Essential Paddling: Wildfires Snuff Out SoCal’s Annual Downwinder

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Surfski, Stellar Kayaks, Lanakila Classic, PaddleXaminer
Photo: OnIt Pro

Malibu Downwinder Called Off Due to Damage From Wildfires

Southern California’s one true downwind paddling event has been cancelled for 2019 due to the extensive damage caused by the Malibu wildfires last fall. Leo Carrillo State Park, the site of the Malibu Downwinder’s finish and after-party, was decimated by the wildfires.

Longtime organizer Gary Fortune posted the following statement announcing the cancellation:

Unfortunately this year’s race has been cancelled.  Mother Nature has once again done a number on our Malibu coastline, causing extensive damage to Leo Carrillo.  This, along with a few other obstacles,  has regretfully hindered our attempts to put the event together.  Therefore we have decided to call off the race, but we will definitely be back next year.  Thanks to everybody who has participated the past 17 years and I look forward to seeing you all next year.

Sensi Graves Bikinis’ Approach to Environmental Sustainability

Monday, April 22 is Earth Day and that had Sensi Graves Bikinis thinking about their impact on this beautiful planet we inhabit. We know one of your priorities is living an active life, and that probably means you have an affinity for being in nature and protecting Mama Earth too.

Sensi Graves Bikinis shared some of the ways in which they account for environmental impact throughout their business. We thought Sensi Graves Bikinis’ example could be a model for others and wanted to pass along a few insights into what they are doing to lead a sustainable business model.

  1. Fabrics: Sensi Graves Bikinis utilizes recycled fabrics in their line. Currently over half of the line is produced with Repreve and Econyl fabrics (made from recycled plastic bottles, reclaimed fishing nets and left-over nylon). By 2020, the Pacific Northwest brand is committed to having their entire line made out of these fabrics.
  2. Factories: Sensi partners with factories in the US. The USA has some of the strictest environmental regulations for factories, which means that the brand can’t cut corners with production. They also choose to manufacture their products in the US because it cuts down on transportation costs and lessens their carbon footprint.
  3. Packaging: All of Sensi Graves Bikinis’ packaging is made from recycled materials, whether that be recycled plastic or recycled paper.
  4. Labels and hang-tags: Their cotton labels are made from recycled materials and the hang-tags are made from recycled paper.
  5. Poly bags and hygienic liners: Both the poly bags (bags the suits come in) and hygienic liners are made from compostable materials. We love this company.
  6. Giving back: Sensi Graves Bikinis is a 1% for the planet member, which means that they donate 1% of sales to environmental causes and groups. The brand’s most recent partner is local favorite, Columbia Riverkeeper!

Black Project SUP Heads to the Carolina Cup

Black Project SUP is pleased to confirm that they will be heading to Wrightsville Beach this week to attend the Carolina Cup (Thursday 25th – Saturday 27th April). The Hawaii-based brand is thrilled to be able to return this year and offer a full demo opportunity.

Black Project’s new demo tent will be filled with paddles and fins for you to try out on the water. This is an ideal opportunity to try before you buy. Black Project founder Chris Freeman will be on hand to answer your questions and help you make the right equipment choices. Throughout the weekend there will also be a range of Black Project athletes and ambassadors on hand to share their experiences and offer advice.

Black Project Carolina Cup Schedule:

Thursday 25th

  • Fiona Wylde clinic – Motivation to Race
  • Seychelle clinic – Paddling Skills

Learn more and register for clinics here>

Friday 26th

  • Paddle & Fin Demo tent on the Sound side

Saturday 27th

  • The Races
  • Expo & Demo tent on the ocean side / lawn area. 

Black Project athletes confirmed for Carolina Cup

  • Mo Freitas (ISA World Champion)
  • Olivia Piana (ISA World Champion)
  • Sonni Hönscheid (Paddle League World Champion, Euro Tour Champion)
  • Fiona Wylde (APP World Champion)
  • Seychelle (World Record Holder)
  • Ginnie Odetayo (Team UK, ISA Worlds)

ICYMI: Kai Wa’a Kayaks

Yes, you read that header correctly. Kai Wa’a, a top OC-1 manufacturer has committed to embarking on a new endeavor and is charging full throttle into the surfski market with their original surfski design, the Vega. Kai Wa’a is known throughout the OC-1 paddling community for their legendary Scorpius OC-1 and its contemporary successors, the Antares and Ares. If Kai Bartlett’s track record as a boat designer is anything to judge by, the Vega is well positioned to be an impactful contribution to surfski design.

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