And just like that, it’s the end of July. Where has this season gone? It seems like only yesterday we were freezing in the French Alps and getting ready to launch The Paddle League. Now it’s the end of July, the season is well over half done, and it’s suddenly time for the big one: Molokai.
The 32-mile, open-ocean channel crossing between the Hawaiian islands of Molokai and Oahu has grown to become the most prestigious (and arguably: most challenging) race in the sport of paddleboarding, whether that be standing up or laying down. And this year is set to be a cracker, with a stacked field and promising conditions lining up to create a monumental showdown for this six-star specialty event.
Race day is Sunday, but in the meantime, here’s a quick look at the top contenders for this year’s Molokai crown. → READ MORE
Let the speculation begin… → READ MORE
Paradigm Lost is much more than a surf movie. As the name suggests, this is a billboard for a new generation of ocean athletes that are breaking the mould of what “surfing” actually means. That point is highlighted in the film by Kai’s mind-blowing exploits across more than half a dozen sports – SUP surfing, SUP racing, windsurfing, kite surfing, foilboarding, big wave and shortboard surfing – alongside the similarly-impressive performances of his friends, family and contemporaries. → READ MORE
SUP superstar and pioneering ocean athlete Kai Lenny has chalked up yet another landmark achievement, smashing his own Molokai to Oahu record in a solo attempt that saw him complete the iconic channel crossing on a SUP in less than three and a half hours.
Kai set the official record during last year’s Molokai-2-Oahu race, claiming the elusive and highly prestigious title after outlasting defending champ Travis Grant in a 4 hour 7 minute battle. But in an out-of-competition foilboard crossing last week, Kai absolutely smashed that mark by 41 minutes to set a new best time of 3 hours 26 minutes. And according to the young man himself, that mark could easily be beaten. → READ MORE
But who was the best? Who dominated all season long? Who were the standout stand up athletes this year? It’s time to reveal the Top 16 of 2016… → READ MORE
The superstar of SUP seems to have hit after hit these days. Just a week after scoring one of the most talked about SUP racing videos of the year via his freakish performance in Fiji, Kai is already back home on Maui creating more internet-breaking clips. This time he’s dropped the paddle but it’s still fairly close to the world of stand up paddling: Downwinding the Maliko run. The twist? Kai does it on a shortboard… → READ MORE
Watch this video of Kai closing a massive gap against two world class paddlers on the anchor leg of the Fiji ISA Worlds team relay, earning his nation a gold medal and dethroning the previously unbeaten Australians. → READ MORE
Connor Baxter took out the much-hyped Red Bull Heavy Water event in San Francisco last week, surviving the solid waves at Ocean Beach to edge out arch-rival Kai Lenny and pick up a record $20,000 prize.
Zane Schweitzer crossed in third to make it a clean sweep for the Maui Boys, with Casper Steinfath having to settle for fourth place. → READ MORE
Although the season has started winding down after the high of Doheny earlier this month, the racing season never really ends these days… There were a bunch of events around the world in late October, and we’ve still got the Worlds next month before Aussie Downwind Week and the Paris Crossing in December.
Over on Maui last week, Kai Lenny and Fiona Wylde took late-season wins at the World Series event, edging out a small but elite field in fun conditions that saw both a Maliko downwind run and a surf race at the windsurfing mecca of Ho’okipa. → READ MORE
Kenny Kaneko has gatecrashed the Naish party in Hong Kong, defeating the superstar duo of Kai Lenny and Casper Steinfath, along with world number two Mo Freitas and the hero from Hood River, Bernd Roediger, to claim his maiden international race victory at the 2nd annual Hong Kong International SUP Championship.
In challenging conditions, with a mix of flat water, sidewind, upwind and downwind that saw most of the field either retire or get pulled from the 21km (13 mile) elite course due to time limits, Kenny crossed the line in 2 hours, 28 minutes and 28 seconds, giving the SIC team rider a big win ahead of Kai (2:34:48) and Casper (2:36:26). Bernd was 4th, while Mo was a mid-race retirement. → READ MORE
The boards are back on the rack, the boats are back in the harbour and the trophies are up on the mantelpiece. Molokai-2-Oahu is done for another season, however the memories from this year’s epic will live on forever. The most prestigious race in the world certainly lived up to its hype this year, with the 20th annual crossing of the Ka’iwi Channel proving to be the fastest, most competitive and most exciting edition yet.
I could wax lyrical about this storied event, however nobody says it better than the paddlers themselves, the ones who were actually out there battling in the Channel of Bones for pride and glory. So to give you a better insight into what M2O really means, here’s a selection of post-Molokai reflections from the world’s best paddlers… → READ MORE
Check out this interesting little clip from Sunday’s epic Molokai 2 Oahu race. This was filmed about two thirds of the way across the Channel of Bones, when Kai Lenny and Travis Grant were locked in an epic duel for the title.
It’s quite amazing to see the two leaders literally side-by-side in such a big open ocean… → READ MORE
After the epic crossing of the Ka’iwi Channel from Molokai to Oahu yesterday, we’ve updated the leaderboards on the SUP Racer World Rankings with the latest results.
The most significant moves come from the M2O champions, with Kai Lenny jumping +3 to world number four, while Sonni Hönscheid becomes the new world number two after her third-straight Molokai-2-Oahu title.
Other big movers include Jimmy Casey, who cracks the world’s top 10 for the first time following a supremely impressive fourth place finish (where he was less than a minute behind three-time Molokai winner Connor Baxter). Jimmy’s compatriot and fellow top five giant killer, Toby Cracknell, is +10 this week and becomes the highest-ranked paddler with less than the minimum five best results, meaning he could easily crack the top 20 with one more decent result.
Kai Lenny has achieved one of his biggest goals in life, claiming the prestigious Molokai 2 Oahu title after outlasting defending champ Travis Grant in a four hour epic, setting a new course record and further cementing his reputation as one of the all-time greats.
After a see-sawing battle across the Channel of Bones, Kai triumphantly crossed the line in a time of 4:07:41, half a minute ahead of Connor Baxter’s 2014 benchmark. The downwind bumps were solid but not exactly all-time, however favourable currents, a hungry lineup of elite talent and the superstar on a yellow board helped make this a record-breaking year. → READ MORE
We’re just over 24 hours away from the most prestigious race of the season, and what a race it’s shaping up to be. The 20th annual crossing of the Ka’iwi Channel between Molokai to Oahu is already destined for the history books, but a record level of talent and a few last-minute twists should ensure we’ll be talking about this one for many years to come.
The Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships, aka M2O or just simply Molokai, has become the ultimate event of the international stand up paddle racing season. The race has taken on an almost mythical status over the years, and it’s surely one of the toughest trophies in the sport to get your hands on. Becoming a Molokai champion makes you an instant hero, while many paddling legends have built their reputations by conquering this epic, dangerous, thirty-two mile stretch of open ocean between these two imposing Hawaiian islands. → READ MORE
While all eyes are on Maui this weekend to see who will triumph in the 8th Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a, Kai Lenny made us temporarily shift focus after dropping this crazy little nugget on Instagram a few hours ago.
That’s Kai somewhere along the Maliko run (the venue of this weekend’s big race) on what can only be described as a mutant hydrofoil race board. → READ MORE
The start list for the 2016 Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships has just been revealed, with the men’s solo stand up paddle division attracting the most competitive field in the event’s 20 year history.
Top ranked athletes including three-time champ and world number one Connor Baxter, two-time champ and world number two Travis Grant, number three Danny Ching, and number four Kai Lenny will be racing across the Ka’iwi Channel (aka the “Channel of Bones”) on Sunday, July 31st. → READ MORE
Jamie Mitchell, Kai Lenny, Mo Freitas, Connor Baxter, Zane Schweitzer and 7-time OluKai champion Andrea Moller were just some of the stand up paddlers to feature recently in a string of historic big wave sessions. → READ MORE