Kanaka Ikaika 2013: What's new?

Here's a load of info you can also find on www.kanakaikaika.com. But want to announce what is happening this year with Kanaka Ikaika as the season is starting up next weekend. Don't miss this year!

The association started in 1979 as a surfski racing organization to fill an offseason void for the outrigger paddlers. In the early 90s, the OC-1 emerged and Kanaka Ikaika welcomed this division. Fairly recently the V-1 has shown popularity in Hawaii and a division was made. 2012 welcomed the SUP paddlers and the OC-3. Now 2013 is here and we are including the OC-6 for paddlers who want to race but may not have an individual craft. We are also welcoming the Prone Paddleboarders and have recognized Prone as one of the 4 disciplines for the Waterman's series.

This year KIRA will offer for the first time a cash purse of $6,100.00. The purse will be dispersed to men and women through the two similtaneous series. Following is how the two series work:

There are 8 races total. One of these 8 is the Hinano Kialoa Coastal Relay (Race #6), and one is the Scott Hawaii State Championship (Race #8).

POAI PUNI SERIES: This is for discipline specific racing. If you want to rank in the Poai Puni series you need to race at least 4 of the races in your craft of choice, otherwise you will not qualify. The points for this series are based on your 4 best races out of the six regular races (races #1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7- excluding Hinano Kialoa Relay and Scott Hawaii State race). There is a cash purse for the series winners who place in the top 3 for each individual paddle discipline (OC-1, Surfski, SUP, Prone Paddleboard), men and women.

WATERMAN’S SERIES: This series utilizes a combination of paddle disciplines. This is a competition within the Poai Puni series to determine the best all around waterman/woman. We have chosen 4 of the 8 races to designate the competition, of which participants may drop one, and each chosen race will have an emphasis on a different discipline (OC-1, Surfski, SUP -14’ and under, Prone Paddleboard – Stock 12’). Each race is still open to all crafts, but if you want to qualify for the Waterman’s award, you must participate in the emphasized discipline for that race. However, since you can drop one race, you can choose to race in only 3 of the 4 disciplines. The designated races are #2 (Prone), #4 (SUP), #7 (Surfski) and #8 (OC-1).

  1. The Poai Puni series will offer prize money to the winners of the series in Prone Paddleboard, SUP, OC-1 and Surfski, at the end of the season.
  2. The Waterman's series will have monetary prizes for the top 3 winners of each race, plus a bonus for the first paddler to arrive at a "hot" spot somewhere along the course. In addition, the top 3 overall, plus winners of each age group division will win money for the overall points winners at the end of the series.

The payout for both series is as follows:

Prize Money Breakdown for each Waterman’s series race:
1st Place Hotspot: $100.00 Men / $60.00 Women
1st Place Overall: $100.00 Men / $60.00 Women
2nd Place Overall: $75.00 Men / $40.00 Women
3rd Place Overall: $50.00 Men / $30.00 Women

Prize Money Breakdown for the overall series winners:
Kanaka Ikaika's Waterman/woman series: Prone-SUP-Surfski-OC-1 combined disciplines:
Male Female
1st $250.00 $150.00
2nd $150.00 $ 90.00
3rd $100.00 $ 60.00
1st 29 and under $50.00 $30.00
1st 30-39 $50.00 $30.00
1st 40-49 $50.00 $30.00
1st 50-59 $50.00 $30.00
1st 60-69 $50.00 $30.00

Kanaka Ikaika Poai Puni point series:
OC-1 Male Female
1st $200.00 $ 120.00
2nd $150.00 $90.00
3rd $100.00 $60.00

1st $200.00 $120.00
2nd $150.00 $90.00
3rd $100.00 $60.00

1st $200.00 $120.00
2nd $150.00 $90.00
3rd $100.00 $60.00

1st $200.00 $120.00
2nd $150.00 $90.00
3rd $100.00 $60.00

TAHITI NUI VA’A TEAM SELECTION: At the end of the season, KIRA will be selecting and sponsoring the best 12 male paddlers from the Poai Puni series to form a team to challenge the Tahitians in the Tahiti Nui Va’a race on May 23, 24 and 25. The first selection will be based on individual performance during the series races. It is not mandatory that candidates race in OC-1 every race; however, it is advisable to show your ability in OC-1 as much as possible (except for the Waterman’s series races). Final cuts will be subjective and made based on the needs of the team. If you do not race any KIRA races, you are not eligible for the crew. Any questions, contact Jim Foti at 808 927-0711.

This season KIRA has great sponsors. The following list of sponsors have contributed to the series and are helping to provide prizes which will be given out mostly in a random fashion so not only the winners are walking away with spoils:


Submitted by JimFoti on Mon, 01/07/2013 - 1:03am

This series sounds epic! Wish we had something like this on BI

#1 Mon, 01/07/2013 - 5:26am

Still don't understand why females get less prize money ????

#2 Mon, 01/07/2013 - 6:32am

I was thinking the same thing but then I thought, maybe prize money comes from a portion of all the entry fees. There are less women racing than men, so women are contributing less to prize money? I'm just guessing.

#3 Mon, 01/07/2013 - 7:03am

maybe we can get some women to comment?

#4 Mon, 01/07/2013 - 8:52am

Cash is great for most of us, but some racers may have to decline so they won't jeopardize eligibility for high school and collegiate sports. Crazy, but unfortunately, that's the way things are.

#5 Mon, 01/07/2013 - 9:14am

How was it computed that a female is worth 60% of a male? If the reasoning is that fewer females enter, this could be why more do not enter. The females may find this discrimination as a clear sign of a lack of aloha for them.

#6 Mon, 01/07/2013 - 10:01am

This has to be a joke right. People with this level of critical thinking don't really exist besides as guest on the Hannity & Joy Behar show.

Ohh I know.........this must be some type of internet form of the show Punk'd.

I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for comments from the women......all the ones I know that paddle very intelligent and wouldn't want to be attached to such silliness.

Thank you Jim for organizing such a unique experience for us paddlers. I always look forward to your races and espicially the Pizza. I go to Bob's a lot becuase of being introduced to his restaurant through this race.

#7 Mon, 01/07/2013 - 11:29am

boy, with that response "healthyearth" you did not only show a lack of respect & aloha, but unfortunately also your own "critical thinking"... but I'm glad you found a good Pizza...:).
Anyway, I think it's a very valid question why wahine get less prize money than us male paddlers... it's so maika'i that we have this "new prize money" and then we miss the chance to apply it in the appropriate - non discriminating - way... e kala mai wahine!!!
I la maika'i!!!

#8 Mon, 01/07/2013 - 1:12pm

Ok, you changed my mind......I'm in. Book me on the Jerry Springer show, here's my resume!

Why are the Women not being sponsored to go and race a race in Tahiti?
Since they are getting 0% of the money that is sending teams to Tahiti does that me they are worth 0% of males? Some of you might say well, there might not be 12 girls that race. That's just an excuse cause we can easily find some female paddlers to go with them, or hire girls from Tahiti.

Also, some of the divisions pron't won't have enough women to fill each prize spot available for the women. That extra money should go to the Women's Tahiti team. (Not having enough participants might be an exaggeration, but easily it could happen.) More women would be doing these races over the past 5 years had they known that today they have a chance to go to Tahiti. Obviously the men know this day was coming that's why they been participing so much compared to the women.

How did the men know and the women not know that KIRA was going to be sponsoring teams and giving money out to winners? Did Jim or someone give an unfair advantage to the men paddlers by leaking this plan 5 years ago? How many more women paddlers would be doing all the solo races had they had known this information?

How many women aren't participating in Solo races becuase they feel intimidated about all the male paddlers? 90% (or close to) of the paddlers are male, that has to be intimidating.

It seems like this whole solo racing is marketed to men.
Why isn't one marketed to women, like the YWCA? On that note, why are there so many more YMCA than YWCA's (obviously it's because there's less christian women)

#9 Mon, 01/07/2013 - 2:31pm

Perhaps it woudl be worthwhile to pause and engage brain before making any comments. And then those of you that want to criticise and make a negative comment instead of making a positive comment about what an awesome series this will be and thanking all the sponsors, should perhaps look at any recent entrant/results list from any paddling race anywhere - particularly at the gender proportion of the competitors - then make a comment.

I hope it will not be negative, you could use that energy instead by encouraging more people to participate and join.

#10 Mon, 01/07/2013 - 2:20pm

why doesnt someone put on an all womens paddle race? this would give all wahine a chance to come and paddle without all the testosterone. why not ???

#11 Mon, 01/07/2013 - 2:53pm

KIRA, this is awesome. This is one of those things that comes along once a generation that takes competition to a new level. It's great that the Foti's are so motivated to promote all the ocean sports that people in Hawai‘i take so much pride in pursuing.

It's unfortunate that some people will only see this as a negative. Someone brought up a good point! Entry fees may cover much of the expenses and prize money. That breakdown may be proportional. At other races I've seen it happen where prizes are only given to kids because the sponsors specify this, should this not be allowed? Perhaps the sponsors wish to target a specific audience? They can give money or prizes to whomever they please! Right? I'm just stoked that this up and coming generation of kids has another carrot to chase. Seriously, how cool is this? H2Olady you have a great idea! Why not run with it. Put it on yourself! From personal experience I can say that running a race is a fair amount of work. But it's nothing crazy. Most of the time you just have to be willing to invest some positive energy.

Sorry to get bogged down with this kind of talk. Thank you again Foti Brothers for doing this! It's a huge step forward not only for paddling but all individual ocean sports. Between Pa'a and KIRA it would seem that the sporting community in Hawai‘i will continue to thrive!

#12 Mon, 01/07/2013 - 3:38pm

As a woman who races sporadically... I just want to say that I am super excited about this series! Overall, I think the prize money and potential of a men's crew being sponsored to go to Tahiti will help motivate the top paddlers to participate in the races. The fact that they are at least including women in the prize equation is better than some other races have done. If you were to look at proportions of women to men in past race participation, I think that giving women 60% of the men's prize amount is probably generous.

Yes, racing in a field of 90% men can be intimidating to the average female paddler. We can all help to encourage more women to participate in the races. The more of us there are, the easier it will be to encourage more to come out and challenge themselves.

#13 Tue, 01/08/2013 - 2:14pm

We race for fun together as a family, tradition, exercise, personal challenge, camaraderie, and love of the sport. The money is nice but not a great motivational factor for us. That's just us, my daughter (Junior) & I (male OG). We're not pros. Just amateurs having fun living the life in Hawaii. Maybe after reaching a higher level of sport our opionions may change 5 years from now. We are just happy to race for now. Thanks for making this possible KIRA & Paa. Mahalos & Aloha!

#14 Tue, 01/08/2013 - 3:31pm

@ Rachel.
Mahalo for answering my question. Now everybody go out and enjoy paddling.

#15 Wed, 01/09/2013 - 8:57am

Just to address a few of the comments:

I had a coach once that said: "no mattah you talkin good bout me or bad, main ting you talkin bout me!" At least all this brings up points and everyone is thinking.

I agree with women's rights and wish we had more in the kitty. I checked with some wahine paddlers in the mix and they suggested 60/40 would be fair, especially given the participation ratio. Sorry about that, but at least we're making an effort.

Men's sponsored crew only: The impetus for this sponsorship is coming from EDT in Tahiti who sponsors the race, which is primarily a men's race. Maybe in the future they will help support the women more too.

I think a women's only race is a great idea, one we have discussed. actually, we do it for the Cold Pack Classic every year. We'll work on it.

Absolutely paddling is a sport for the masses to enjoy. It has never really been an earnings sport for "professional" athletes. But being in the top mix for years, i would have loved to win some money, and always appreciated anything I did win. But the main thing is we all enjoy the sport and the aloha within. This year we will be giving out most of the prizes in a raffle format so everyone has equal chance to win. This weekend will be Island Snow merchandise, Riviera Paddlesurf products and an SUP paddle, and Bob's Pizza certificates.


#16 Thu, 01/10/2013 - 1:57pm

Thanks for clearing that up.

#17 Thu, 01/10/2013 - 3:11pm

One more note regarding prize money and eligibility for school sports: we have a short course that does not offer prize money. So as long as you enter the short, it is an amateur sport and shouldn't affect any eligibility.

#18 Tue, 01/15/2013 - 12:29am

Without men paddlers there would be no one man season. Without women paddlers we still have one man season. So women, next time you at a race, thank a man for pouring so much more time and money in the sport. Men, thank a woman, they are the primary we evolved to enjoy competition and bc of that people have pushed the envelope of canoe design to make it very fun.

Second, move all races to Saturday. Having it on Sunday hurts us working class people cause we can't train as much on Saturtday if you want to do well in races on Sunday. Plus it's absolutely too hard to not start drinking early Sat and end up in Waikiki in the AM trying to find a BBQ stand to sober up outside of the Irish Rose. Have the races on Saturday so we can all drink together at the park. Then we can use Sunday morning to sober up and the get a little recovery workout in the afternoon or evening on Sunday.

No more medals at races, maybe you just a text msg or something. Medals are not sustainable. Maybe only for first place in division. Also, each diviion only needs one winner and that's it. Then you have overall 1st, 2nd, 3rd. And for the women, just call them all up and give them all a round of applause and gifts for participating- I'm just kidding here.

I like the glasses Kira gave out last year and I like what PA'A does with things you can actually use (like beer to keep the after party going cause it's on a Saturday not a Sunday).

#19 Tue, 01/15/2013 - 1:08pm

No worries Jim, students can decline the cash, like the college athletes do when they come home on break and compete against "pros" in other sports. It isn't that they don't appreciate it, but have to, because of the penalizing NCAA rules against it. A congratulatory handshake from you would be an honor and sufficient award.

Healthyearth, Saturdays are bread and butter days for some of us paddlers that get side jobs to earn extra cash for pay off our canoes. Our spouses working too on Saturday, so no can watch the kids while we race. And the kids get music lessons, hula, tutoring, SAT's, soccer, basketball, 6 man, school events, etc. All happening on Saturdays, so they no can race. Usually Sundays are when families can get together and kokua each other. So alternating the races on Saturdays or Sundays is a good compromise.
ps: I know some would rather play golf on Sunday, rather than on Saturday?

#20 Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:28am

Nice turnout for a flat/side/down/head wind race.

Even better to see Manny final win a raffle prize!
... and he crushed the competition in the race also.

#21 Mon, 01/21/2013 - 2:16pm

Wow, what a load of stupid dialog, go out and paddle and be thankful for the opportunity. Thanks Jim.

#22 Mon, 01/21/2013 - 10:15pm

Last Saturdays race course was mean! Stoked I came over from Maui and had the opportunity to try that course out. Mahalo KIRA for mixing it up this year and trying some "new" courses which haven't been raced in a while! See u next weekend :)
Oh and although MCKC (Maui canoe and kayak club) hosts some great races over here on Maui with amazing sponsors: Maliko, 3 sisters, n. shore challenge and Maui to Molokai. I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the food, beer and prizes after the race! Great work Jim and KIRA!!!

#23 Sun, 02/03/2013 - 10:33pm

I enjoy the races and appreciate the assortment of raffle prizes. Thanks to Jim and his support people for the great job on putting these races. My only suggestion would be to go back to the etched glasses as 1st/2nd/3rd place prizes instead of the medals.

#24 Mon, 02/04/2013 - 1:36pm

Hell yaaa, I like the prizes. Yes to the etched glass. THis has been a great one man year. Lot's of participants and lots of peaople staying around.

It doesn't appear that many people are pirating the races either. If you want to pirate the race then start 10 min after or 10 min before. Pirating the races (starting when everone else does then not finishing exactly on the right side of buoy so you don't get counted is stealing and it hurts the sport) isn't looked down upon nearly as much as it should be.

Disclaimer- I did it once and I felt like a real jackass for it. I was young and rebelious in my 30's.

#25 Mon, 02/04/2013 - 1:49pm

Regarding the last race for the short course... The false start was so bad as I & a bunch of others were still paddling out when others had already started past the outer bouy and already made the left turn. I'm guessing at least a 5 min spread that translates to the finish times as well. Is that also considered pirating? Or more like jumping the gun or same thing?

BTW the group jan ken po is a nice twist on an old school classic. Fun Jim nice touch... It works

PS more than a handful of others told me that they wished there were more skis or escorts for safety particularly on the Heeia and Kualoa to Kahana course. Is there a ratio of escorts to participants recommended for safety?

#26 Mon, 02/04/2013 - 2:10pm

I agree on the glasses. I always loved them as prizes. Even have some coffee cups from back in the day. They cost a bunch more so we're looking at the possibility for next year. This year came upon us so fast we had to shotgun medals. We don't love um, but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick I suppose.

I also am pissed about the start of the short course. And I understand the long was only a little better. People just have to be a little more respectful of those who are following directions. So, IF there were more skis or escorts on the course, we could get their numbers, or even stop it before it started. And yes, I agree it would have been nice to have had another craft on the water.... thankfully everyone was accounted for and only one person ended up in a Kaawa back yard.

Anyhow, thanks for the feedback and enjoying the program we are putting on. We trying.

#27 Mon, 02/04/2013 - 10:26pm

In last weekends open division there were 14 women on the water in the long course division out 110 men and women paddling OC1, OC2, SS, and SUP. That is 12%. In the short course there were 10 women out 62 men and women. These numbers are consistent with the women's attendance that I have tracked for the previous 4 seasons that I have been racing KIRA in Hawaii.

There were a lot of comments about equality of prize money and having a women's only race on the recent post about KIRA having prize money this year. There is no reason not to have equal prize money and/or a women's event - except... well, where are all the women? As a woman and someone who loves to paddle, race, and be part of it all I genuinely am curious - What would get women to race and be a substantial part of the culture of racing SS, OC1, OC2 ?

Thanks for the great races so far this year Jim and crew of Kanaka Ikaika. There is a lot of dedication involved in sustaining these events year after year. I very much appreciate the race experience and love being part of it.

#28 Tue, 02/12/2013 - 9:59am

If KIRA was smart they would have a Macy's clothing sale at the end of the races. Guarans get choke wahine down den!!

Maybe the Danny Ching videos can only be given to women. Den we given one private booth to watch right after race, I get one minivan with DVD player and tinted windows that can fit 7 wahine paddlers.

#29 Tue, 02/12/2013 - 11:38am

ALM: I would say time, work and family commitments interfere with most na wahine from participating, since they're unable to train and put in the necessary water time. Even when they can train, it is dark outside. Visibility on the Ala Wai, with ambient light, is poor and unsafe because it is hard to see the big 6-mans heading straight for you. So gals stay off the water and shuttle boats for men. Perhaps it's time to reverse the tables? Come on guys, time for support and kokua the gals who have sacrificed for us...

#30 Tue, 02/12/2013 - 11:41am

So what's the team?

#31 Tue, 05/07/2013 - 7:51pm

Pat Dolan,
Danny Ching,
Manny Kulukulualani
Kai Bartlett
Mael Carey
Kaihe Chong
Kekoa Cramer
Makana Denton
Alfred VanGieson
Justin Watts
Simeon Ke-Paloma
Aaron Creps
Will Reichenstein
Jim Foti

#32 Tue, 05/07/2013 - 10:12pm

What an amazing line up of paddlers, I just can't help to wish it included D. Chun and some of those big island guys...unless they are going as well? Best of luck guys.

#33 Tue, 05/07/2013 - 10:58pm

Who's Manny's roommate going to be?

Will there be a point person sending out facebook feeds or twitter updates? It would be really nice to have a dedicated person really putting in some serious effort to keep us updated thoughtout the training and race.

#34 Wed, 05/08/2013 - 9:02am

Daniel and the Big Island boys are all worthy and I wish some of them participated in our Kanaka Ikaika races, which would have made them eligible and no doubt part of the team. But our one solid criteria was that you had to participate in at least one Kanaka Ikaika race.... Next year hopefully they'll make a race or two.

We're working on figuring out the best way to keep everyone informed during the race. The TNV organizers want this as well. Keep tuned to the Kanaka Ikaika facebook if nothing else.

#35 Wed, 05/08/2013 - 9:51am

How bout some training updates or images of the guys training in the lead up to the race. Stories are great, let us buy in to these guys! Just showing us the race or updating the race is ok. Letting us buy into the training and guys posting updates on things would be great. I know most these guys come off quiet and humble and all that malarchy, but that doesn't sell tickets. Generally after Manny has a couple beers he's awesome, maybe after practice when you guys are all sitting around drinking talking about how wearing trucker hats pulled down over Maui Jims and driving one Tacoma is the only true sign of a paddler, throw Manny a phone and let him scribble some thoughts on it for the us fans to enjoy. (That was a major run-on sentence but I don't feel like making it more correct).

#36 Wed, 05/08/2013 - 10:27am

just curious, what is the average age of the paddlers?

#37 Wed, 05/08/2013 - 11:21am

What happened to Billy Lawson on that list?

#38 Fri, 05/10/2013 - 12:20pm

I heard he has workie. I have very few connections on the inside at OCC, so take that for what it is worth.

5 Primo guys
4 Lanikai Guys
2 OCC guys
1 Manu O Ke Kai (Hui Waa Club)
1 Mainland guy from Kalifornia

I"m going to guess the median age is 30. Avg 32

Seems like there was more excitement earlier in the year than now, in regards to this team.

#39 Fri, 05/10/2013 - 12:44pm

The average is actually more like 29.3 considering 6 are 25 and under and 6 are 30-38 and 1 49y/o

#40 Fri, 05/10/2013 - 9:35pm

Billy Lawson could not come but was invited.

Sorry healthyearth we haven't been able to make more hoopla. It takes a lot of work and the paddlers were really busy with channel races, etc... I have been busy with other responsibilities in life as well so can't make a full time job of promoting. Wish there was big bucks in all this to make a full time PR job out of it... Anyhow, our practices were hard to assemble too because of paddlers' various schedules. Keep posted to our facebook and the Tahiti Nui Va'a site during the next few days and we'll do the best we can to keep you updated. Thanks for your interest as it is important to us.

#41 Wed, 05/22/2013 - 10:44pm

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