Molokai Surfski Solo

This weekend is the Molokai Surf ski Solo. Who will win? It is safe to say an Aussie. In fact, the top ten will be Australian. Why? The Aussies are the only kayakers racing. This year, The Molokai Surf ski Solo and Durban World Cup (South Africa) were scheduled on the same weekend. About three weeks ago, the once prestigious “World Championship of Surf ski” aka Molokai Solo was not even listed as an event on the Surf ski World Tour. How could this happen? Read more at:

Submitted by PatDolan on Fri, 05/14/2010 - 12:26am

Hi Pat, what do you think - is that race going to fade away ? Is surfski in Hawaii growing ?

#1 Fri, 05/14/2010 - 7:53am

Eckhart, I hope you'll be doing this race this weekend?

Pat, I tip my cap to the Aussies, for they know which is the real race. We should all appreciate their support and loyalty for the Molokai kayak race. The Aussies had a choice, and they could of raced the Dursban, but they know that doing any other race doesn't matter. For you can win this or win that, but all the prize money in the world doesn't mean a thing compared to winning that koa bowl that says Molokai.

#2 Fri, 05/14/2010 - 8:32am

I sure hope that the amount of Surf Ski riders in Hawaii grows. For me, and the others I know that ski and one man, say it's hard to go back to one manning once you get the ski down. Learning the ski is the problem in Hawaii. No one takes the time to learn the ski and the people who should be passing the path to learn the ski ane not doing a good job of helping people properly get started on the Ski. The worse thing to do is buy a "fast ski" in the beginning. People should buy a stable ski like an old Twogood or V10 Sport (I think the sport is what Ech uses and learned on), you can quicky learn on one of those and within a few weeks you will be going much faster on that in the flat water than you were ever going on the one man.

I am letting my friends borrow my Sport to help them build the skills so that they don't get frustrated when the get their own boat.

If I had a vested interest or if I were a rep for ski's I would be holding clinics with the stable ski's to help get people familiar with the process. Currently if someone wants to one man they can borrow one or use a demo. I don't see that as an option with the Ski's.

A one man is different you can pretty much start paddling a one man without much practice. The barrier to entry is much higher on the ski vs. the one man, but the upside potential on a ski is much higher that that of a one man.

In short- people are missing out so much by not being on the ski. It's like going from a Harley (that is high maintenance and slow) to a rice burner (little maintenance and faster). Or going to a Malia w/o skirts to a Ligntening/Mirage downwind with skirts.

#3 Fri, 05/14/2010 - 9:44am

koacanoe - my surfski is ready and being tested - the drain is not efficient enough yet. I tried to be ready for the Makapuu race, but this was cancelled.

Other than that, - smoking through Kailua Bay. It is very fast while quartering waves.

Learning curve for a wider surfski = max 10 sessions in open ocean conditions. Less for skilled people. Kids get into the ski and just paddle away. After that time, you will have sufficient control. That is not much of preparation for a very enjoyable sport.

#4 Fri, 05/14/2010 - 1:03pm

Something I've noticed. Boats evolved with an ama here in hawai'i and in the rest of polynesia. I think there is some attachment to canoe paddling. No matter how advanced the canoes, paddles, or paddlers become, people in Hawai'i feel drawn to outriggers. They are also more apt to perpetuate canoe paddling as a sport and an identity.

Kayaking is a great sport. It's an olympic sport. There are huge dollars involved in it's racing. Surf skis go faster. If you get really good at it and it can take you all over the world and perhaps provide you a living. These are all really good things. The only thing it lacks is a cultural tie to people in Hawai'i. Guess the bond that outrigger paddling has is pretty darn strong.

#5 Sat, 05/15/2010 - 10:26am

Hey Pat,
Yes an AUSSIE will win, I reckon it will be,
and I notice that Dean gardiner is a late entrant so if theres good bumps him by a mile.

I think the only way to improve its status is for you and Ryan to come back as Olympians and stir up some local interest, although Hawaii doesnt seem to care that Lauren is the worlds best womens paddler , she would be on cereal boxes here in Australia.

#6 Fri, 05/14/2010 - 6:16pm

bruddah got it right when he said the people in hawaii have a strong connection to the outrigger canoe, even though it might be an oc-1. wouldn't mind trying a ski but i know my heart will always be with the canoe. i give the ski guys credit though, i dunno how the hell they go so fast and no!!

#7 Fri, 05/14/2010 - 7:17pm

I can't say what people in Hawaii are drawn to but all paddlers are involved in OC 6 regattas.

That is different from OC 1. OC 1 is for racing and down wind surfing and a surfski is simply better at that.

#8 Sat, 05/15/2010 - 2:17pm

Aaron is my man on the ski. Did real well in the Warm Up Race.

Eckhart, When on a ski, you try not to get in the habit of "quartering" like on an outrigger. You got better options like surfing it, either in the front or back. Don't waste the wave, use it. In designing the Holua surfski many years back, the objective of its designer (Dean Hayward) was to designed it to go parallel with the bumps.

Regarding which craft is faster, let me say that I bet 98% of surfski paddlers have been passed or beaten by an OC-1. Only a very very few elite surfski paddlers have not been beaten by a paddler on a one-man.

#9 Sat, 05/15/2010 - 3:58pm

it's not really different eckhart. both oc-1 and traditional 0c-6 are outrigger canoes that utilizes a paddle. you are right that ski and 0c-1 paddlers also paddle 6 man. maybe that's another reason why more paddle oc-1, more familiar with the equipment and technique.

#10 Sat, 05/15/2010 - 4:16pm

Agree, there are some conditions where an OC 1 can beat a surfski.
Koakanoe, I don't understand - I am sure that 100 % of OC1 paddlers have been passed and beaten by a surfski and only very few can occasionally compete.
Quartering the waves is actually easier for me so far, learning how to go downwind more effectively.

OC 6 tradition = yes, because it is a team sport. OC 1 tradition also ? Not a team sport.
I agree with extra cost of wing paddle - quite a bit.

A young paddler trying to master open ocean racing, should like to master the potentially faster and more challenging craft, the surfski. I would still paddle OC 1, it's fun.

But barely anybody in general and almost nobody in the Molokai surfski race ? That does not make any sense except maybe through good marketing - OC 1; and poor marketing - surfski.
Not too long ago that was different with Bob Twogood in Kailua making the fastest skis. Maybe Epic took over and Hawaii just left the playing field to them for the last decade ? No clue, I am just getting interested in the sport.

It takes two weeks before you are good to go.

#11 Sat, 05/15/2010 - 5:26pm

oc-1 isn't a team sport but it has the same basic characteristics of traditional 6man paddling, the outrigger canoe and the paddle. that's kinda why i don't it's as important to most paddlers as to how fast you can go in a ski. for one reason or another most just gravitate towards the 1man and how fast they can go in that. i still think it's because we live in hawaii, we'd just rather paddle a canoe.

#12 Sat, 05/15/2010 - 7:14pm

lilo - we would need more guys to say what they think.

You wouldn't say people living in Hawaii don't like to surf because they like their canoe.

They like to surf and they like to paddle a canoe.
( those who have one like to paddle surfski as well )

Now paddling a surfski is every bit as special.

It is not the surfski - but the play with the ocean - that makes paddling the surfski special.

#13 Sat, 05/15/2010 - 7:54pm

People paddle a oc 1 cause it is easier to learn and access to one is easier. It's quick and easy to learn. Instant gratification and all the competition is on the onezees. And Eck....... When can an oc go faster than a ski? When the ski blade has just one wing??!!

#14 Sat, 05/15/2010 - 8:04pm

    Maybe young Hawaiian padlers like OC1 more because they are able to "compete" better . With Oscar Chalupsky  (South Afica) and Dean Gardiner (Australia) Winning nearly 20 crossings between them and Lewis Laughlin(Tahiti) winning 3 then Hank McGregor(SA) it is a long time ago to be looking up up to Marshal Rosa or Kala Kukea who never won (I think).

Much easier to follow in the footsteps of Karel Jnr and Kai Bartlett and the OC1

It does appear that Australians are showing more loyalty and support than other countries......

#15 Sun, 05/16/2010 - 1:44pm

The Makapuu warm up race actually did take place ... it was not posted here on ocpaddler; the race results are on

Aaron Napoleon came in 12th - not sure if on OC 1 or surfski - ; further up front Matt Dubrule.

Entries for the crossing tomorrow:
About 35 AUS, 6 HI, 8 Mainland US, 1 CA, some others.
No ZA see

healthyearth - discussion with Jr.: there are some specific conditions where he can keep up with top surfski paddlers: generally they are faster.

latman - competition among Australian and SouthAfrican paddlers as to who is the best of all times etc.
Rambo - do you know more about it ?

#16 Sat, 05/15/2010 - 8:34pm

sorry eckhart, but i think you're getting off-track. we're talking about why oc-1's are more popular in hawaii vs. surfskis. don't understand why you brought surfboards into the mix. but you're right, the only way to find out why is to get feedback from other paddlers; both oc-1 and skis.

#17 Sun, 05/16/2010 - 12:47am

does anybody have race updates for today ?

#18 Sun, 05/16/2010 - 10:41am

Unofficial top five:

Clint Robinson 3.23
Dean Gardiner 3.27
Jeremy Cotter 3.28
Tim Jacobs 3.29
Martin Kenny 3.30

Lauren Bartlett first female

#19 Sun, 05/16/2010 - 3:40pm

Top 23 and times attached.

Velzy Hawaii

#20 Sun, 05/16/2010 - 4:17pm

How did Taylor do ?

#21 Sun, 05/16/2010 - 5:04pm

Video from today's race can be found here.

Congrats to all the racers!

Chee hee,

#22 Sun, 05/16/2010 - 5:37pm

Kevlon was pretty spot on with his prediction!!!!!!!

#23 Sun, 05/16/2010 - 7:01pm

Hey Clarkie Kev was a fair bit out !!! Dean hasn't won by a mile (but he did great) is Murray murray stewart or mike murray (8th not 3rd)

Copied from Kevins post Hey Pat,
Yes an AUSSIE will win, I reckon it will be,
and I notice that Dean gardiner is a late entrant so if theres good bumps him by a mile.
I think the only way to improve its status is for you and Ryan to come back as Olympians and stir up some local interest, although Hawaii doesnt seem to care that Lauren is the worlds best womens paddler , she would be on cereal boxes here in Australia.

no she wouldn't , she aint a swimmer and they are the only females who make it to "cereal boxes"

#24 Sun, 05/16/2010 - 10:03pm

Lats ,
at least I had a punt, anyone can name the placegetters once the race has been run,I think the term is "A monday expert"
Anyway Well done to the winners and all the competitors, With those conditions Im sure they were happy with their choice of venue rather than going to South Africa.

#25 Sun, 05/16/2010 - 10:25pm

agreed on you having a punt ,As to being a Monday expert I am not , but do have an interest in this race (as done it 3 times previously) im sure the winds made them all happy to not go to Durban also. Lats

#26 Sun, 05/16/2010 - 11:29pm

Lats When I was on maui last month I got a lift with a car full of ski paddlers who kindly drove me back to my car after the race and one guy (sorry i cant remember his name as I met too many people, tall with a moustache, Brian or Bruce) who had organised ski races on Maui years ago and spoke fondly of the ozzies that had visited and the beer they had drunk together and he mentioned your name and said to say G'day and why dont you get off your butt and come back ? I think were his words.
So there you go why dont you go back next year and buy him a beer and you can do the solo for a 4th time.

#27 Mon, 05/17/2010 - 12:05am

Kev that would have been Brian Mulvaney, goes back a long way. One of the original promoters of Ski and outrigger.
Way back when you and i were still wearing short pants.
Cheers Rambo

#28 Mon, 05/17/2010 - 12:32am

Lat's: Have you tried one of your swivel or rotating seats in any of these new super light weight surfskis (like a Fenn, Epic, or Think)? Would they work out in the Ocean in rough seas?

#29 Mon, 05/17/2010 - 9:54am

Watch the vid Lats, you'll pick the style straight away.

Kev picked three of the top four, just not in order, I might ask him for some punts on a trifecta at the nags with that form!

And Rambo, you were in shorts, but Kev would of only been in nappies.

#30 Mon, 05/17/2010 - 1:02pm

psst: rumor has it that some old bloak, that just did the Molokai race after a 20 years absence, is taking delivery of a full container load of American made OC-1s this winter. They are expected to arrive in Australia in a couple of months. Thank you Aussie paddlers for helping the U.S. with it's trade imbalance and also coming over to do the Molokai surfski race, which does help our Island economy.

#31 Tue, 05/18/2010 - 12:22am

Hi koacanoe , you must mean bloke which is slang for male . I guess Sam and Grant were able to sell a container of Peuos and Ken Vidler would have the money to try the same in WA, whilst their economy is cashed up from the mining boom they may baulk at Pueo prices here( ps lots more skis in WA than one mans)

as to the swivelling seat in a ski the mechanics of making it work would be very difficult. I think they would work a lot better in the flat rather than rough seas.

#32 Tue, 05/18/2010 - 12:50am

Alright latman if he means bloke for bloak you must mean bulk for baulk right? Although I can see a bloke made out of oak, I can also see bulk made out of caulk.

#33 Tue, 05/18/2010 - 6:27am

Thank you Lat's for correcting my spelling, for many of the blokes also bring over their families and supporters for the races, which means more spending. With Australia having, perhaps the strongest economy in the world today, and enjoying very favorable currency rates compared to the USD, we appreciate Australia's support of all our Molokai races, especially in the past when currency rates were not so favorable.

#34 Tue, 05/18/2010 - 6:51am

Think he meant balk/baulk as in

balk, baulk [b??k b??lk]
1. (intr; usually foll by at) to stop short, esp suddenly or unexpectedly; jib the horse balked at the jump
2. (intr; foll by at) to turn away abruptly; recoil he balked at the idea of murder
3. (tr) to thwart, check, disappoint, or foil he was balked in his plans
4. (tr) to avoid deliberately he balked the question
5. (tr) to miss unintentionally

whilst their economy is cashed up from the mining boom they may baulk at Pueo prices here

#35 Tue, 05/18/2010 - 11:08am

yes bulk(lots of ) and baulk(flabbergasted/suprised) are different , the English language must be SO hard for those who learn it 2nd, the Oz exchange rate is very attractive if we are travelling to the USA now, but it has been inder 50c recently. The problem here at home is the price of a House or car .House would be $450,00 to start, Kia(cheap car) is $17,000 Peueo was $6,000 plus and petrol is $1,35/litre.

ps WA(west Australia) is so far away from the East coast(6hr flight) that they regard themselves a special breed of Aussies (think Texas ?)

as to travelling with your "supporters" (read wife or family) everyone is attracted by a holiday in Hawaii ! and often that deal is made (if the racer gets to go then everyone gets to go ha ha )

#36 Tue, 05/18/2010 - 3:48pm

Don't worry Pat, for thanks to the Aussies and their show of force loyalty to Hawaii, they have sent a worldwide message that all the prize money in the universe is not going to make them give up doing the Molokai surfski race. As many of them have said this past week, they came here "to race for fun," instead of going to Dursban. I suspect there is still a bit of residual resentment going back to 1990 when Oscar and all S. Africans were banned from the Molokai race for about five years. All the Hawaii paddlers didn't like this ban, but it was U.S. policy (not Hawaii policy) to ban S. Africans and to also penalize American athletes, if they competed against them anywhere.

#37 Wed, 05/19/2010 - 3:04am

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