Futures Fins create custom fin featuring race artwork for division champions
The Moloka’i-2-O’ahu Paddleboard World Championships (M2O), presented by Kona Longboard Island Lager today revealed the official 2015 race art by Northern California artist Matt Beard. Beard is no stranger to the event, having produced the wildly popular M2O artwork in 2012 that helped define the experience of crossing the Ka’iwi Channel for many of the paddleboarders. Beard’s piece became so engrained in the culture of M2O; some athletes honored his work and celebrated their race with tattoos of the skeletal flying fish featured in his original piece.
This year Beard built on the iconic flying fish, which depicts a creature gliding along ocean swells with an expression of grit and determination every athlete feels as they test their endurance across 32 miles of the Channel of Bones.
M2O resonates with Beard. He compares the grueling open-ocean race to being an artist. Trying to make a livelihood from making art can be a test of endurance like no other, but Beard’s passion for ocean, surfing and art kept him going when he considered giving up on his art years ago.
“I was honored to be asked back to create this year’s race artwork,” said Beard. “I envisioned the art from the paddlers’ perspective in mid-channel where the flying fish are prevalent and then it dawns on you – you’re alone over one of the deepest ocean channels in the world. I have so much respect for these athletes because they are paddling really heavy water.”
Futures Fins, a long-term partner with M2O has pushed the envelope with the design of custom downwind paddleboard fins. This year, they have incorporated Beard’s artwork into a commemorative fin that only will be awarded to division winners from this year’s race.
“This is a special race – there is nothing easy about it,” said Futures Fins’ Founder Vince Longo.
“These paddleboarders need to be committed to the training necessary to cross the channel and Futures is committed to supporting their sport. We love the way Matt’s art came out on this year’s commemorative fin and we can’t wait to showcase it at this year’s race.”
For more information visit Molokai2Oahu.com.
Valued M2O partners include (alphabetically): Bluerush, Dr. Danger, DotVision, Duke’s Waikiki, Futures, Garmin, Hawai’i Tourism Authority, Kona Longboard Island Lager, Kona Red, Maui Jim, Ocean Paddler, Patagonia, Standup Paddle Magazine, Surftech, Waterman’s Applied Science and WND & WVS.
About the Moloka’i-2-O’ahu Paddleboard World Championships, presented by Kona Longboard Island Lager
The 19th edition of the Moloka’i-2-O’ahu Paddleboard World Championships (M2O), presented by Kona Longboard Island Lager, is set for Sunday, July 26, 2015. Founded in 1997, M2O has grown from a grassroots challenge for the legendary lifeguards of O’ahu to the premiere event in the sport of paddleboarding. The race annually crowns world champions in the two disciplines of traditional (prone) and stand-up (SUP) paddleboarding. Connecting the islands of Moloka’i and O’ahu, the 32-mile race crosses the Ka’iwi Channel, also known as the Moloka’i Channel. Men and women from more than 20 countries will face strong currents as they navigate the fastest downwind-route over one of the most beautiful and powerful channels in the world. Top athletes can complete the crossing in less than five hours, riding mid-channel waves that crest more than 12 feet and carry paddlers hundreds of meters. M2O starts on Kaluakoi Beach on the northwest shore of Moloka’i and finishes in Maunalua Bay on the southeast shore of O’ahu. The annual race is a deeply personal experience, challenging every paddler’s physical and mental endurance. Every finisher experiences an individual championship.