Paddling Headlines From Around the World

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Headline news from the paddling community

No wind for paddling on the Maliko Run. That was the scenario as an international cast of paddlers descended upon Maui for what they hoped would be an epic downwind sleigh ride at the 10th annual Olukai Ho’olaule’a. The OC-1/2, SUP, prone and foil race was met with heavy surf and no wind creating grinding conditions for competitors. Here’s a look at the winners from each division.

OC-1 men’s – Kua Nolan.
OC-1 woman’s – Monica Esquivel
OC-2 men’s – Keahi Warfield & Jun Balanga.
OC-2 woman’s – Kristin Old and Sarah Taylor Balanga
Prone – Tyler Jaggers.
SUP woman’s – Sonni Honschide.
SUP men’s – Connor Baxter.
Foil – Connor Baxter

Hopefully conditions improve for Paddle Imua this coming weekend!


The mother of all channel crossings! The annual Molokai Solo OC-1 race is set to take place this Saturday in what many are considering to be one of the most competitive races in years. There is a small contingent heading over from Lanakila, my home outrigger club, including several up and coming junior paddlers. Best of luck to all the competitors and have a safe journey to Oahu! For a glimps at what the paddlers may encounter, enjoy this short movie released after last year’s race.

Articles you may have missed!

Stevie Bodden on Life and Paddling  I had the pleasure of meeting Stevie Bodden with Team 404 this past fall at the Pacific Paddle Games (PPG). In between warming up, getting ready to race, racing, and recovery we chatted briefly about the paddling scene in Panama, where Stevie is from. With busy schedules, work, training, family, etc. we finally had time to reconnect last week as Stevie was getting ready to head out to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina for the eighth annual Carolina Cup. It is a week-long event where paddlers from all over the world can have fun, learn, and race. Read!

April Zilg On Becoming the Best Version of Herself  I chatted with April Zilg during her first solo trip across the country in her big camper van. Don’t worry, she had her SUP pup Kaya for company and was talking hands free. Since moving to California, Zilg has taken advantage of the Southern California outrigger canoe winter series. The Wild Buffalo Relay was the last race of that series which she and Jennifer Fratzke won. She was always interested in a Catalina crossing, but it never panned out until now. Zilg said Wild Buffalo was an awesome event. It was her last long interval training session before the Carolina Cup. She used the race to train, “When you paddle alone, you can only push so much. When you paddle with others, you can get into the heart rate zones you need to be in,” she told me. Read!

My Journey to SUP Racing  My journey to SUP racing began in 2016 when I took part in the SEA (Surfers Environmental Alliance) Paddle NYC, a 25-mile charity paddling race around Manhattan. The ladies I paddled with created a laminated timetable printed in the tiniest font size to bring to the race so that we would know exactly when to hydrate, refuel, eat lunch, take breaks—all of which, of course, never happened. Read!

Downwind Time! What You Need to Know Before You Go  Downwind paddling is one of the special parts of our sport. Who doesn’t enjoy surfing long ocean swells and going fast. No matter if you paddle a Ski, SUP or OC, the  adrenaline rush of scoring run after run at speed for miles and miles is something that is hard to describe to the non paddler. This rush becomes addictive and keeps you smiling long after you have returned to the beach. Downwind paddling is also a fantastic motivator to improve your fitness. To be an efficient downwind paddler you have to be good at lifting your rating at the right moments to pick up each run and stay on it for as long as possible…..basically a massive interval session. Read!


Paddling events on the horizon


Last look

Surfing is one of the most fun aspects of paddling. I snapped on the GoPro and collected some footage from a fun session at Bluff Cove on the Palos Verdes peninsula recently surfing my Infinity New Deal. It’s my first surfing video, not something I thought I’d ever do as recently as a few years ago. If you’re looking for a phenomenal performance longboard shaped surf SUP,  you really need to get an Infinity New Deal beneath your feet! #designmatters

For more on the Infinity New Deal, check out my column, Inside the Lineup!

Matt Chebatoris
About Matt Chebatoris 225 Articles
Matt is a former national security professional and lifelong adventurer. He has published material on a variety of topics in the foreign policy arena and created PaddleXaminer™ as a platform to share his enjoyment of paddling with others. When not on the water, Matt can be found hiking along rugged mountain trails in the California wilderness. Matt resides in Los Angeles and is a member of the Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club in Redondo Beach, California.