d know it was coming and I was like ehhhhh, waiting for it,” Welch said. “It’s horrible, really horrible, and left me a basket case for about a year.”

As the v-tachs subsided over an 18-month period, though, Welch couldn’t stand the sedentary life and its own side-effects. Naturally drawn back to the water and the sport of his youth, he returned to surfing, but soon found that the pressure from lying on the board set off the defibrillator.

“Now I can’t even surf?” Welch said. “I was devastated. I tried golf, but couldn’t even walk a difficult course without feeling it. And then I tried paddleboarding, and once I got out there, I realized it didn’t raise my heart rate too much. I was a new-found athlete.”

See? Perfect.

Top Paddle Athletes Compete for 15th Annual Molokai-2-Oahu World Championship

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Jamie Mitchell and Kanesa Duncan lead men’s and women’s prone paddleboard division en route to record wins – Dave Kalama and Andrea Moller return to defend titles in growing stand-up paddleboard (SUP) division

“If you love paddling, this is the race of all races – it’s our Superbowl. The depth of talent in this year’s race is unsurpassed.”

In its 15th year, the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championship (M2O), presented by Kona Brewing Co., will host its largest field of international competitors, featuring the sport’s most elite athletes. On Sunday, July 31, 2011, an armada of more than 250 athletes on both prone and stand-up paddleboards (SUP) will attempt the 32-mile, open-ocean crossing of the infamous Ka’iwi (kah-EE-vee) Channel, also known as the Molokai Channel. Live race updates will be broadcast on Facebook and Twitter.


Australia’s effort to continue national dominance over the men’s solo prone paddleboard division is led by 34-year-old Jamie Mitchell who is seeking his tenth consecutive win. In 2007, Mitchell recorded the fastest ever Molokai crossing in a time of 4 hours, 48 minutes, 23 seconds.

“If you love paddling, this is the race of all races – it’s our Superbowl,” Mitchell said. “I love the feeling of apprehension, the nerves and waiting to see what the ocean’s going to deliver. The depth of talent in this year’s race is unsurpassed.”

Mitchell’s closest competition in the past 10 years has come from Brian Rocheleau. The 35-year-old Hawaiian has finished second to Jamie three times and in the top five in each of his solo crossings. Rocheleau would like nothing more than to break the Australian sweep seen at the 2010 race and return the title to the islands.

Australians Joel Mason, 29, and Jackson English, 36, are also vying for the top spot.

A host of talented newcomers to the M2O championship are expected to push the pace on Sunday. Two notable lifeguards are looking to add the sport’s most prestigious title to their collection of paddleboard victories.

Australian Wes Berg, 31, was reported to have fired a warning shot over the bow of the 2011 M2O championship after he staged an impressive win at an open-ocean warm-up race in Mitchell’s hometown of Currumbin.

Dominant SUP athlete Candice Appleby to compete in prone division!

Los Angeles County Lifeguard, Anthony Vela is also in this year’s mix. The 36-year-old Redondo Beach resident is coming off a recent win in June at the Jay Moriarty Memorial Paddleboard race in Santa Cruz, California. In his first 32-mile race at the Catalina Classic, Vela finished third.

On the women’s side, Kauai resident and eight-time M2O champion, Kanesa Duncan, made her entry to the race’s hall of fame in 2004, setting the current women’s record time on a stock paddleboard (5:53:49). Her record setting victory is proof that the power of the athlete, favorable water conditions and strong navigation skills can sometimes win the day on a stock board, rather than on a longer and more streamlined unlimited board.

Duncan, a 35-year-old professor of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaii, has been paddling in the unlimited class for the past eight years. While she is seeking her ninth win and would enjoy beating her record, Duncan says, “when you are battling the energy of the currents and swell that pass through the Ka’iwi Channel, victory is quite simply a matter of just getting to the finish. Molokai is the focus of my training all year.”

Making the switch from SUP to the prone division is Candice Appleby. Originally from San Clemente and now living in Honolulu, the 25-year-old has dominated the SUP race scene over the past few summers. Appleby hopes to transfer her SUP skills to a successful challenge in a division that has been dominated by her fellow waterwoman, Duncan, for nearly a decade.

The paddling world will be watching a rising star from the Sunshine Coast of Australia. Buderim, Queensland native Jordan Mercer, at the age of 18, is the youngest solo prone paddler in history to compete at the M2O World Championship. Mercer is following in the footsteps of her father, Dean, and uncle, Darren, whose names are legendary in Australian professional lifeguard competition.

The ancient Polynesian mode of transportation, stand-up paddleboarding, now more commonly referred to as SUP, is making a modern resurgence. At M2O this year, 52 solo racers will compete on stock and unlimited boards.

One of the sport’s most active supporters and 2010 M2O champion, Dave Kalama, 46, is a favorite in this year’s SUP division. Last year, the world-renowned waterman and big wave surfer from Maui set a SUP course record time of 4:54:15, just two minutes behind his prone paddleboard counterpart, Mitchell. Seeming evenly matched, bragging rights may be up for grabs between the two friends.

Connor Baxter, also from the island of Maui, is back after a fourth place finish in 2010 (5:12:43) and hoping to chase down Kalama. Recently, the 17-year-old Baxter exchanged leads with Kalama in a race over the Pailolo Channel, connecting Maui and Molokai. Baxter prevailed in this meeting, demonstrating that he is one year older, one year stronger and a serious contender for the M2O World Championship.

Scott Gamble, 35, from Honolulu is also returning and looking to better last year’s performance. Gamble was in contention for second place in 2010 before he made a miscalculation in the last few miles, tripping up on an inside wave and landing in third place (5:06:15).

The popularity of SUP is evident in the women’s race with a record field of more than 10 solo competitors led by returning champion Andrea Moller. Born on the island of Ilhabela, Brazil, Moller, 32, moved to Maui in 1998. Her 2010 win at the M2O World Championship was a women’s record at 6:00:00.

The 2009 M2O women’s champion (6:18:31), Jenny Kalmbach, returns for her third time. Born in Costa Rica, and now living on Kona, Kalmbach, 28, has risen quickly in a short career, building an impressive list of victories.

The 2011 stock class at M2O boasts two notable athletes from Honolulu. Erik Abbott and Andrew Logreco lead the field in their respective divisions of prone (Abbott) and SUP (Logrecco). Both will likely win their class and stand a strong chance of beating some of their unlimited counterparts to finish in the top 10 overall.

Behind the field of solo paddlers will be 75 teams in both the prone and SUP divisions, featuring the father-son duo of Aaron and Riggs Napoleon in the SUP division. The Napoleon’s are a famous Hawaiian waterman family. Last year Riggs was the youngest ever solo competitor to cross the channel at age 12.

Former Ironman Triathlon World Champion, Greg Welch, is making his return to endurance competition on a team with fellow triathlete Roch Frey and powerhouse paddler Chuck Glynn.

View Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championship results history by clicking here.


Celebrating its 15th anniversary on Sunday, July 31, 2011, the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships, presented by Kona Brewing Co. is recognized as one of the world’s most challenging tests for endurance and courage. Covering 32 miles of open-ocean, over 250 competitors will cross the Ka’iwi (kah-EE-vee) Channel, from the North Shore of Molokai to the South Shore of Oahu, under their own power on prone paddleboards or stand-up paddleboards (SUP). The fastest athletes complete the crossing in just under five hours, facing treacherous currents, powerful swells and a depth of nearly one kilometer. Paddlers can ride swells for 100s of yards.

Competitors can choose to race as a solo paddler or as part of a team in either the unlimited class (no size limit and with a movable rudder system) or stock class (12 feet or under for paddleboard, 14 foot or under in SUP with fixed rudder).

The organizers and athletes of the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championship thank the valued partners for making the annual race possible. Partners include (alphabetically): Dukes, Garmin, Hotel Renew, Kona Brewing Co., Maui Jim, Patagonia, Rogue, Sambazon, Scott Hawaii, Standup Paddle Magazine, Wahoos and Waterman’s Sunscreen.

Race results will be found here!

2011 Naish Paddle Championships Recap from Maui

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

The 2011 Naish Paddle Championships Maui Event was held on Sunday July 24th.  The race is from Maliko Gulch to Kahului Harbor – a 9.54 mile downwinder. There were 238 competitors from Europe, Japan, Tahiti, the US Mainland, Australia, Brazil, and Hawaii participating in the 6th Annual Event.  The forecast leading up to the event was pretty grim. Winds were getting lighter and rainsqualls were expected. Watching the newscast the night before was not very encouraging! Driving to the event with Bart de Zwart, Chuck Patterson and my mom around 11:00 looked dreary – overcast and not a whitecap in site. Luckily the race didn’t start until 1:00pm.  And, that was just enough time for the trade winds to start kicking in. Watching the wind fill in, seeing some whitecaps – what a wonderful site!!!  The skippers meeting was at noon, followed by a Hawaiian Blessing – Pule – which is always a great way to start the race.

The start was inside Maliko Gulch between buoys. And there were 4 staggered starts for the different divisions. The starting sequence was Prone paddlers first, followed by the 12’6” SUP Class – which I was in, then the 14’ SUP Class, and finally the Unlimited SUP’s. There were three minutes between starts. My goal was to be the first SUP to hit the beach – and not let anyone pass me – no matter what board they were on.  So, when it was our turn to go – and that horn blew – I knew what I had to do. I sprinted hard right from the get go and I was the first to round the point outside Maliko. It was good having the prone paddlers in front of me, because it helped pushed me to stay in front. I was really stoked, because I was catching some good bumps, the wind was decent and I was staying in front of the other SUP’s. When I got closer to the finish, I started to see Jamie Mitchell in front and then I really turned it on to try to catch up to him. But I just couldn’t catch him. So I ended up being second to the beach – but I was the FIRST SUP.  And, since I did have a head start – I was fifth Overall and only 4 minutes behind the first place finisher – Dave Kalama on an Unlimited and I was on a Starboard 12’6” Surf Race.

It was a great event from the Pule to the Downwinder to the Finish where there was great food, live entertainment – lots of people; all around it was just a fun beach day with all my friends and family.

But – then there were the Awards!!!  And – You are not going to believe what I won!!!

The Waterman League gave the 14’ and 12’6 Classes extra awards for the First to finish.  And, the award for the winner of the 12’6ft Class, was a Roundtrip flight to Fiji with accommodations for the Namotu World Paddle Challenge on November 13th-18th. Thank you Tristan!!!

Fiji – is now on the Race Schedule.

I want to thank my sponsors for all their support – Starboard, Rainbow Sandals, Maui Jim Sunglasses, EFX Technology, Dakine, Nike 6.0, GoPro Cameras, On It Pro, Waterman’s Sunscreen, Sunrite Maui, SIC and Hi-Tech Sports. Also a big Mahalo to Maliko Watersports, John Gangini and Blair Thorndike and all the event organizers and volunteers.

Aloha –
Connor Baxter

VIDEO – Mormaii World Cup Maui to Molokai Crossing

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Connor’s Mom Karen covered him on Mormaii World Cup Maui to Molokai Crossing – The last event of the Maui Jim Triple Crown. It shows an epic battle between Connor & Dave Kalama together from start to finish.


2011 Naish Paddle Championship Race Results – Maui – Maliko Gulch

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Race results for the 2011 6th annual  Niash downwinder.

Paddleboard Jamie Mitchell 1 1 PDB UNL M30-45 1:14:44
SUP David Kalama 1 1 SUP UNL M46-59 1:09:29
Paddleboard Brad Gaul 2 2 PDB UNL M30-45 1:16:46
SUP Livio Menelau 2 1 SUP UNL M30-45 1:10:09
Paddleboard Jackson English 3 3 PDB UNL M30-45 1:17:41
SUP Jeremy Riggs 3 1 SUP 14′ NR M30-45 1:13:01
Paddleboard Joel Mason 4 1 PDB UNL M01-29 1:17:56
SUP Scott Trudon 4 2 SUP UNL M46-59 1:13:05
Paddleboard Mick Porra 5 1 PDB UNL M46-59 1:20:40
SUP Connor Baxter 5 1 SUP 12’6 NR M01-16 1:13:33
Paddleboard Kaeo Abbey 6 1 PDB STK M01-29 1:23:55
SUP Kelly Margetts 6 2 SUP UNL M30-45 1:13:46
Paddleboard Anthony Vela 7 4 PDB UNL M30-45 1:24:31
SUP Jeremy Stephenson 7 3 SUP UNL M30-45 1:14:35
Paddleboard Chris Owens 8 2 PDB UNL M46-59 1:27:13
SUP Jerry Bess 8 3 SUP UNL M46-59 1:14:43
Paddleboard Zeb Walsh 9 2 PDB STK M01-29 1:27:16
SUP Andy Davies 9 4 SUP UNL M30-45 1:15:25
Paddleboard Fletcher Davies 10 3 PDB STK M01-29 1:28:14
SUP Tomo Murabayashi 10 5 SUP UNL M30-45 1:15:34
Paddleboard Casey Dyson 11 4 PDB STK M01-29 1:29:02
SUP Alan Cadiz 11 4 SUP UNL M46-59 1:15:38
Paddleboard Dawson Jones 12 5 PDB UNL M30-45 1:30:03
SUP Aaron Napoleon 12 2 SUP 14′ NR M30-45 1:15:41
Paddleboard Rod Taylor 13 1 PDB STK M46-59 1:31:04

Full race results

Flatwater speed test- unlimited SUP’s

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

The S-16 standamaran came in a big wooden crate.


Last week Evan Leong and I had a chance to test Mark Raaphorst’s S-16 Standamaran prototype that he was shipping to New York for a race with a stopover on Oahu.  I have been wanting to organize a speed test for SUP race boards for a while, so this was a good opportunity to comparison test unlimited boards in flatwater conditions.  Please check the spreadsheet for detailed results and watch the video for more information on the test.  Next up will be speed tests for 14′ race boards and 12’6″ race boards.  For manufacturers, please contact me if you have a board you would want to have included in future tests.
It looks like something Batman would paddle if he was into SUP, although his would probably be all black.

Flatwater speed comparison test of these 6 unlimited SUP race boards:

Listed in order from fastest to slowest in test results:

18′ x 25″ Ohana
17’6″ x 25 1/8″ Dennis Pang
16′ x 28.5″ Standamaran SIC S-16
17’4″ x 26 1/2″ SIC Bullet
18′ x 26″   Bark
17′ x 26 3/4″ Naish Glide

distance .21 miles, 
Est. wind speed= 5 to 15 knotstest pilots:
Jared Vargas
Anders Jonsson
Robert Stehlik
For the spreadsheet with test results, click on this link:
Spreadsheet with test times and results
Please watch the video with voiceover for more information on the test

Related posts:
Is lighter really faster? Weight comparison test
Unlimited race board comparison- planing vs. displacement hulls
See the discussion of this test on the Standupzone


I realize more runs are needed to get meaningful data.  We will also try to include more data, like board weight, price (I like the idea of speed per $), board photos from different perspectives (outline, rockerline) in future tests.  We originally planned to do two rounds of testing but ran out of steam after doing 12 sprints, so it will help to have more paddlers next time.

Run 1 times were with the wind and Run 2 times are going back upwind, so that’s why Run 2 times are slower.

Regarding which boards we are used to, these boards are usually used/ owned by:
Jared: Ohana
Anders: Bark
Robert: Pang

Here are some of my thoughts:
I expected the standamaran to do well upwind with the smooth entry but in the test it did not compare well in the upwind legs.  Why?  I’m not sure but my theory is that the wakes coming from both tips and intersecting at the center of the board create a wave that adds drag at higher speeds and limits the top speed.  Going into the wind the small chops might exaggerate  this effect.  I’m not sure though, just a theory.
At normal speeds (not sprinting)  the standamaran seems to have very low friction and it takes very little to maintain a speed of around 5 mph.

All the boards have pros and cons and which board will be fastest depends on the paddler and the conditions.   So why were some boards faster than others?  There are so many variables and to try narrow it down to just the width is just not realistic even if the numbers seem to indicate that.  I have tested two 12’6 prototypes with identical length and width with the main difference being the rocker and entry and the board with more rocker was actually faster and had a cleaner entry.   Regarding length, I know that most 14′ boards are significantly faster than most 12’6 boards and that most unlimited boards are faster than 14′ boards but at some point (over 16′ it seems to me) adding more length does not always translate into more speed.
Shaping a fast race board is more art than science, I think.
Paddler weight is important too, as the same board will have a different entry and exit depending on the weight of the rider, so the rocker line and volume have to match the rider weight

I also want to stress that this was a flatwater test that only compares speed in very limited conditions.  In open ocean races many other factors come in, including stability and I just want to point out that the 17′ Naish board, which came in slowest in our test has a great track record with many wins in downwind races.

Read Full Article on Zen Waterman

Cape Town Robben Island SUP Paddle

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

When you think of an Island crossing one’s first thoughts are that of tropical, blue waters and warm trade winds, but as we looked across the horizon on a cold winters morning we knew the journey ahead was going to be more of a mission than a tranquil paddle in paradise.

Some history

For nearly 400 years, Robben Island, 12 kilometres from Cape Town, was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society. During the apartheid years Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. The duty of those who ran the Island and its prison was to isolate opponents of apartheid and to crush their morale. Some freedom fighters spent more than a quarter of a century in prison for their beliefs. Those imprisoned on the Island succeeded on a psychological and political level in turning a prison ‘hell-hole’ into a symbol of freedom and personal liberation. Robben Island came to symbolise, not only for South Africa and the African continent, but also for the entire world, the triumph of the human spirit over enormous hardship and adversity.

For 18 years from 1964 to 1982, Robben Island also served as a prison for Nelson Mandela, Nobel peace prize winner and living legend who eventually served as South Africa’s first democratically-elected president from 1994 to 1999. Today the Island is a World Heritage siteand one of the world’s greatest symbols of freedom and liberation.


The first Robben Island swim was recorded swim in 1899 when Henry Charteris Hooper swam from Robben Island to the old Cape Town harbour. Since then nearly 300 individuals have done the crossing from or to Robben Island and various other distance swims in South Africa. It took Hooper over 9 hours to complete the swim of approx 11km; today a time of 3h30 would be average. Despite the relatively short distances (the main swims between Robben Island and the mainland are 7-11km) swimming Robben Island has become a nemesis to many accomplished swimmers, mostly due to the cold water temperature. The swim remains an ideal to many swimmers worldwide, because of the physical challenge, as well as the historical significance of the Island.

As Gary van Rooyen, Ross Lahana, Greg Bertish and myself loaded our camel water back packs for the first ever documented SUP paddle around historic Robben Island, we couldn’t but help notice the “Beware of sharks” warning sign in the background. Even with the inflatable support boat (piloted by 2x world champion racer Stephan Lindeque) there was still that sense of the unknown, stories of “Big fish” chasing boats and hoping that the South Easter wind would hold off long enough for us to get back to dry land.

On long trips I often hear my kids asking “how much further. Are we almost there yet?” and as Big Bay slowly faded into the distance the same questions started to cross my mind. Gary’s GPS quickly became our best friend as we found ourselves in the middle of the ocean, Table Mountain on one side and Robben Island in the distance.

Robben Island, is one of those historic locations that attract visitors from around the world as each day tourists travel across by ferry boat to witness the days of old Apartheid South Africa. Nelson Mandela and many others whose freedom seemed so close, yet so far as they were imprisoned on the island separated by freezing cold waters and hungry sharks. This week we celebrate Mandela’s 93rd birthday and with this in mind an appropriate time to accomplish something unique. As we slowly paddled nearer to the island on modern day carbon Kevlar ocean riding vehicles, we could almost sense previous inhabitants and prisoners mixed emotions of seeing Table Mountain soaring in the distance and being enslaved by a small stretch of land surrounded by kelp, shipwrecks and cold water.

With security restrictions still in place we were not going to attempt to set foot on dry land so continuing around the back side of the island was the next best option. And what a sight awaited us – a whole different world with crystal blue water, seals, 1000’s of jelly fish and a surreal quietness that separated us from the African continent.

23 kilometers and about 3 hours of paddling later, the historic SUP journey around Robben Island slowly came to an end. Packing up the gear, the sense of adventure, intermixed with passion and travel all in one package made us realize the privilege of being part of modern Stand up paddle boarding knowing that this would be one of many new adventures with the best still to come…


Maui’s Maliko Run – The Mecca for Downwind Training and Racing

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Paddling Maliko Gulch to Kaului on a stand up paddle board is an awesome summer activity. The nine mile run is fully exposed to strong trade winds making it a great spot for windsurfers or stand up paddler’s looking to take advantage of the 35 knot winds. There is a ton of fun to be had running down wind, catching bumps and surfing up to 100 yards (sometimes on a open ocean swell).

It draws thousands of eager stand up paddlers and OC1 adventurers to this place, but also to give a heads up to the hidden challenges that can be very dangerous and can make for a disastrous run. If you think you are ready to attempt your first Maliko “downwinder”,  go with someone who is experienced.

Ho’olaule’a – literally, it means “celebration”, but for paddlers, it’s also an expression of gratitude. Each July, they hold our interpretation of this storied Hawaiian tradition on Maui’s north shore. The multiple events blend elite competition with family-friendly cultural activities and gathers some of the world’s best SUP and OC1 paddlers to race the legendary Maliko downwind run for training and racing.


The deep gulch of Maliko Stream runs from Pu’u Alaea in the Hamakuapoko ahupua’a down to the sea. It stretches from Olinda, past Makawao, and down through Haiku. At its seaward end, the gulch widens into a flat-bottomed valley and ends in a small, narrow bay with steep rocky sides and a small boulder beach at its head. Access to the bay from the Hana Highway is a small dirt road on the Hana side of a bridge that spans the gulch.

The water is usually muddy and dark because of the run-off from the stream. Large rocks sitting on the shallow ocean bottom protrude above the surface of the water and sometimes small surf forms on the rocks. Large waves can create powerful rip tides and a lot of surge at the mouth of the bay and very large surf sometimes completely closes the narrow channel into the bay.

In pre-sugar days when the stream had a continuous flow, there were a number of terraces in the valley. According to E. S. C. Handy, “the gradually rising land of Hamakuapoko in earlier times would have been suitable for dry taro but not for wet. It was probably well-populated and cultivated….” On old land maps, the land east of the gulch was a patchwork of small landholdings, an indication that families worked and lived on this land.

The Haiku sugar plantation, organized by George Douglas in 1858, out-produced all others within four years after it was started. During that time the company built its first mill on the grounds of what is now the Baldwin estate. Cane was ground there and shipped out of Maliko Bay for 23 years.

The most famous story connected with the gulch involved Henry P. Baldwin during the construction of the Hamakua Ditch. In November, 1876, Baldwin organized the Hamakua Ditch Company to carry water by tunnel and ditch from the Nahiku district in East Maui to the dry lowlands of Central Maui for the sugar plantation in Paia that was owned by Baldwin and his partner Samuel T. Alexander. A lot rode on the completion of the irrigation system.

Earlier that year the Reciprocity Treaty signed between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United States gave Hawaii the advantage of duty-free sugar. Alexander and Baldwin secured a water rights lease from the Hawaiian Kingdom for water rights in East Maui. The ditch had to be completed within two years or all improvements would revert to the government.

The project was the first great irrigation project in Hawaii, and as it progressed, the stakes of the young entrepreneurs’ gamble got higher. California sugar magnate Claus Spreckels secured a lease to water rights below and beyond the Hamakua Ditch from the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1876. One term of this agreement said that if the Hamakua ditch was not completed on time, Spreckels would get the water rights held by Baldwin and Alexander.

Everyone watched with great interest as the Hamakua Ditch Company crews hacked their way through 17 miles of dense, rain-soaked forest. One of the project’s major problems was crossing the deep gulches between Nahiku and Haiku. Pipes had to be run down one side and up the other. The men rappelled down the cliff faces and climbed up the other side as they worked their way towards their goal.

The workers balked when they reached Maliko Gulch, the last and largest obstacle. The extremely high, steep cliffs of the gulch were daunting. Baldwin, who had lost his right arm in an industrial accident in the mill at Paliuli in Paia in 1876, personally went to the site and lowered himself down the cliff to show the men that it could be safely done. Inspired, the workers completed the ditch just before the deadline.

In 1913, the Kahului Railroad Company constructed a steel railroad trestle across Maliko Gulch that extended the line from Paia to Haiku. At 684 feet long and 230 feet high, it was the highest railroad trestle ever constructed in Hawaii. (The Hawaiian Consolidated Railroad on the Big Island had a trestle that was longer, at 1,006 feet, but it was only 193 feet high.) The Maliko trestle was located just below Pu’u O Umi and was used to support the irrigation conduit of the Hamakua Ditch. The huge structure was dismantled and scrapped in the 1960s, but many of the old concrete foundation blocks can still be seen.

The major attraction these days at Maliko Bay is the public boat ramp, constructed in 1976. Located on the east side of the bay, the concrete ramp is well-used; there are few launching facilities on Maui, after all. Both private and commercial fishermen use the boat ramp for Maliko Bay is considered to be one of the best akule and ‘opelu grounds on Maui. To the rear of the beach is a large coconut grove with several corrals and a riding arena. Known as the Double A Arena, it was built by Danny and Wilfred Awai, who own the property. Rodeos and related events are regularly held there.


H2O Overdrive SUP event July 30 & 31

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

H2O Overdrive SUP CUP Series One of the great SUP events of the summer will be here soon. High in the Wasatch Mountains come race in the   

H2O Overdrive SUP CUP Series – Lake & River

July 30 & 31 in Park City, Utah

Men, race your 14footer and women race your 12’6″, in the PRO Race. There will be $5,000 in prize money on offer, as well as, a chance to qualify for the river race the next day.  The Pro Race is a WPA sanctioned race and part of the WPA national race series.


New to the sport and would rather enjoy a  scenic paddle? enter the Ghost Town Paddle – an open age-group event with multiple age categories and SUP craft classes.


Top male & female finishers in the PRO Race will qualify for the first ever  “H2O Overdrive Weber River SUP Cross presented by Boardworks
on Sunday July 31. That’s right… a highly octane fast & furious technical paddle down the famed Weber River against well know river pros… don’t miss this.  The main event for the river day will be the “One Design – SHUBU class”. Following it will be an second river race open to all types of SUP craft.




The Saturday night event party at NewPark Resort is going to be off the hook with a sneak preview of

H2O Overdrive

and the GlobalTouch Group Presents

“StandUp-The Movie”.

And serious rock performance by

“American Hitman”.


Register online for both lake (Sat. July 30), river (Sun. July 31) and SUP Mountain Party (film, dinner & concert Sat. night July 30):

H2O Overdrive SUP Cup Series

Online Registration (click here)


Want a hard copy of the Saturday July 30 Lake Jordanelle event registration form?

Event registration form download here


Want to bring your company to the event?

Download Expo Registration Form Here


Looking for the best deal on a hotel room in Park City?

NewPark Resort SUP racer deal


Want to learn more about Jordanelle State Park (camping)?

Click here

Race Results – Covewater Classic Nor Cal SUP Championship

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

The first annual Covewater Classic SUP race presented by Surftech was a huge success and 76 paddlers from California, Nevada and Hawaii showed up for the race.  The elite race was won by Jay Wild and Morgan Hoesterey.  Attached is the full  post-race press release as well as a few photos.  We would be very grateful for any coverage of this wildly successful SUP race in Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz, CA – July 21, 2011 –  Covewater Paddle Surf, Northern California’s stand up paddleboard
headquarters, hosted the first annual Covewater Classic presented by Surftech on Saturday July 16th
at Capitola Beach in Santa Cruz. A northern California record-setting 78 paddlers participated in the 2-
mile and 7-mile races. In addition, the event featured a unique 7.5-mile Elite Course that included a half
mile paddle up the Capitola River as part of this open ocean race on the Monterey Bay National Marine

Racers from California, Nevada and Hawaii flocked to the race, and at the end of the day, it was Lake
Tahoe’s Jay Wild and Hawaii’s Morgan Hoesterey that took top honors.

“This was an awesome race, and the course was like nothing I’ve raced before” said Morgan, who just three
weeks earlier won the prestigious 13-mile Surftech Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race also in Santa
Cruz. “Paddling Santa Cruz’s coastline, then running with my board over the beach to paddle in a beautiful
still river was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. At one point, we were paddling with a pod of Dolphins that
were trailing us. I just love paddling in this part of the California.”


Men’s elite winner Jay Wild, who has been on a tear of first place finishes of his own this summer echoed
that sentiment: “I was giving it my all along the Santa Cruz coast, but then to run into a still river, and
totally change my paddling mindset was something I’d never experienced before. Winning this unique race
was especially gratifying for me. Great competition and just tons of aloha.”

The Covewater Classic featured two days of stand up paddle events beginning with a SUP Race Clinic
on Friday afternoon, followed by a SUP Movie Premiere on Friday evening of the inspiring SUP movies
Destination 3 Degrees and Lake Tahoe Circumnavigation at the 700-seat Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz.
Destination 3 Degrees follows the deeply challenging journey of elite paddlers Jenny Kalmbach and Morgan
Hoesterey as they paddled seven Hawaiian Islands’ channels to raise awareness of plastics pollutions in
the world’s oceans. The award winning documentary has been shown at paddling events and film festivals
around the country. “Santa Cruz provided the biggest crowd we have had to date” said D3D producer and
director Chris Aguilar of Soul Surf Media. “It really speaks volumes as to what is going on the stand up
community here. Northern California has good people and good waves. I guess it should be no surprise.”

The SUP movie night, attended by 100 northern California paddling enthusiasts was a fundraiser for marine
conservation non-profit Save Our Shores. “We were incredibly stoked to be part of this event” said Save
Our Shores Program Coordinator Lauren Gilligan. “What I saw tonight showed not only how strong the

stand up paddle community is here in Northern California, but their commitment to marine conservation
efforts such as those Save Our Shores provides here in the Monterey Bay.”

After the big SUP race on Saturday, the awards luncheon featured good food, good company, Hawaiian
music by the Victor Ohana Band, and the highly anticipated raffle of a 12’6 Surftech Bark Competitor
courtesy of Covewater Classic presenting sponsor Surftech. The winner of the Bark, Azeeza Ali, was “super
stoked – absolutely beyond words!” to win SUP racing’s top board.

Covewater Paddle Surf would like to thank Presenting Sponsor, Surftech, for making the Covewater Classic
possible. Additional sponsors included On Board Watersports, Quick Blade, Naish, Victory Kore Dry,
Standup Journal, Standup Paddle Magazine, Watermans Applied Science,, World Paddle
Association, Futures Fins,, Adventure Sports Journal and

The Covewater Classic is a World Paddle Association (WPA) sanctioned points event. The Elite field
featured a $2,000 purse. Top finishers:


Jay Wild, 1:39:21, Lake Tahoe, CA

Joe Rowan, 1:41:27, Santa Barbara, CA

Benjamin Serrazin, 1:42:06, Sausalito, CA


Morgan Hoesterey, 1:53:55, Oahu, HI

Jennifer Fuller, 1:56:18, Sausalito, CA

Nina Oakley, 1:57:53, Reno, NV


Brad Seyffer, 1:39: 38, San Francisco, CA

Derek Dial, 1:42:07, Reno, NV

Steve Drottar, 1:45:04, Santa Cruz, CA


Valerie Khachadouri, 1:57:17, San Calos, CA

Jennifer Nguyen, 2:05:18, Palo Alto, CA

Marcia Buenafe, 2:12:54, Capitola, CA

Media Contact:
Scott Ruble, Covewater Co-Owner/Race Director
(831) 227-6611


Friday, July 15th, 2011

EJ Johnson’s race report ,7 / 9 / 2011

This was my 4th time doing this event, and it was back to the original course, a water start to the R-10 buoy and a beach finish.

It was a solid 10  miles of open ocean racing, with  6 ft S /W shore break making entering and exiting the water very challenging.

I raced the 14′ class, which was the largest group of the pro class, with a record number of 31, the 12′ 6″ had 24, and the Unlimited with only 8 entrant’s.

The horn was blown and the pace was fast and furious, the top 8 of us where in two drafting trains all the way to the 1/2 way mark.

Two guys fell in making the right shoulder turn at the R-10 buoy, which left some holes for us to spread out and take advantage of some of the ocean bump.

This is where my 14″  Starboard “ACE” kicks in to overdrive, I took my own line back ,finding some nice glides. We were all still pretty close together in the end, being only

2 minutes off the leader in ten miles. I made it to the beach safe, waiting slightly for a set wave to pass and riding the back side of it to the sand.

Stoked to get 6th overall and 2nd in 40 – 49 age group. The awards at Hennessey’s events are always killer, with good grinds, bands and beer.

Full results at:


EJ Johnson


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Watermans dominates The SUP Awards!

Friday, July 15th, 2011

As of last time I checked Watermans Athletes are up for no less than TEN awards at the first annual SUP Awards and another five nominations for Movie of the Year and Top Philanthropic Effort.  So VOTE! (Yeah, you can click that link.)

Top Male Paddler:

Top Female Athlete

Top Expedition

  • The Lower Zam – Featuring Connor Baxter


Movie of the Year

  • Destination 3 Degrees – Featuring Jenny Kalmbach
  • The Ultimate Guide to Stand Up Paddling – Featuring Dan Gavere
  • Stand Up Paddle Fitness with Nikki Gregg – Featuring Niki Greg

Top Philanthropic Effort

Vote Now at




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Connor Baxter wins the 2nd Event of the Maui Jim SUP Triple Crown

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011



The WARRIOR CUP … 2nd Event of the Maui Jim Triple Crown of SUP

This event was from Maliko Gulch to Honolua Bay (21+ miles) on Sunday – July 10th.

This was a great race but had some of the hardest conditions. The race started at 10:45 in the morning inside of Maliko Harbor. Only 32 competitors showed up for this race – but they were some of the best from here, a few from Oahu and some from Australia. Most racers know how grueling this run is, so many opt not to compete in it.

At the start we all had to be in-between two buoys and sitting down on our boards. When the horn blew I decided to do a sprint to get in clean water and also to play some mind games on the other competitors. So I was in front of everyone for the first half-an-hour and then Aaron Abbey turned the switch on and caught up to me and never left my side until Three Sisters. That’s about 2 1/2 hours of us having a paddle battle between first and second place. Three Sisters is a outcrop of three huge rocks sticking out of the ocean. 

The conditions weren’t great, but they could of have been worse so that was the positive side. Paddling out of Maliko, the wind was about 90 degrees to the board, so you had to paddle on the left side constantly – and there were very few bumps to take cause the main objective is to head out to sea to be able to clear the northwest point of Maui called Nakalele Point.

This is the hard part of the race. Because you want to take the glide – but you can’t. You have to head out to sea at least 10 miles to be able to clear Nakalele Point.

After about 1 1/2 hours, I could start bearing off and run with the waves more. But still had to make sure to head out every chance I had.

There were not many bumps to catch – especially in the beginning – just an occasional one here and there that I would catch that allowed me to take a little rest. My dad was on our jet ski beside me passing me energy bars and drinks to keep me going. He also had a squirt gun to spray me when and if I got hot. I think that was his highlight of the trip.

As I got closer to Kahakuloa, I notice I was paddling a lot harder and not moving as fast, so I put two and two together and realized that there was a lot of current going in the opposite direction. It was like that for the last 5 to 6 miles.

So I moved in closer to the rugged coastline to try and get out of the strong current coming down the channel – and this seemed to help.

As I said before, Aaron was right next to me until Three Sisters and he had a board that was a bit faster in the flatter water – so I knew that I had to make a gap on him before Honolua Bay – and the finish line. So I took my last hammer gel and turned the power on. And it is kind of funny, as I got closer to the finish I felt like all the pain went away because all I was thinking was to win, so nothing was going to get in my way.

But thank goodness the run got a little better towards the end and I was actually catching some nice bumps – even though I really had to work for them. When I rounded Honolua point I was a good distance in front of Aaron. As I got close to the finish there were a bunch of tourist swimming by the finish line and on the cliffs they were all cheering for me.

First place earned me 10,000 points – coupled with the first place from the First event – giving me a total of 11,000 points. Aaron Abbey is now in second place with 9610, then Livio Menelau with 9110 and my Starboard Teammate Bart de Zwart with 8333.


After getting everything packed up we went to the Maui Tropical Plantation for the awards. They had unreal food and live entertainment. I got a fantastic Glass Trophy, Maui Jim Sunglasses and Prize Money.

I want to thank my sponsors for all their help and support – Starboard, Rainbow Sandals, Maui Jim Sunglasses, EFX Technology, Dakine, Nike, GoPro Cameras, On It Pro, Waterman’s Sunscreen, Sunrite Maui, SIC and Hi-Tech Sports.

Also a big Mahalo to all the event organizers and volunteers.

Aloha –

Connor Baxter



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Where’s Sancho?

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

indonesia 2011
surfers:Benjamin Sanchis and Kalani Chapman
Filmed and Edit by Pietro l. Franca
Music:I Am the Rain
Peter Doherty

Dynamite Hack “Planet Cleaner” music set to Derek Hynd surfing in “Litmus”

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

This is Derek Hynd surfing J-Bay. He kills it on a Skype Fry fish and and old style big single-fin. These are clips from the movie “Litmus” by Andrew Kidman set to the music of Dynamite Hack, song: “Planet Cleaner” from the upcoming album “How To Break Up A Band” out early Sept.

Litmus is a killer surf-movie starring Derek Hynd, Wayne Lynch, Joel Fitzgerald, Tom Curren, Dora and others. Directed by Andrew Kidman (1995).

Mr. finless derek Hynd going off in Africa

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

My friend Oliver had the fortune to watch Mr.finless
Derek hynd going off in Jbay….he filmed this magic moment!!
Filmed by Oly
Edit by Cristiano

Vargas enjoys return home in Rock 2 Rock paddleboard race

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
originally posted on
Photo by Doogie Bensch.

By Matt Lopez Correspondent

PV native comes in from Honolulu to win race on new course

Jared Vargas wanted to make his return home as successful as possible, and certainly did so with his performance Sunday morning.

With two-time defending champion Tyler Anderson unable to compete, Vargas seized the moment and won the Unlimited Standup division in 3:34.20, good for first place overall Sunday in the 11th Annual Rock 2 Rock paddleboarding race that finished at the Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse in San Pedro.

Vargas, 27, a Palos Verdes native who resides in Honolulu, took full advantage of the Rock 2 Rock’s new course. The event moved away from Abalone Cove and debuted a new route Sunday, a 22.12-mile jaunt from Catalina Island to San Pedro.

“The new course was really fun the whole way through,” Vargas said. “There were good swells, good winds. It was pretty much perfect conditions.

“It feels great to win it here so close to home.”

Vargas said the change in venue worked.

“Absolutely, I knew it would be better,” Vargas said. “The whole idea is just to increase the competition but still keep it fun and accessible for families.”

Race organizer George Loren said he was pleased with the reception and also with his own performance. Loren finished second in the Unlimited race, 2 1/2 minutes behind winner Anthony Vela.

“This is the best course we’ve ever had,” Loren said. “It’s been a smooth transition and the response has been great.”

Loren and Vela raced neck-and-neck for about 20 minutes before Vela slowly began to break away.

“I caught up to him about mid-channel and from 12 to 17 miles out we were no more than 10 feet apart,” Loren said. “We were just going back-and-forth constantly. He had a great race.”

Vela said the mini-duel with Loren was exciting.

“George was great out there, he’s a fierce competitor and it’s great to be in situations like that on such long courses,” Vela said.

Vela, a veteran Manhattan Beach lifeguard, was also pleased with the changes.

“It’s a lot better than carrying your board up Abalone Cove,” he said, laughing.

Sunday’s event was about more than just the competition, however.

Redondo Beach filmmaker Chris Aguilar was there for a special reason – to raise awareness about the pediatric disease Pleuropulmonary Blastoma that claimed the life of his niece Andrea when she was 3.

Aguilar’s sister formed a running club, Team Andrea, after her daughter’s death and Aguilar, who made paddleboard films but had never actually competed, decided Sunday’s event would be a great way to raise awareness.

He raced for his newly formed Team Andrea paddleboarding team, with his sister in his escorting boat throughout the course. Aguilar also brought stickers for, a website created by his sister and brother-in-law with information on the rare form of childhood cancer.

“I just wanted to know what it was like to do that,” Aguilar said, pointing to the water. “I’m not an athlete, I’m not like these guys. I just thought of what our family went through when we lost Andrea and what so many other families are going through.”

The course for the 2011 Rock to Rock Paddleboard race was a mile longer than in previous years, but the times were faster and the competitors  happier.  Traditionally, the decade old Father’s Day race has been a straight shot from Two Harbors on Catalina Island to Palos Verdes. But that meant taking west winds and west swells on the beam. The new, more easterly course, ending at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, allowed the paddlers to ride the west wind and west swells to the finish line. All photos by Doogie Bensch ( surprisingly, this year’s race was won by a stand-up paddler, Palos Verdes native Jared Vargas. The second place overall finisher was stand-up paddler Tom Gallagher. Los Angeles County Lifeguard Anthony Vela. Race Director George Loren finished second in the paddleboard division.


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Watermans Jamie Mitchell Dominates Cline Mann Paddleboard race on road to 10th Molokai2Oahu victory

Monday, July 11th, 2011













Sunday, July 10, 2011_Honolulu, HI –  Jamie Mitchell dominated the field in Honolulu last Sunday on the way to victory in the Cline Mann Paddleboard race.  On July 31st he will attempt to secure his 10th World Title, an unheard of feat within the sport.


Mitchell took a commanding lead, finishing over seven minutes ahead of fellow Australian Joel Mason.   The 17-mile long course ran from Makapu’u to Kaimana; Mitchell finished in a time of 1:08:02.

Jamie’s next competitive stop is The 9.54-mile Maui International Paddleboard Race, July 24th, before  the 32-mile Molokai2Oahu Paddleboard World Championships, July 31st.  Mitchell is the current 9-time defending Molokai champion.

Visit for more information.



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