Unbalanced coverage of Hawaii paddling events by Y2Kanu

I have enjoyed Rick Leton's site, Y2Kanu, since it was first created. Lately I have noticed a big difference in the way he is covering the events happening here in Hawaii. It seems that the coverage for the E Lau Hoe women's race wasn't very important for him to cover but the equivalent race (Henry Ayau men's race) had full coverage. I thought this was a fluke and that maybe he was on vacation off-island and missed the race. Well for the Molokai women's race...nothing. For the men's Molokai...full coverage with photos. Very surprising Rick.

Submitted by mikalakayaker on Mon, 10/10/2005 - 3:09pm

I actually took it a different way, perhaps I am wrong.

With the winner being team Bradley, nobody can deny the quality of the paddlers. The problem I see is this is not a team like a club. Some of the best paddlers are just put together. They have not worked as a club; they have not had to do all the preparations for a race as a club, (fundraising etc..) It seems as though they are more professionals and should have their own division. I have more respect to all the clubs that participated as clubs and not a team. Perhaps the lack of coverage is a silent statement to this, I would like to think so. In Hawaii its all about our Ohana, and being part of a club is our Ohana. When you put together a group just to win, something gets lost, it takes away what paddling is to alot of us.


#1 Mon, 10/10/2005 - 5:03pm

Oops wrong race,

just venting on Na Wahine O Ke Kai 2005

#2 Mon, 10/10/2005 - 5:09pm

Although I really don't see the direct connection between your reply and my topic I would like to say something about what you have said. Team Bradley has been together for a number of years and although they seem like "professionals" they sacrifice and train just as hard as any club. I am a big promoter of the club atmosphere and all the work and love that comes from being in a club but these ladies are all friends from different islands who paddled together at one time or another over the years. I understand that they are not a "club" but they represent the different clubs and islands which they come from all across our state and I think that is another Ohana all in itself.

#3 Mon, 10/10/2005 - 6:08pm

Eh Ichiban, i think that you are really wrong about Team Bradley. They are a team, and just because they paddle one man doesnt take away from that. I bet that there is more of a sense of 'ohana there than a lot of other clubs. The members of that team have dedicated a huge part of their lives to paddling and we have to respect them for that.
As for what this post is about... y2kanu-- I agree 100% with mikalakayaker. A long time ago y2kanu used to be awesome, i used to goto the site daily and read the articles on training and the paddler profiles and all that used to be there.. but.... not anymore.

#4 Mon, 10/10/2005 - 9:35pm

If you want to talk about "Professional" paddlers, you should look at the Tahitian teams. I don't know how true this is, but from what I've been told, the Tahitian paddlers are sponsored and get paid for paddling, kind of like working for the company that sponsors the team but paddling as a job. So if that is the case, then that's more of an advantage than someone that has a regular job but still has to train when they have time. You could say the Team Bradley paddlers are more of an All-Star crew just like the Team New Zealand/Hawaii crews were.

#5 Wed, 10/12/2005 - 11:34am

you are wrong hawaiian_paddler,

tahitians paddlers are not professionals.


#6 Wed, 10/12/2005 - 4:12pm

Really...who cares if someone is "professional" or not. We all have to pay for this expensive sport and make sacrifices all year long...both time and money. The bottom line is putting the paddle in the water and paddling hard. If someone out there can get "paid" to do a race or an entire season...good for them...I would be happy for them. Isn't that every paddler's ideal job?

#7 Wed, 10/12/2005 - 7:57pm

Ummm...back to the Y2kanu thing, it's his site and he can do what he wants.....just be happy theres a site other than Keizo's that supports our sport.

#8 Wed, 10/12/2005 - 8:21pm

alrite aloek. thats true. wrong topic these people are chatin about.

#9 Wed, 10/12/2005 - 9:11pm

Back to the topic at hand. ALOEK has a great point that it's Rick's site and he can do what he wants with it. But I wonder how all of his "advertisers" would feel about a site that was favoring one type of racer over another. I have heard that he covers the men because that is where the money is and the sponsorships. Women get sponsorships but rarely get completely taken care of like the male competitors do. Just an observation...

#10 Thu, 10/13/2005 - 7:44am

Hey Mikala, I totally understand where you are coming from....Try to look at it this way, if you don't finish up in the top five of the race don't look for your name in the sports section. Coverage seems so narrow for both the men and the women, but on the other hand I guess that would be too much work to cover everyone....I don't think all the male competitors get taken care of as much as it seems.

#11 Fri, 10/14/2005 - 4:22pm

i would have to agree with kdawg, although coverage or sponsorship may not be equal, i don't think male paddlers are all that "taken care of"

more so it may be a matter of certain athletes going after sponsers. i think there are willing sponsors out there for men and women. but it is up to the athelete to go after them and "sell" the advertising to whomever. i have NEVER paddled on what would be called an elite team, but we have still been able to get sponsors here and there, and every bit helps.... perhaps more people have to get out and beat the pavement.

i have no idea about numbers, but how many female vs male crews enter moloka'i? how many crews come from out of state, or even outside the US for each race? we have to understand that business owners are sponsoring for one reason, to get the product seen. not because they like men or women. if i am selling something and i can get exposure as far as tahiti, canada, new zealand, japan, europe, australia, mainland US, etc. what is the logical choice?

what about all the other paddling seasons? how many women vs men? obviously in regatta season, things are pretty much equal. what about OC-1 races, long distance, pre season, etc? all of a sudden the male audience starts to look bigger...just a thought. not implying anyone is right or wrong.

#12 Fri, 10/14/2005 - 10:40pm

i think you guys went a little of the main subject which is coverage not who gets "taken care of".

#13 Sat, 10/15/2005 - 10:49am

You are right, Hapakids2, that we have gotten off of the subject. I was only saying that the money is where the sponsorship is and for that reason Y2Kanu doesn't put any energy into the women's races because women aren't taken care of like the men are. And also to comment on Kdawg's comment that "only the top 5 get mentioned in the sports section"...I really don't care if my name is in the paper or on-line (I happen to be on the runner-up Moloka'i women's crew from Hui Lanakila and my name WAS mentioned). The point my ORINGINAL posting stated was that Y2Kanu is no where near the cool site it use to be. I was working for Coral Fish Hawaii back in the day when Rick Leton happened along to ask my boss to buy some advertising on his new web site. I told my boss to support the local paddling and it will support your business. Well, the point is that the site has evolved into something else...only supporting "those" and not the "others". The bottom line is we miss the old Y2Kanu and that's it.

#14 Sat, 10/15/2005 - 3:01pm

I understand that Mikala, I'm pretty new to paddling so I wasn't able to see the old Y2kanu. But you just cleared up my point where only the top paddlers are covered in the media(newspaper or online). I just meant to say that not only the women get less coverage but also the hundreds of other crews that race.....

As for Y2kanu....in what way can Rick improve his site to cover more of the women's races or more crews period. He has pics, and the site will send you to newspaper articles....but what else can he add to that to make it better?

#15 Sun, 10/16/2005 - 10:57am

Kdawg, the old Y2kanu used update it's site very often, but not so now. I mean the men's
Moloka'i was 3-4 days over already and yet the main page still featured the women's race.
You don't have to have a full spread of photos right away, but at least the results.
Sometimes newspapers list only the crews that place in their division, so complete results
would be nice too.

That seems like the main thing that would make it better. That and maybe a forum section
like ocpaddler has.

#16 Sun, 10/16/2005 - 11:51am

sorry if you guys thought I was getting off track. just offering comments on WHY things are the way they are. Men's races get more coverage because there are more entrants from a wider audience. There are more men paddling in Kanaka Ikaika...blablabla, the list goes on. The bottom line is Rick and whoever else has a vested intrest in paddling will follow the bigger audience. If people want that to change, i'm not sure what to say. maybe they should start up a website specifically for women's paddling, see how much time, effort, and money has to go into it, then decide if it's worth while... it is, and will be a thankless job that obviously not everyone will be happy with. (thanks KEIZO!)

as for rick not always having the timely updates...i can't speak for everyone, but knowing the paddling results IMMEDATELY after a race isn't always my 100% top priorty. most likely, poeple running web sites have more pressing matters in life, as do most of us. unless the website is thier sole source of income.

the newspaper usually has the results and write up the next day. there are other mailing lists you can join where you will get an email the moment results are known. Perhaps people should call the paper and ask for a full listing of names and results, what do you think the response to that would be?

well there i go getting off subject again. better stop now before i get slapped on the wrist again.

more paddlers = bigger adience = more money = more coverage

it works the same the world over. and for the record, before it is brought up, have no idea who the hell rick is... just seems like he's getting slapped around for something he chose to do, not something he was elected to. I'm going to go ahead and forward this thread to Rick using the address linked from his website. Maybe he'll be able to shed some light on things...or at least defend himself if he chooses. hmmm did anyone think to write to him with concerns before trying to smash him publicly on a website?

sorry for the spelling errors and what not above, i'm just an illiterate bastard.

#17 Mon, 10/17/2005 - 11:30am

jc9_0 you illiterate bastard, GO BACK TO AUSTRALIA!

Punjinchao, goto

P.S. Muchas majalos to Keizo for an awesome site. You've got just what I need, baby.

#18 Mon, 10/17/2005 - 12:28pm

Mikalakayaker mentioned there being no photos from Na Wahine O Ke Kai but there were photos from Molokai Hoe. Is it possibly as simple as the fact that for NWOKK we had a contract with Rebel Shots? I hope so! Cuz that stinks if it was a matter of just choosing not to post photos from our biggest race of the year!

#19 Mon, 10/17/2005 - 2:06pm

I think that everyone agrees that it is a thankless job running a website (THANKS KEIZO) and I don't mean to "slap wrists". To comment on Andrea's observation that there are pictures on Rebelshots.com for both men and women...that is because they are on contract with those race officials for those races (I assume this because at the finish line the MC who was announcing the finishers as they came across the line kept on mentioning their website, how and when to start ordering photos). The photos on Y2Kanu are that websites photos and no pictures of the women's Molokai. Enough already about this. Wasn't expecting such a major discussion. This goes to prove how good this site is for paddling...communication :) See you on the water!!

#20 Mon, 10/17/2005 - 2:37pm

R. Leton's unbalanced coverage is NOT just unique to gender; but, to associations and, to a large degree, clubs also. Leton's coverage pattern is not hard to recognize, as he is also Lanikai's webmaster. I have paddled in both associations on Oahu and have been on small clubs and big clubs. There can be no doubt of his bias towards Lanikai and to OHCRA. This website is really an extension of Lanikai's and this year, since their arrogant miscalculation with their "canoe controversy", he was primed, if not mandated, to give maximum coverage to Lanikai all the way leading up to the Molokai. If his coverage of Lanikai's events, as webmaster, is underwritten (paid) by the Lanikai Canoe Club, it's convenient to use the same material, with pictures of other clubs peppered in his thumbnails, for his Y2KANU website - as long as he gives deference to Lanikai. For you see; he can't really cover the field in a balanced way, if he's got to stay with the 'lead' pack to meet his mandate for Lanikai. Since Lanikai doesn't have a strong 'world class female' crew, you can draw your own conclusions on the implications here. So this represents a challenge for Leton to strike a balance in his coverage on his Y2KANU website from this point on. Otherwise, stop misleading everyone, shut it down and just serve your constituancy on Lanikai Canoe Club.

#21 Mon, 01/16/2006 - 9:49am

There are two solutions to your problem with Ricks site: Don't go there or start your own website and focus it on whatever you want to. You don't have to pay a cent to visit his site so what's the problem?
I agree that his site isn't totally balanced but again, so what? It's his site and he can put what ever he wants on it and it is your choice to frequent it or not.
glshi, you seem to have a personal problem with Rick and possibly Lanikai Canoe Club.I've noticed Keizo has a lot of pictures from Kauai....because he lives there. This internet stuff is free. I'm just glad that Rick and Keizo are willing to do this so that all of us can enjoy.
I'd also like to add that a number of years ago when Ricks site was the only one he got a lot of sh*t from Kanaka Ikaika and various other paddling organizations that threw up a lot of roadblocks for him yet he continued to work on his site. It looks like Rick is able to make money from his site now. Good for him. These things cost money, you know.
Kezo, thank you for the work you do here. I truly appreciate it.

#22 Tue, 01/17/2006 - 11:03am

Lots of great comments. Many which I agree with, and yet many others seem to be overly critical of Rick for one reason or another. I think Rick deserves a lot of credit, I use to check his site repeatedly following races in the 2003 Kaua'i Hoe Wa'a season and continue to check out his photos regularly. I would definitely say that his website influenced me in creating ocpaddler.com.

As for who gets coverage and who doesn't, I think verylowtide is right, there's obviously going to be some bias. For example when I shoot photos, I tend to take more of people I know or have met. I think it's pretty obvious who I know really well from this site. :)

There's also the issue that I want this site to be a 'worldwide resource' for outrigger paddling. Since I can only attend maybe 1% of the races going on, most of the news posted is contributed from paddlers and their respective organizations. I like it this way, and that is really the direction I am going to push this website -- as a community resource for promoting our sport. I could go on about my hopes for the functionality of this website -- aside from pointing you to check out the new canoe club directory -- I'll save it for later.

Back to Y2Kanu, Rick is only one person. I am only one person. I think it's hard to keep track of all these races. If you really want better coverage help out. Ask the race organizers to send in results to ocpaddler and y2kanu, write an article, or send in some photos. Contributions are always welcome. I think the same probably goes for Ropati of Pacific Paddler and Steve West at Kanu Culture. Paddling is still so small that everyone needs to help out in sharing the sport. Beyond the media side of paddling, it could be bringing a new friend to practice, or helping out at a race -- it's all good.

#23 Tue, 01/17/2006 - 5:13pm

Good point about helping out Keizo. I think, as in most situations, instead of complaining we should try to do something about it. Not to pick on you Mikala but since you started the thread........ :) I know your husband has a boat, you could go out take some pictures at a race , write an article and have it posted on Keizos site. Write an article about women in paddling. Something to do once the kids go to bed.
Keizos site has a lot more 'life' than Y2Kanu does now so lets chip in and help Keizo and the paddling community as a whole.
I have to add, the one thing I go to Y2Kanu for is the tide chart....other than that I come here.

#24 Tue, 01/17/2006 - 8:52pm

k....chill out guys.....I think everybody has a day job so its hard to satisfy everybody. As for Keizo, the poor thing is still in college but he is always open for new ideas and info. Anybody at any time can email him with race results and he will post it for them. He tries really hard to provide the lastest news but sometimes his unable to obtain them because his so far away. Give da guy a break.....his trying.....k...email him with whatever bright ideas you have so he can try please you too.

#25 Wed, 01/18/2006 - 11:48am

verylowtide, your user/login name is apt in your case. I merely joined in on a debate that was old already. I was giving deference to our female paddlers concerns b-cuz they have a good point and deserve the paddling community's support and fair and balanced coverage. Having a meaningful debate through any forum [is] doing something about this and other issues that concern paddlers. Don't presume to diminish the value of a platform like this. It raises awareness and keeps us all abreast of other paddlers concerns. Contrary to what you may think and gleaned from my observations, I do appreciate R. Leton's efforts; but, have noted some areas that could be improved upon and so when a debate is started on the subject, I'll chime in my observations. And while my observations may strike a nerve with you, I certianly don't mean any disrespect to Leton or any paddler. When a person chooses to memorialize their feelings, the act is so significant that their efforts and opinions should never be undermined with rhetoric and inflammatory comments. Your comments and emotions were so palpable that the better half suggested that you guys chill. She's right. Relax. No fray, no harm.

#26 Thu, 01/26/2006 - 9:01pm

If you didn't like my comments go read what Pat Dolan wrote.

Inflammatory comments? "There can be no doubt of his bias towards Lanikai and to OHCRA. This website is really an extension of Lanikai's and this year, since their arrogant miscalculation with their "canoe controversy",
Or this? "Otherwise, stop misleading everyone, shut it down and just serve your constituancy on Lanikai Canoe Club."

You seem kind of angry glshi. And apparently you seem to have a problem settling on one club as you state that you have paddled in both associations in big clubs and small. Think there's a connection?
I'll repeat my position; If you don't like the coverage do something about it. Take some pictures. Write an article. Better yet start another website. The more the better. I'm all for these websites. But if you see a problem do something about it don't just complain about it.

#27 Fri, 01/27/2006 - 5:20am

#28 Thu, 03/05/2009 - 5:54pm

i don't think he's unbalanced. i just think that lanikai is a really good club and that's how it usually works out in sports and stuff. good people or teams get good coverage. and rick's there at almost all races taking pictues of as much people crossing the finish line as he can. so you can see yourself on his site. and trust me sitting on the beach watching people cross a finish line taking pictues aint that fun. so he must love the sport to some extent to do that for us. He could shut down his site and go race. but then all you guys would do is whine about how there's no pictures for races. keizo can't get them he's in new york. so unless anyone can man up and not race to take pictures i don't see how anyone can complain abut coverage. so just appreciate what you got.

#29 Fri, 01/27/2006 - 10:08am

I've long since given up on trying to keep up with all the forum banter. After someone advised me that this thread is ongoing about paddling coverage, maybe I better jump in. Trying to maintain a paddling website is a labor of love, but it's really hard to keep all the "very demanding" paddlers happy across the entire demographic community.

For those of you that didn't know (many did), I was off island during the women's Molokai race and the wonen's E Lau Hoe race earlier this year. I have a real job (believe it or not) in that I work for the Dept. of the Navy. I travel fairly frequently with this job, and I try my best not to let it disrupt the paddling coverage for the Y2Kanu site, but it's not always possible for me to do website coverage via reachback when I'm traveling. It is just me that does the site. I do not have a staff as many of you seem to think. I'm trying my best to have a life away from the computer, but it's really hard sometimes. I used to love to paddle, but now the Y2Kanu.com website takes up much of the free time that I used to devote to paddling. Trust me when I say that I'd rather cover the Women's race over the Men's if it were just the two. The women are much nicer (for the most part), they definitely photograph better, and they are genuinely appreciative when I'm there shooting photos of their races.

When I first created the Y2Kanu website (1st posted on Dec. 31, 1999), it was to fill a void in the paddling community that it desperately needed. There was no OCPaddler.com site, there wasn't even much coverage from any of the local Hawaii media (newspaper, radio, and television) that you would think probably give much more coverage than they do. In fact, the original reason I began the site as some of the older paddlers know is that back then it often took a week or more for the official results to be available to anyone...even the paddlers that paddled the races.

I also have been affiliated with Lanikai Canoe Club over the years, but even that has been difficult or impossible to do with the website stuff. I also do the Lanikai Canoe Club website and their Club newsletter, so the photos that I take have to make sure that I have enough Lanikai stull to accomodate that requirement as well. When parents and boyfriends/girlfriends and other clubs and organizations have asked me to be sure to get this paddler or that paddler I always try my best to accomodate their requests. Although it's not always possible, I try to shoot everyone in the race regardless of gender, age, race, club affiliation, etc., etc.

Today is February 4, and I have just returned from a two week trip on the mainland. I shot photos at the Kanaka Ikaika race this morning, and I have two weeks or race results to catch up on, but I'll try my best to knock it out this weekend.

I'm not sure what other "bad comments" there are in here about Y2Kanu, but thankyou to those that still find value in the site. I just continue to try to do the best that I can. If it's not good enough for the "more demanding" and "more critical" paddlers out there, then I guess I can just say I'm sorry and there are no hard feelings if you delete my site from your "favorites".

Rick Leton

#30 Sat, 02/04/2006 - 2:09pm

Never met you Rick but, I've been paddling for about 3 years now and your website was the first I was introduced to. Back then, I thought that your site was GREAT and the feeling is still the same. Keep up the EXCELLENT coverage and the photos. Also, make time to get back in the Water. Thank You.

#31 Sat, 02/04/2006 - 3:27pm

I am glad that Rick finally read some of the comments posted here. I think this site does a tremendous job in letting all of the different paddlers from different areas of the world comment on important topics. When I started this thread I wanted to bring up something that has been happening in our community for a few years now. Rick runs a public website and the public has opinions. When the E Lau Hoe women's race was covered horribly by The Honolulu Advertiser (Dayton) I wrote them to ask why they had the wrong race course and finishing crews (Dayton was off island for that race, too.) They commented right away and thanked me for my inquiry. I think that the life of this thread should show that alot of people have feelings about the topic and that I wasn't alone in seeing a change in the awesome website that Rick use to run.
The thing that all of you didn't get a chance to read was the nice little letter that Rick sent to me privately. He was abit defensive in his response to me but I think that if he read alot of the threads about this topic he could learn about what people enjoy in his site AND what people are concerned about. I really think that Rick could see alot of the comments as positive about his site. According to Rick (in his private letter), though, I was "malicious" and my statements were "unfounded". I think that is purely untrue and I feel badly that he took it that way. I hope that he could take the time to read what HIS public thinks and make the site into something great. If my comments were "unfounded" then no one would agree with my comment and the thread would have died off months ago. Suggestions in the this forum state that we all should contribute...that is a terrific idea. We can all help Rick and Keizo (and Ropati at Pacific Paddler too!) Although I did originate the thread I am a big Y2Kanu fan, I order pictures from Rick, and I go to his site often. I have always been a person who speaks her mind and stands up for what I believe in but I can honestly say that I have never been called malicious. That hurt. I use my actual name in my postings because I do believe in stating things and standing behind my views (anyone who knows me personally knows this to be sooooo true!)
Anyways...sorry to hurt your feelings, Rick. We do love your site. I hope you find some positive in this very long lived thread.

#32 Mon, 02/06/2006 - 9:34am

After reading Mikala's posting above, I'd like to add just a few more comments. I don't take Mikala's comments personally, but I'm always concerned about this trend that encourages people to be critical without offering any solutions. I have read through all the postings and would like to address some of the issues presented for the record.

Early in the development of the Y2Kanu site, I experimented with being a "journalist" and provided a reporting article about the races....sort of a "play by play". Again keep in mind that Y2Kanu is but a "one man show". After about six weeks of that, I was running myself ragged and opted to give up that approach.

Over the years I have experimented with different things on the site. I have changed the "look and feel" a couple of times. When I started the E-Classifieds section, I also began a "forum" section. The E-Classifieds proved to be very popular with the paddlers, while the forum section was used sparsely. Maybe I didn't give it enough time...I don't know. At the time, the Outrigger Listserv was the popular forum of choice so I didn't try to duplicate Brian Mulvaney's efforts and took my forum offline. I tried periodically putting up a Paddler Profile section which highlighted certain paddlers and gave a brief story about their development to date. Kelly Fey, Adrew Penny, Walter Guild, and Marc Haine come to mind, but I don't believe I ever did one on a Lanikai paddler...imagine that??? I also had a section which featured several of the top paddlers and all their accomplishments. It depended upon other paddlers submitting nominations for inclusion and required the accomplishments to be updated every time there was a major race. As you can imagine, that also became far too labor-intensive for one person so that effort was also abandoned.

I saw a comment about the Y2Kanu site being an extension of the Lanikai Canoe Club's website. Other than acknowledging their win for the Men's Molokai race, I don't believe Lanikai gets any more coverage than any other club on my site. Yes, I do their website as well, but it has nothing to do with their coverage on the Y2Kanu site. When individuals or clubs win events, I try to give credit where credit is due. Remember, I don't generate any results. I'm entirely reliant upon whatever is submitted to me for posting. As for the photos on the front page, I always do my best to spread it around between women, men, juniors, etc. Some weeks I have winners, some weeks I have non-winners. It's hard to be politically correct 100% of the time when it comes to that.

If I miss photos of a race, I'm sorry. It's just not physically possible for me to be at all the races. But when I do take photos at a race, I try to take each and every paddler I can...whether they finish first or last. Both Keizo and Ropati have asked me for photos from my races, and I've always accommodated their request(s) free of charge. Why? Because it helps them out and benefits the sport...both accomplishing the objectives I had for the Y2Kanu site since its' inception.

Believe it or not, I even get criticized from some because I don't take the time to go shoot photos of all the High School paddling events. However I've always posted their results if someone sends them to me. The only exceptions being for the occasions I'm actually off island. And heaven help me if I should misspell someone's name or worse yet their time or place is wrong in the submissions that are sent to me. I routinely bear the brunt of their wrath. I even get the Hawaiian activists upset with me if I misspell a Hawaiian word.

For anyone to suggest that I put more energy (or sponsorship???) into Mens races vs. Womens races is just plain silly. Since I began posting comprehensive photo coverage for races in 2003, I have posted over 100 separate race photo galleries that remain online even now, and have posted results for triple that!!! Keizo routinely links to my photos in posting race results as well.

As for putting in more OHCRA photos in than Hui Wa'a (after all I am on Oahu), keep in mind that since my club affiliation is with Lanikai Canoe Club, I am most often stuck at their races. Hui Wa'a is usually on the same day and at opposite sides of the island. Although I have made great pains to blow off OHCRA in the past couple of years and focus on Hui Wa'a to dispell just that sort or accusation for preference. If you go to my photo galleries, you will see that I have shot more Hui Wa'a regatta races than OHCRA races over that time. So that accusation is just plain wrong.

In addition to the Y2Kanu site, I maintain about a dozen other websites that also require routine site maintenance. All on top of a full time job separate and apart from paddling. Sometimes it runs me ragged.

For those that don't know, when I shoot photos at a race, I spend a couple of hours at the race (all day if it's a regatta), then come home and spend 4-6 hours cropping, color correcting, and uploading those photos for all to see. The very small amount of money I make on picture sales doesn't even come close to paying for the camera equipment I've had to buy to do that, much less the time and effort expended. As Keizo I'm sure will attest, it is often a thankless job, but made much more tolerable when someone comes up and says they appreciate your efforts. That is what sustains me in my efforts, and the friends and comeraderie that it has generated, more than anything else.

So yes, it hurts to see a thread that in any way, shape or form is critical of the efforts I've made to help "publicize" the sport...especially early on when there was virtually nothing else. However, I'm no different than many others who contribute their time and energy in furthering this sport that we all love. So instead of being so critical of those who do spend a lot of time and energy trying their best to bring some value to the sport, I suggest you all devote an equal amount of time applauding the efforts of those that spend the time and energy doing the stuff (that many of you can't or won't take the time to do) that continues to further this sport.

The front of the Y2Kanu website has a link for comments or suggestions regarding the site, and I have received them from time to time. I aim to please so if you really have a contribution to make, then I encourage you to just ask rather than complain.

Thank you all for your time and energy.

Rick Leton

#33 Mon, 02/06/2006 - 4:27pm

My aloha goes out to Mikala and all the participants in this past year's E Lau Hoe and Na Wahine O Ke Kai races. The lack of coverage was striking. I have female friends and family who compete in these races and it is a bummer that this group of paddlers receives such little recognition for their efforts.

I hope that our local paddling website managers don't take the previous statement as an indictment of their operations but rather an expression of personal emotion over hopes which went unfullfilled. I understand completely that you folks are under no obligation to cover any group or event...or to fullfill our hopes... but since the afforementioned races had been covered before there was an expectation that they would be again. The absence of coverage was therefore, a source for disappointment.

I think we, as a community of paddlers would be asking alot of any media person to cover all participants of every event. However, I do feel it is important to at least cover the top competitors in top competitions...male and female alike. With that said, I understand that such undertakings can be financially and logistically prohibitive to small "labor-of-love" operations and it is with this understanding that I pose the following questions:

Is there any way that some of us in Hawaii's paddling community might help you folks by providing you with stories and photos as a means for you to gain access to material to publish on your respective sites?

If so, would you folks be willing to participate in a forum or respond privately to other members who display a willingness to offer such services?

Rick...mahalo for all of your efforts. Your's is still the first site I go to when I want to check out what is happening in the paddling world beyond my own backyard.

Keizo...I've been reading through some fiery and interesting discussions over the past week. This is the first one I've responded to. Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts.

Aloha gang!


#34 Mon, 02/06/2006 - 5:16pm

Even though I missed taking photos of the Women's Molokai race this year, I still posted the results. I believe I am the only one that routinely photographs most of the races and posts the results. Others use my photos or link to my site. If photos of a race are not taken, why does it automaically equate to a Y2Kanu.com shortcoming? There are now other websites out there including OCPaddler.com. Why are they not criticized when they fail to photograph an event? It's a rhetorical question...do not answer. Basically, the proliferation of photos that I have posted from events has generated this expectation that these races must always be photographed, and that Y2Kanu.com is doing a dis-service to the paddling community if other priorities preclude a particular event from being photographed. One of my "lessons learned" from this whole email thread is that I'm going to be shooting much fewer events so that I do not generate this artificial expectation. Not sure how much longer I'll maintain the Y2Kanu site, but unfounded accusations of gender bias and unbalanced coverage because I failed to take photos of a given race really turn me off to the whole website thing. What started out as a "labor of love" has evolved to being overly concerned each week with petty accusations when I can't be all things to all people.

Yes of course I welcome any volunteer help. The Big Island community has been sending me articles and photos for years. Anytime anyone wants to contribute a paddling-related article (non-commercial of course) or help me with photos is always appreciated and encouraged. For the first three years the Y2Kanu site was up and running, I had a standing statement on the front page soliciting for contributions. I think over the years I received only one unsolicited article for posting from someone on Oahu. No, it did not come from any of the forum posters in this thread. I suppose if I actively go out and ask people to contribute, many would, but I don't want to go begging. Subsequently, I've focused primarily on posting photos and linking or posting race results that are forwarded to me. Of course I also make a concerted effort to post notices of upcoming races where the organizers forward something to me.

By the way, in 2004 when I was out of town for the Women's Molokai, I actually hired someone to take photos for me. Hiring photographers is not cheap as you might suspect. I took a financial loss trying to accommodate. I would have done the same thing this year for the Women's race, but the guy I got the previous year wasn't available, and I couldn't get someone else short notice.

Most people genuinely appreciate what we do since it's something that few are capable or or willing to take on. So for those that are critical of our efforts, I usually just write it off and "consider the source". There comes a time though when enough is enough, and I'm just taking that time to set the record straight. For those that don't want to help be part of the solution and contribute to my efforts, then don't exacerbate the problem by making these ridiculous petty accusations. If you don't like what Y2Kanu.com has to offer, than just delete it from your favorites list. No hard feelings...I promise.

Rick Leton

#35 Mon, 02/06/2006 - 6:44pm

Dammit people, stop complaining about Ricks site already. If you don't like it, don't go to it. Stop complaining and crying before he shuts it down.....dammit.

#36 Mon, 02/06/2006 - 7:15pm

yea what he said.

#37 Mon, 02/06/2006 - 7:18pm

Easy to critisize others. Rick, thank for your services to the community.
Brad Cole

#38 Mon, 02/06/2006 - 10:40pm

Rick and Keizo,
Thanks for all you do. Visiting Y2Kanu and ocpaddler is part of my daily routine, and I'll continue go to both sites, with our without photos, for as long as you have them up. I'm very thankful that you take the time to keep the sites running. It's good to have a place to go see what's going on in the sport we all enjoy so much.

#39 Tue, 02/07/2006 - 8:08am

Thank you very much to Y2Kanu and OCPaddler for creating and maintaining sites for all of us to enjoy! I admit I was disappointed and confused by the lack of coverage for the women's races this past season, but now that I know the whole story, I COMPLETELY understand! Most of us have a hard time juggling work, family/friends, and paddling, especially during the regatta season. I can't even start to imagine going home after the race and trying to sort through a million photos, race results, etc. to post for a bunch of ingrates... :) Thanks for dispelling any beliefs that the sites are the work of a team of reporters/photographers who exist solely to document the world of paddling... Where can we send our $$ contributions (for those of us to lazy and cheap to buy expensive photography equipment, learn how to use it, and learn html to create our own sites)?!

#40 Tue, 02/07/2006 - 8:39am

Eh Rick, no worries brah! Every sport has its critics..... Its usually the ones that moan about many things in life... Not fair, not fair! Blah, blah, blah..... Y2Kanu helped me sell my canoe and Stand Up Paddle surfboard for zero add cost!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU Y2KANU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#41 Tue, 02/07/2006 - 7:10pm

I hadn't read this thread much because when i skimmed it the first time, it seemed more hostile than i was into.

But then I got bored (I hate when that happens) and decided to check it out. I couldn't believe it. How could someone complain about coverage on someone else's website? Shoots - all you'd find on my personal website is pictures of me and my family. Talk about unbalanced coverage! Maybe I ought to spend more time creating a forum for other people to express their views...

Neh -

If someone wants to express their opinions, let 'em make their own site and I'm sure anybody who already has a site (Rick and Keizo) would be happy to post a link. That's the blessing and curse of the internet: anybody can have a website and anybody can make whatever rules they want on their own site.

As for me, I'm just gonna keep posting pictures of myself on my site that don't make me look fat. That's rule numero uno!

#42 Wed, 02/08/2006 - 10:24am


#43 Wed, 02/08/2006 - 4:44pm

kudos to Keizo and Rick.....neva mind what people waalaau. All we want is info regarding canoe paddling which you both have provided us. Kauai paddlers are very thankful and appreciative for your kokua to the paddling community and please continue the good work! I feel that Y2KANU and OC PADDLER both share each other's pictures and info which has been very helpful not only to each other's website but to us paddlers. Thank you for your time and don't give up on us....we need you guys!!!!

#44 Thu, 02/09/2006 - 11:23am

Yeah, thanks a bunch for all your tireless work guys .... webworld can be pretty cold sometimes as folks get pretty blustery behind the keyboard.

Maybe Keizo can buy Rick out : 0 ......running now.

oishidesneh ..... damm funny needed levity.

#45 Thu, 02/09/2006 - 11:07pm

Malo Rick

Keep up the good work bra, great site & excellent info, I often search thorugh your site on a daily basis while at work along with surfing OC Paddler. So keep up the good work. Your work is apreciated from others in other parts of the pacific


#46 Mon, 02/13/2006 - 4:17pm

Let's all take Rick's advice and do our part in contributing to paddling photos! The only way to ensure that you have photos of your crew is to make an effort to take them. That is what we have been doing... we post photos from every race we compete in on our club website. http://waikikibeachboys.com/photo.htm
(Yes, it is only our club, who has time to take photos of everyone else!) It does take a lot of time, but it is fun too, and people really enjoy the images.

Keep up the good work, Rick!

#47 Wed, 02/15/2006 - 11:02am

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