Captain Liz Clark: Swell and Awakening

lc-1Last night (April 13, 2018) the Patagonia store in Bend, Oregon had another of many great events (shop local and talk story). It was kick-off night for the Gerry Lopez Big Wave Challenge at Mt Bachelor over the weekend. The BIG story was the stellar presentation by sailor, surfer, author – Liz Clark.

Listening to her stories about living life on a sailboat while traveling around the world (although there were many challenging and difficult times) gave me a flashback to the very first sailing adventure hubby Ed and I took – on our honeymoon in 1970.

Liz took on the Pacific Ocean and the world, then wrote her incredible book, SWELL.. We simply took on the amazing and unspoiled Abaco, Bahamas of the 70’s. On a chartered 25′ sloop we were adventurers – in our own minds- living off the land and sea, because we had no money to spare. It was all here in photos (and a journal) to re-live today after hearing Liz.

Liz was introduced by two of the team at Changing Tides Foundation. A powerhouse of talented and dedicated women, Changing Tides has many ways we can be “Better Together” when it comes for taking care of the Ocean. Through mentorship and outreach they are changing lives. My favorite was the become engaged with their mission starting immediately is the Plastic Swear Jar Challenge.

lc3Liz shared so many nuggets of genius and inspiration. Not the least, “Living from the heart makes everything possible.” Her message was not about herself or her incredible accomplishments. It was all about staying awake, being vulnerable and connected while living our own best life with purpose.

Yes, you can get her book and really dive in. (published by Patagonia Books)If you’re like me, her final words really hit home – “Take pride in what you do for Mother Earth – she needs you!”

 

Who Won: Battle of the Paddle 2013

bopstartjudy9There was a moment during the 2013 Battle of the Paddle that will probably remain etched in my memory for a very long time. We were all packed like sardines 4-5 levels deep, shoulder to shoulder with our boards in hand. There were 400+ of us all waiting to hear the horn for “GO!”  The sky was clear, the sun was warm and the set that was rolling in was waist high and beautiful.  I felt the sand under my bare feet and the light weight of my KIALOA Hulu paddle in my hand.

That paddle and I had hundreds of hours and many, many miles of paddling together. We had surfed gnarly Pacific City in cold, chaotic waves. We’d gone up and down the Deschutes rRver through town and around High Cascade lakes all summer long. For several years I’d dreamed of being in that spot – at the start of the BOP. The stars had aligned and here I was! The usual pre-race butterflies simply didn’t hit me – I was super-charged with energy and happiness just being in the midst of so many people prepared to do a pretty challenging event. There was a possibility of a wave set hitting us all at the Hammer buoy turn, sort of like we had just seen with the elite paddlers .  Whatever, I was ready!bophammer7

To most, Battle of the Paddle is the race of the year. People flock to Dana Point, California to participate and watch the carnage of the elite race and to witness the top athletes of standup paddling battle it out. The event itself is one of the largest SUP races in the world  with over 450 open competitors and close to 200 elite competitors. For me, it was a “bucket list” dream come true.

The green line went to the yellow buoy, our first sprint leg of the race. The black buoy is the infamous Hammer buoy

The green line went to the yellow buoy, our first sprint leg of the race. The black buoy is the infamous Hammer buoy

Suddenly the horn sounded and we were off!  People were bumping boards, falling off, and running into each other. It was mayhem! I got hit from behind.  I was being drafted by a guy who later told me he drafted me the entire race. That was cool since he was about 20 years younger. Did he realize he was drafting Granny? (LOL). I didn’t fall and somehow paddled up and over a few waves with a clear shot to the first buoy. That first turn was sketchy with people crowding and falling. I took a wide line far from the buoy and made a clean turn – the race was ON!

People were unbelievably friendly, apologizing for bumps, making way at buoys and generally chatting and laughing.  Parents and kids on separate boards were using the event for a truly great shared experience. They were giving guidance, confidence and support when things got tough on the upwind and side chop legs.  Time sped by, as did the 4.08 miles – too fast.  I was savoring every moment from the feel of the waves breaking over my feet, to the pounding of my heart as I paddled hard, and the wonderful salty air and sunshine.

Before I knew it I was rounding buoy #1 for the last time and it was time for the sprint for the shore.  I was shoulder to shoulder with another paddler and we were both giving it our all. A few hundred yards from shore a set came in and we both felt the first wave billow under our boards. We were ready as the second wave came up we paddled like crazy – I got it! What exhilaration to be propelled with a glassy wave all the way to the shore – holy cow!

bopallA quick back step at the shore break allowed the wave to flow under my board, then it was JUMP ON THE BEACH – LEAVE THE BOARD, KEEP THE PADDLE AND RUN TO THE FINISH! Too soon it was over.  But the epic adventure was just starting for the elite racers. With the OPEN class completed it was time for the elite finals. Spectators stood spellbound as the elite women, in their separate start, showed us what they were made of. It was absolute athleticism and SUP thrills.  The elite men came next. If you haven’t followed the many videos and photos of that event Google it now! Kai Lenny, Connor Baxter, Danny Ching and every competitor gave us a show to remember.

bopcharlesOther dramas played out in the Open course and during the kids’ events. There were wins for all. One paddler in particular was Charles Webb. From an injury sustained in a motorcycle accident, Charlie competed as a paraplegic athlete and an “I can” champion inspiring us all. Riding out on an adaptive board, Charles Webb wheeled onto his vessel and with a nudge from the shore, embarked on the open water course. I saw him managing balance and paddling precision at the #1 buoy during the second lap of the course.  Do yourself a favor and read about Charlie’s journey from rehab, to surfing to the Battle of the Paddle (article here)

jaimek-paddle1

My Kialoa paddle has opened so many door to this “elder” water athlete

bopwin1At the awards ceremony I received a beautiful wooden paddle as a 1st Place trophy for my age group.  I finished somewhere in the top 70% of racers – with about 300 in front of my finish and about 140 behind.

SO who won the Battle of the Paddle? You only had to be on the beach at any point during the entire weekend to know the answer. Every single person who was walking around with paddle in hand had a “win.”

Winners All! We were all part of a gathering of the best in the world and hundreds who were at their personal best. We had amazing weather, brilliant sun and epic events to watch.  We took our paddles and our skills to the ocean and showed up. We put our paddles to the water and self-propelled ourselves over a course full of chaos and unknowns.  We came from near and far to add our energy to a celebration of so many things we love about SUP, surfing, paddling, wind, waves, competition, tradition and camaraderie. We all won! Thanks to Sparky Longley and Gerry Lopez, the Rainbow Sandals family and all the sponsors who made the 6th Battle of the Paddle all that it is. (some stats)bopcollage

SUP Race: What’s a Win?

elklakesup2013

Find a SUP event in your community, register for it, train for it and then simply head on over for fun and friends

Last week I came in dead last in a local standup paddle race – and I won. I won two ways. The first was not so cool – In the 50+ age group (for this 64 year-old) I was the only entrant so I won.

The other way I won was by having an awesome summer day at the lake, meeting new friends and learning lots of new skills.

I often ponder the dynamic between a vibrant SUP paddling community and the SUP racing scene.  On the one hand, everyone from a newbie paddler, to families, to elite racers has a better time on the water with friends.  On the other, racing – competition – can be intimidating.  In paddling, like sailing, tennis, cycling and running, committing to a race event can be the best route to meeting more friends at your level while honing your skills to the next level. Winning – or losing – can easily become a less important side note.

Elk Lake Resorts hosts the Gerry Lopez Summer Series

Elk Lake Resorts hosts the Gerry Lopez Summer Series

In town (Bend, OR) with 50 or more paddleboards negotiating stretches of our Deschutes River almost any time all summer long, there were just 18 participants in one of the best  long course, WPA sanctioned races you’ll find on a fun-family lake. Elk Lake Resort, along with KIALOA Paddles, Standup Paddle Bend sponsored the event followed by a barbecue, included in the race fee. Donations went to the Deschutes Paddle Alliance. Aside from enjoying some of the finest hamburgers, local beer and all the fixings, we had the chance to hang out at the lake all day long. BY 5 PM the Pitchtones were on the point playing for us all as the sun went down and the moon came up.

Having fun honing great technique and celebrating a lot of endurance work - go Tom!

Having fun honing great technique and celebrating a lot of endurance work – go Tom!

Casually, the day turned into endless impromptu technical “clinics” as various participants shared expertise with us all we all learned something new about paddle technique, board attributes, cross-training, the wind and more.  This “free clinic” format mirrored a similar community-building event hosted by KIALOA Paddles at the Bend Paddle Challenge just a month ago. The roaring success seemed to have inspired us all.

The only negative to the entire day was that 25-30 new paddlers, kids and parents were not enjoying the 2.5-mile short course. Instead there were just 3 entrants.

We all fell in while practicing tail turns - best refresher on a warm summer day at Elk Lake Resort

We all fell in while practicing tail turns – best refresher on a warm summer day at Elk Lake Resort

How cool if new paddlers and kids took the chance and got in the short course event. They would paddle hard and come in somewhere. I sewed up “caboose” in the long course, who would have been my short course twin? After fun and new friends at the BBQ we could all take a tour of the bay, check out the pirate ship, swim in the lee side calms and share paddling tips. The excellent fun of the first of the Elk Lake series will be repeated on August 24th and September 14 (followed by a luau and music by Bill Keale.  

You know it – no matter what place you come in you are going to score a WIN if you simply show up – board ready and paddle in hand.  The informal “free” clinic fun of everyone sharing what they know will be icing on the cake.  Please contact me if you have questions, comments or pictures to share.

Some more photos of beautiful Elk Lake (click on the thumbnail for larger image) See YOU August 24th.

Race or no race - who wouldn't want to paddle here

Race or no race – who wouldn’t want to paddle here

Scenic finish line - time for BBQ awesomeness
Scenic finish line – time for BBQ awesomeness

SUP Brands: Culture Beyond the Product

Why do we choose the brands we do?

Why do we choose the brands we do?

The three year-old begs for Barbie, Tonka, HotWheels – and even the iPad. By the teen years the collection of brands we love and must have explode into the hundreds.  As SUP gets more and more popular and mainstream, “brands” and manufacturers for boards, paddles and gear are popping up constantly. What is it about the brands we buy – and what brands should we buy?

strength2

The slogan for the Olukai Ho’olaule’a

We don’t have any paid advertising on the Elder SUP blog, instead we think hard about the brands we use. We write about the expertise, passion, commitment – and the people – behind the brands.  The brands we choose affect us on functional, emotional and social levels. A good example of this is when I put on my yellow Olukai race jersey. With it on I feel the vibe from the culture of the Olukai  Ho’olaulea even on a day like today when I wore it to yoga. It’s a mind-set, a community – and a brand that resonates what it is: OluKai was conceived from a desire to create a better class of products for the life we live in and around the water. That resonates with me.

When we propel ourselves powerfully, gracefully and with friends across the water we appreciate the “story” behind our paddle. Not long ago I wrote about the KIALOA Paddles’ new Hulu race paddle.  At the time, I had heard something about a Gerry Lopez collaboration with Dave Chun on the design of a GL Surf paddle.

Dave and Gerry had many, many conversations about the need for a surf specific paddle. With the very specific design that makes the Hulu  series (Light, Ultra Light and GL Ultralight) a great downwind and race paddle, those same specific attributes leave it vulnerable as a surf paddle.  The Hulu has fine, sharp edges – ideal for racing – but when it is used for surfing some customers mentioned that their boards were being hit and bruised. Surfers dig, brace and fall on their paddles – a surf SUP paddle has to be designed in its own way. The KIALOA Paddles design of a surf paddle would require beefing it up in the areas where needed and modifying the edges specific to the mechanics of surfing.

Here’s where the excellence in a brand and its story come alive! A quick search can lead you to dozens of SUP paddle manufacturers, some of these manufacturers are also designers. Few have the breadth of experience and commitment to excellence, as well as a deep relationship with legends in the sport the way KIALOA Paddles does.  Throughout the design of the Hulu race paddle, Dave Chun and Gerry Lopez had conversations and collaborated. Throughout that process, the plan to eventually create a GL Surf paddle series stayed constant.  The design was born of many ideas coming together.

Dave Chun and Gerry Lopez collaborate and noodle around designs and ideas regularly.

Dave Chun and Gerry Lopez collaborate and noodle around designs and ideas regularly.

I’m not sure if Tom Carroll is aware of his influence on the design of the GL Surf Series but the collaboration with Gerry was constant. Both Dave and Gerry recognized that what Gerry needed in a surf paddle, “everyman, the regular surfer” might not need the same thing.  I thought it was really fascinating to hear (in the video below) about the symmetric profile on the top and bottom of the paddle. If you cut across the paddle’s width you would get a profile in a squished diamond shape.  The reason it is the same on both sides is because SUP surfers brace both on the front side and on the back side of the paddle according to stance, style and the wave.

The paddle has the same hook found on the Hulu Series  design because Tom Carroll and Gerry both wanted that element in a surf paddle.  Even though Dave has had a lifetime of shaping paddles with economy of function and beautiful aesthetic form, he listened to the customers and their experience during the design process of a new sort of edge for the GL Surf series paddle – it is more rounded and wider than the Hulu race paddle. The fatter edge was tough for Dave to design at first, but testing proved that the rounder, soft, “fat” edges would protect the board without jeopardizing performance.

The KIALOA Paddles Hulu race series of paddles will soon be joined by the Hulu surf series.

The KIALOA Paddles Hulu race series of paddles will soon be joined by the Hulu surf series.

There will be a soft release of the 8″ blade (similar to the KIALOA Methane) in the GL Surf series in 2013 – I know, I am drooling for it too.  Over the 2014 year a number of other widths, from 8.5″ to 7.5″, and shafts are scheduled.  KIALOA Paddles is determined to provide excellence at each price point, from the CST to the fiberglass shaft option. If the KIALOA name will be on the paddle, slow and careful design and testing by elite and regular paddlers must come first.  It’s one brand in our SUP life. It’s also a great example of how and why we select the brands we do.
Treat yourself to the video story here:

SUP Surf: Yin andYang

groove_yoga_teachers_3_2373079703

The instructor team at Groove Yoga Bend

The high desert town of Bend Oregon is blessed with a mighty volcanic peak, Mt Bachelor. Surprisingly Bend also hosts a strong surfing and ocean-loving community. In an excerpt from the SRF Mission statement, Bend local, Gerry Lopez, explains, “Even though the sea is Yin and the mountains Yang, a person can seek and find a balance of harmony while enjoying both worlds.” We are glad to enjoy that balanced life with him.  Last Friday evening several dozen lucky yogis met at Groove Yoga Bend for a 90 minute yin yoga class with Gerry.  Every teacher at Groove is uniquely gifted, but there’s no doubt that Gerry’s life experience and commitment to his practice provide a treasured experience. As Gerry encouraged us to allow the postures move into our bodies, rather than pushing our bodies into postures, we had plenty to focus on as we held poses for … a very long time!

Gerry encouraged our focus on breath and allowing thoughts to simply pass through. As we moved toward the balance yin yoga can provide, Gerry’s calm narrative taught us much about the yin and yang of yoga, life and – even surfing. During one segment of pigeon, my wandering mind overcame every attempt at focusing on breathing. I tried to imagine the calm yin one could experience while surfing even while a wave might be a swirling of yang surrounding.

Photo by Jeff Devine

Photo by Jeff Devine

The iconic images we’ve seen of Gerry’s elegant and super-cool style on a wave flashed through my mind.  Within the yang power and seeming chaos of a wave, Gerry is a dot of calm yin a midst it all.   Folded in pigeon pose, my wave images flashed back to wonderful surfing trips at Oregon’s Pacific City. “Breathe, be the yin within the ride,” I said to myself. A few images sprang to mind. At first it was that fear-panic that arose trying to paddle out in short interval, fast moving whitewater. Slowly images morphed into those blue-sky-sunny-glassy day rides that soothe the soul.

Am I a dot of yin among that whirling yang?

Am I a dot of yin among that whirling yang?

Over time in that pigeon I could feel my breath flow into my skiing-punished knee and a tight hip. Breathe in, allow the breath to flow where tightness resides, breathe out and allow relaxation and lengthening. The long time in the posture was like a long time underwater after a washing machine wipeout. Fighting it doesn’t help at all. Allowing a yin sense of calm and focus to drive thoughts and action/inaction opens the door to what we seek – AIR! BALANCE! CALM!

When it comes to standup surfing – or any surfing for that matter – I am pretty much a novice.  But like you, there is a compelling call of water – liquid or frozen, salty or fresh – that we simply can’t ignore.  Like life, we might look at a situation, or sets of waves pounding in at fast-paced intervals and believe, “there’s no way!”

Study and breath - patterns are there

Study and breath – patterns are there

Just like agitation or fear can creep in during a yoga posture, we react similarly in life.  Maybe the next time life – or the surf – throws a scary set your way you can do what you do on the mat.  Allow your breath to calm you. Take time to see where fear or resistance resides. Find a way to discover patterns and order amid the chaos.

We’ve been inspired by Lopez over the years through both surfing and yoga. He explains, “Surfing has a lot of answers to most of the questions in life. Surf is where you find it.”
You might want to find Gerry at one of the many clinics and retreats that host his classes. A great opportunity is provided by Dennis Oliphant and Sun Country Tours

 

Take a moment to enjoy the video:

Safe SUP: Shoulders and Paddles

I have loved and used this KIALOA Paddles for almost 6 years. Exactly right for me!

I have loved and used this KIALOA Paddles for almost 6 years. Exactly right for me!

I have been using the same (now probably vintage) KIALOA paddle for almost 6 years. It has taken me across ocean, surf, downwind, upwind, flatwater and even ice.  It’s always going to stay with me, but today I picked up my incredible, technology rich KIALOA Hulu Ultralight GL  (Read a bit of the story behind the Hulu paddle here).

All the designs on the KIALOA Hulu paddles are cool.  I selected the GL Ultralight with the traditional Gerry Lopez design.

All the designs on the KIALOA Hulu paddles are cool. I selected the GL Ultralight with the traditional Gerry Lopez design.

Anytime you get a new piece of sports equipment: ski boots, skis, a road bike, running shoes – or a paddle, the decision on size, style and fit is always tough. Add to that the age of shoulder and knee joints, back and neck muscles and suddenly the decisions is full of variables, choices and options. What’s cool is that you can connect with the pros at KIALOA via Facebook messages and questions, by going to their blog with comments and questions, or chat with any of their ‘Elele (ambassadors) when you meet them at events. I have found each to be open and eager to share tips and insights. How do you find them at events? Mostly check out the podium or the KIALOA tent.

When I was making the all-important decision about paddle length I watched a lot of videos, talked to a lot of people, and then I did the smartest thing ever.  I borrowed the KIALOA Pupu adjustable paddle for an afternoon on the river. Donning my heart rate monitor and Nike+ as my speed/GPS tool I set off with my old paddle and the Pupu on board.  I paddled for about 20 minutes with my paddle noting speed and heart rate, paddle cadence and perceived effort. I tried to focus on how my shoulders, hips, knees and back were feeling. I went upstream then downstream.

Next I repeated the exact course with the Pupu adjusted to about 1 inch longer than my paddle. I repeated with it 1/2 inch longer, then 1/2 inch shorter. Those sessions were about 10 minutes each. I finished with a 5 minute upstream and 5 minute downstream paddle with my existing paddle.  The resulting decision – I kept my paddle length for my new Hulu at exactly what my old paddle had been. The experience taught me a lot about reach, grab, paddle stroke and upper body technique.

Raising the paddle, level and above my head, with my elbows bent at 90 degrees and equally spaced, I found that my lower hand seemed  too far down toward the blade. I was most comfortable paddling with my lower hand approximately one hand span back up toward the grip.  It’s important to get this hand placement right for you.

The further up your lower hand, the longer the lever arm; distance between lower hand and the center of effort of the blade. Positioning your lower hand too far up the shaft, creates greater reliance on using leverage (pushing forwards with the top arm) as the primary means in generating force to the blade. It’s been a long time since I studied physics or levers, but that basic principle make good common sense.  Using the paddle as a long lever is a very poor use of bio mechanics – and will not make shoulders very happy.

I had a conversation with Karen Wrenn after a longer training paddle sent me home with sore knees.  In a nutshell, she advised me to find a balance in using power generated through pulling from the throat of the shaft (lower hand) and being aware of the rotation (torque) around the my spine and compression downward  through the top arm. Keeping my hips forward and rotating through my upper body (feeling next soreness in lats and upper back) was the recipe for very happy knees.

The bottom line – take your time on the water as you decide upon the right paddle for you. Whether you surf, race, cruise flat-water or meander around in lakes, investing an hour or so with an adjustable paddle can make all the difference for your long term SUP fun!

 

The Power of the Feather: HULU

Hulu means feather in Hawaiian. We sometimes leap to compare a feather with “light as a feather,” but that would ignore other powerful components of a feather. Birds’ feathers are designed to be light but very strong, tough and flexible. Feathers are some of the lightest but strongest materials in nature. When Dave Chun of KIALOA Paddles named the newest in the KIALOA line of paddles the Hulu, the name was an immediate fit.

Before going into detail  about the Hulu line, I’d like to share some bits from a recent conversation I had with Dave in his Bend, Oregon office.  An avid student of nature, water, paddling, observation and the “wisdom of crowds,” Dave provided some fascinating background around his journey toward understanding what creates great paddle design.

While outrigger canoe paddling is the sport of choice for Dave, he has spent a substantial amount of time underwater. It’s not uncommon to spot Dave neck deep in water at a crucial buoy in a race where he’s grabbing some cool action shots. But it’s not such common knowledge that Dave spent many years deep in the ocean spear fishing and designing spears.

It was in that environment that a super-creative, full-of-ideas guy like Dave began to recognize the value of slowing down and being calm. Instead of going fast and chasing a fish, Dave realized that hovering low and quiet by the smaller tropical fish would eventually draw in the larger game fish.  The same would happen when a myriad of ideas tumbled in his head – simply slowing down and being quiet would allow the best ideas to flow into consciousness. 

Experiences in spear fishing allowed Dave to become quite competent at designing spearguns. Years of experience in the world of outrigger paddling also allowed Dave to learn from the bottom, putting real experience to use in developing unique and highly effective paddles. There was no “school of paddle design” or books to read at the time, so Dave’s path to refining his skills to the digital and highly refined level they are now did not include engineering or degrees.

Dave’s formal training was in social work. At first glance there would seem to be little connection between excellent skill for social work and transfer to paddle design. Here is where the “wisdom of crowds” comes into play.   As a social worker, Dave was keen to really listen to what his clients were saying. He encouraged story-telling and let people weave the tales they wanted to share. In almost every case, somewhere deep in a story a nugget of important information would be shared – and Dave honed his listening skills over time.

Instead of doing formal “market study” and test groups, Dave refines designs by getting KIALOA paddles in the hands of diverse types of paddlers. After trying the paddles people tell the story of their experience, sharing things they felt, saw, thought about, wanted, liked or disliked. The “wisdom of crowds,” from the top paddlers, racers, surfers and pros to the everyday paddler all contribute to a distinct line of versatile KIALOA paddles.

The majority of the testing for the Hulu happened in the Pacific Northwest so KIALOA could keep the paddle project on the down low. Karen Wrenn and Cyril Burguiere in Portland, and Beau Whitehead in Bellingham all had prototypes of the Hulu out for a spin. Chuck Patterson was used later in the project as a strength tester – who better?

Chuck with an earlier KIALOA paddle – looking strong as usual.

According to Dave, “Much of the testing was focused on the strength to weight ratio. We wanted the paddle as light as possible, but we did not want to build a ‘disposable’ race item. Our goal is to keep our product out of the landfills. Since we work with plastics, a long service life for our products is necessary. I feel a super light paddle which is disposable is irresponsible.”

Dave explained further, “The Hulu features a brand new shaft, called CST. It currently is available in 2 versions. Light and Ultra Light. The shafts are built with pre-impregnated carbon fiber and are oval in cross section. The system we used to build the shaft is proprietary to KIALOA. The Hulus are our lightest SUP paddles. Some of our racers converted 100% of the time to the Hulu. Others use it as part of a quiver. But most have adopted it as their default paddle. The Hulu is designed to be a race paddle specific to the unique structural demands of racing.“

Personally, I am so eager to get my Hulu paddle that I can barely wait until the January 1 launch date.  I am an “everyday” paddler, far from being either elite or top ranking in any venue.  The need to have the best tool for the job (go straight and go fast) that racers want is not less important for us “everyman” paddlers. The Hulu is just right for me (and you, and your best friend, and Chuck and Gerry and Cyril and on and on).

 Dave and his good friend, Gerry Lopez, work in close proximity. (Be sure to check out the video link) It’s natural for them to check in with each other on a pretty much daily basis. As the Hulu evolved, Gerry’s ideas connected with Dave’s and the paddle became a collaboration of input.  The light sharp edges providing a clean entry and a stiffness ideal for maximum energy transfer made for the pure purpose of the paddle as a race paddle.

As we were talking, Dave reached over to a line of paddles leaning against the wall and pulled out one of the most stunning paddles I’d seen (this from someone hooked on the Hinano and Plumeria designs of the Pipes and Methane).

Dave held out the Hulu Ultralight GL model, GL for Gerry Lopez, for me to see. WOW! Gerry’s name is signed in his trademark script below the logo we all recognize. In bold black and gold colors, the paddle is a work of art. Dave has taken years of ideas and concepts that buzz around in his creative mind, he tempered the ideas with “wisdom” from crowds and from his good friend, Gerry. Hands on digital refinement and observing from experience, life and other pursuits collectively aligned to  result in the Hulu. Focus on using the newest in high grade carbon fibers with a high modulus of elasticity connected to a willingness to try, fail and re-design has brought Dave to the point where he is confident to launch the Hulu. For one, I am jazzed.

Connect with KIALOA or a dealer in your area.  Your Hulu is ready.