The first prone paddleboard race I ever did was on the North Shore in the summer of 2011. It was a short race put on by the North Shore Lifeguard Association. I didn’t know anything about paddling, or riding bumps or how to read ocean currents and wind patterns; I just saw other people around me paddling really fast…so I did the same thing. When the race ended I was more exhausted than I thought I was going to be. I didn’t know many other paddlers at that point. I just enjoyed the friendly competition and the ocean. As I finished and made my way to the drinks and food (which is one of the best part about paddle races) I was approached by Mike Takahashi. If you know Mike, you know he’s been into prone paddlebaording since the very beginning. So he knows everyone. One of the first things he said to me was, “Wow! You did a great job!” I didn’t know how he could tell that because there were only 2 or 3 girls entered in the prone paddleboard division. I said, “Really? Thanks!” To which Mike responded, “Yeah! You even beat George Ramos!!
George Ramos is the benchmark. That is the first I ever heard of him. Over the years I have come to find out that George trains harder than anyone. He is hungry for competition, has a great sense of humor and is dedicated to the tradition of prone paddleboarding. He was an inspiration to me (whether he know this or not). George has raced in Moloka’i every single year since it’s inception, until last year when he started his fight with cancer. George was unable to paddle last year. He is still fighting and will be supporting from the sidelines again this year. His support for the sport comes in the form of inspiration and dedication. This year I want to join so many others who are going to paddle this race for George Ramos. His perseverence and dedication are contagious. Please help by donating any amount of money that will support me as I paddle for George.
Thank you for your support and consideration.
Since the late 1980’s George Ramos has been competing in paddleboard races at an elite level. He has consistently placed near the top in almost every race he competed in. He has paddled in the prestigious Molokai to Oahu race every year since its inception, a record 15 times. His training regimen is legendary. A weekend training run for George would be a paddle from Sunset to Haleiwa back to Sunset and then do the whole run over again approximately 30 miles without taking a break or drinking any water!!
Last year George was unable to paddle the Molokai Channel because of a grueling battle with stage 4 cancer. He is an inspiration to the local paddleboard community and needs our support. Get to know a little about George by watching this video put together last year for M2O 2012.
The artwork is the visual connection we have to this race, which is internal and personal for everyone. Please read and enjoy the following media presented by the m2o team:
Like the athletes in this year’s Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships, the ocean drives and inspires the work of this year’s race artist. For that reason, renowned artist Wade Koniakowsky was asked to create the official artwork for the 2013 event.
Koniakowsky is thought by many to be on the cutting edge of the new-school of ocean lifestyle art. Surfer magazine describes his artistic mastery as being inspired by “dreamlike point breaks in Polynesian paradise.” For Koniakowsky, his passion is to visually express his thoughts and images onto canvas, evoking the emotions of the ocean – tranquility, power, beauty, light and color.
“The ocean is my inspiration and my art is a reflection of this great force that has shaped my life,” said Koniakowsky. “I was honored to create the art for this year’s race. The event is a beautiful thing. It’s not just a race against time, it’s a race against nature and I felt it needed a painting that portrayed the battle over moving water and going against the elements.”
Wade Koniakowsky lives on the Southern California Coast with his wife and daughters and shares his time between his galleries in Hawaii and California.
There is a fine line between a competition and an experience. I think the Moloka’i to Oahu World Championships is both. Why would such a brutal and painful competition become so popular year after year? How is it possible that entries could be sold out in record time? A friend once told me that when our bodies get to the point of exhaustion and can’t go any further, we have to reach beyond ourselves, into our mind and our soul, to be able to continue. I think it is less about the competition and more about finding out about ourselves, and how far we can push ourselves.
This video captures the isolation you feel paddling across the Ka’Iwi Channel.
There is always something to do in the ocean. Now it is time to paddle. As the summer season approaches and the swells get smaller the horizon on the North Shore starts to get littered with paddleboarders, swimmers, SUPers and free divers. This is such an enjoyable time of year to make new friends. I recently met a young girl from California named Carter. She and I did a sprint practice at Waimea not too long ago. That marked the first of many paddle sessions I will have this summer. I signed up for Molokai to Oahu again this year and will be competing on a prone paddleboard in the unlimited class. The wonderful thing about paddling is that the more people that come along, the better.
Enjoy the sea!!
“Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” ~ George Elliot
I was looking for quotes to describe how I feel about my bunny. George Elliot was a pen name for Mary Evans a 19th century English novelist and realist. I think she was spot on with this quote. My bunny, Paki, is the perfect friend. It doesn’t even matter that he runs from me all the time, doesn’t answer to his name and chews every single electrical chord he can get his little teeth on; I love him the same. He asks no questions and passes no criticisms. He just cruises. I take him to the beach to watch him dig in the sand. He watches the waves and the sunsets. Paki is a great addition to this surfing family.
Josh and I rarely get days off to spend together. When we do, one of our favorite past-times is to go where he usually works, Makapu’u, and swim around bodysurfing. This stormy day we took an underwater camera to play with. The water was so beautiful and clear…it seems to do the same thing to my mind after taking a dip in it.