Surftech Drives Innovation at the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships

Posted on Jun 25, 2016

Surftech Drives Innovation at the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships

CARLSBAD, Calif. (June 16, 2016) – For more than 26 years Surftech has been pioneering composite technologies in board design and construction for surfers around the world. Surftech brought its innovation to the sport of paddleboarding through the introduction of the first production prone paddleboards with the Velzy and BARK brands; and the Mickey Munoz Ultra Glide, which has long been considered the original SUP. In partnership with the NSP and BARK race lines, Surftech’s signature blend of technology, performance and durability will be the choice for many racers at the 20th anniversary Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships (M2O). New video launched highlighting the paddlers’ experience through the 32-mile open ocean challenge. “Molokai-2-Oahu is the most prestigious race in the sport of paddleboarding,” said Rob Farrow vice president of marketing for Surftech. “Covering 32 miles of open ocean, there is no other race that demands such a high level of dedication and training from its athletes and we know the athletes demand quality in their equipment. This is why we value our commitment to the race and its competitors. Surftech boards have crossed the M2O finish line numerous times under the command of many who have won their respective divisions over the years, as well as current and former champions like Jack Bark, Zeb Walsh, Carter Graves and the legendary Jamie Mitchell who owns the unprecedented winning streak of 10 consecutive world championships established between 2002 and 2011. “M20 is the crowning achievement for paddlers around the world,” said two-time champion Jack Bark who won his titles on the BARK Commander Pro Elite stock board. “It gives our family a sense of pride to see so many men and women in the sport choosing our boards to cross the Ka’iwi Channel. Their feedback helps us build better shapes with Surftech.” Surftech also is the North American distributor for NSP. Together, the brands have worked closely to develop programs that support the entire sport of paddling. NSP’s DC Ocean Race design was under the feet of Travis Grant when he claimed his second SUP title at M2O in 2015. “Winning Molokai-2-Oahu was incredible, but crossing one of the most infamous channels between two Hawaiian islands is a special experience that unites all of us in the SUP and paddleboard world,” said Grant. “When companies like NSP and Surftech collaborate to push the evolution of the sport it benefits everyone whether you’re new to the sport or an experienced pro.” Nearly 20 years ago, as a small group of surfers stood on the shore of Moloka’i about to attempt the first race to O’ahu, they were armed with stock versions of the traditional or prone paddleboard. SUP was introduced to M2O in 2006, creating the world’s first event to showcase top talent in paddleboarding’s two disciplines. Race founder Mike Takahashi competed in the first M2O and has watched the evolution of the sport over the past two decades. “It’s amazing to see what the men and women are accomplishing today and the exponential growth of the sport,” said Takahashi. “I don’t think any one of us in the first race knew global surf brands would be supporting the race and creating the kind of shapes we’re seeing today.”  With growth comes innovation and it’s been exciting to see the channel, with its downwind conditions, be part of the development both in SUP and prone. M2O valued partners include: Kona Brewing Company, Surftech, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Dukes, Patagonia, Garmin, Waterman’s Applied Science, Futures, Blue Rush, Dr Danger, Futures, WND & WVS, Dot Vision, SUP Think Tank, Ocean Paddler, BARK, NSP, Kaenon. About Surftech  Surftech “The...

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Official Artwork for 20th Anniversary Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships Revealed

Posted on May 10, 2016

Official Artwork for 20th Anniversary Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships Revealed

Much like the unpredictable conditions of the Ka’iwi Channel, artist Susan Wickstrand adds texture to her piece for the 20th anniversary Moloka’i-2-O’ahu Paddleboard World Championships (M2O). The artist’s love of the ocean and nature is illustrated in her extraordinary collages, which showcase a host of remarkable images of landscapes and personalities captured in collaboration with many top photographers including Jeff Divine and Art Brewer.

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Hawai’i: Moloka’i-2-O’ahu Paddleboard World Championships to Celebrate 20th Anniversary

Posted on Jan 31, 2016

Hawai’i: Moloka’i-2-O’ahu Paddleboard World Championships to Celebrate 20th Anniversary

Online registration opens Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. New event preview available now on YouTube. The Moloka’i-2-O’ahu Paddleboard World Championships (M2O), presented by Kona Longboard Island Lager will celebrate its 20th anniversary on Sunday, July 31, 2016. Online registration opens today, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 at 8 a.m. PST, and closes Sunday, Feb 21. In response to high demand for race entries, a three-week registration window and lottery system will be used to allocate positions for the international field of prequalified and interested non-prequalified athletes. No entries will be accepted after Feb 21. Solo and team competitors are encouraged to review all information prior to registering. Detailed information is available now on the official event website Molokai2Oahu.com. Athletes can link directly from the site to registration. M2O celebrates the kick-off of the 2016 race announcement with the launch of the first video in a series that will lead up to race day, capturing the experience of crossing the Ka’iwi Channel. To watch the 2016 preview video and other inspiring stories from race history, visit the official M2O YouTube Channel. Paddleboarding fans are encouraged to get the latest M2O news through Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Race day events will be broadcast live from the Ka’iwi Channel through social media.  Look for the live race results dashboard at Moloakai2Oahu.com, which will feature live athlete tracking by DotVision. M2O is an open-ocean endurance paddleboard challenge, featuring racers in both the prone and stand-up (SUP) divisions. Connecting the islands of Moloka’i and O’ahu, this 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 challenging conditions as they navigate the fastest downwind route over one of the deepest channels in the world. Top athletes typically complete the crossing in less than five hours, riding mid-channel waves that can crest more than 12 feet and carry paddlers hundreds of meters at a time.  The race starts on Kaluakoi Beach on the north shore of Moloka’i and finishes in Maunalua Bay on the south shore of O’ahu. Founded in 1997, M2O has grown from a grassroots challenge for the legendary lifeguards and watermen of O’ahu to the premiere event for the sport of paddleboarding. The annual race is a deeply personal experience, challenging every paddler’s physical and mental endurance. Every finisher experiences an individual championship. Valued M2O partners include Kona Longboard Island Lager, Surftech Board Manufacturing Company, Duke’s Waikiki, Maui Jim, Garmin, Patagonia, Hawai’i Tourism Authority, Waterman’s Applied Science, Futures, Doctor Danger, Blue Rush, Bio Astin, Kona Red, SUP Think Tank, Standup Paddle Magazine, DotVision, Ocean Paddler and WND &...

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Hawaii: Athletes Battle Challenging Conditions for Top Spots at 19th Annual Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships

Posted on Jul 27, 2015

Hawaii: Athletes Battle Challenging Conditions for Top Spots at 19th Annual Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships

Australia’s Jordan Mercer gets the nickel in her fifth straight win, two newcomers claim championships in their first crossings of the Molokai Channel and SUP sees two athletes claim their second titles. Honolulu, HI (July 26, 2015) – Crossing the Molokai Channel is never an easy task, but today’s 19th annual Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships (M2O), presented by Kona Brewing Company produced exceptionally  challenging conditions, forcing each athlete to battle for their spot at the finish line. Relatively calm conditions on the Molokai Channel turned to pounding south swell that created massive waves approaching the finish at Portlock Point.  In the end, Australia again dominated the overall leaderboard. Two paddleboarders claimed championships in their first outing across the channel. The SUP division saw strong performances by two athletes who claimed repeat championships from Germany and Maui, and another who claimed his second title in three years. In what she called a grueling paddle, Australia’s Jordan Mercer got the nickel in her fifth straight victory. The 21-year-old powerhouse has repeatedly dominated the women’s unlimited paddleboard race, finishing in a time of 6 hours, 9 minutes, 19 seconds. “Each year it’s a totally different journey and I’m a new person each and every time,” Mercer said of her multiple wins. “I’m so happy to be back on Oahu because that was so hard, but I’m so glad I put in all the hard work (in training) that I did.” On the men’s side, newcomer Matt Bevilacqua, 23, from Australia surprised the men’s field with his victory in his first attempt at crossing the Molokai Channel (5:20:13). “That was pretty awesome … I think the adrenaline really kick in when I crossed the line – I’ve never felt anything like that before,” said Bevilacqua. “It’s always been something in my mind to do. Then to finally get here and finally do it and then to win it – it’s too much.” The men’s stock paddleboard race saw a new champion Sunday who also experienced his first crossing of the Molokai Channel. Kendrick Louis of Australia, 25, was part of a competitive stock race, featuring former champions Jack Bark and Zeb Walsh. Louis bested Bark by just over a minute in today’s competition, finishing in 5:52:08. Australia’s Jordan Mercer got the nickel in her fifth straight victory. The 21-year-old powerhouse has repeatedly dominated the women’s unlimited paddleboard race, today finishing in a time of 6 hours, 9 minutes, 19 seconds. Newcomer Matt Bevilacqua, 23, from Australia surprised the men’s field with his victory in his first attempt at crossing the Molokai Channel (5:20:13) Germany’s Sonni Honscheid claimed her second women’s unlimited SUP championship in a repeat performance with a time of 5:53:18. Australian Travis Grant, 32, wins his second stand up paddleboard (SUP) championship at M2O in a time of 4:59:38. “Mentally, this is one of the hardest things I ever put myself through and I learned a lot about myself along the way,” said Kendrick. “Having never done it before, whether I won or lost was irrelevant, but crossing the line with everyone cheering for you just gave me goose bumps.” Colleen Tessler, 36, from Oahu won the women’s stock paddleboard race in a time of 7:11:20. Australian Travis Grant, 32, won his second stand up paddleboard (SUP) championship at M2O in a time of 4:59:38. Grant appears to excel in tougher conditions. His previous victory in 2013 was just nine minutes faster in a year when conditions in the Molokai Channel also made the athletes work harder for the finish. “There’s no secret, it’s just paddling the shortest distance,” Grant said of the...

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Elite Field Set for 19th Annual Moloka’i-2-O’ahu Paddleboard World Championships on Sunday, July 26, 2015

Posted on Jul 18, 2015

Elite Field Set for 19th Annual Moloka’i-2-O’ahu Paddleboard World Championships on Sunday, July 26, 2015

Live athlete tracking, real-time social media updates and up-to-the-minute race results available on race day at Molokai2Oahu.com. For nearly 20 years the Moloka’i-2-O’ahu Paddleboard World Championships (M2O), presented by Kona Brewing Company have crowned the world’s top athletes in the two disciplines of Stand Up (SUP) and prone paddleboarding. An international field of men and women annually come to the shores of Hawaii to test their strength and endurance against 32 miles of the world’s most powerful portions of open ocean – the Ka’iwi Channel, also known as the Molokai Channel. This year, M2O welcomes back a host of past champions and a new collection of rising stars on Sunday, July 26, 2015 as athletes from 16 countries try to plot the fastest course from the island of Moloka’i to O’ahu. How to follow the race Race fans can visit Molokai2Oahu.com/live for live updates from the Ka’iwi Channel, or watch for updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Race participants and support teams are encouraged to contribute by posting pictures, video and captions under the hashtag #M2O or #Molokai2Oahu. Race organizers will look for the best content from the Ka’iwi Channel and post to the M2O Race Day Live page. Unlimited Paddleboard Category The men’s solo paddleboard division will once again be an all-out Aussie slug fest, featuring three-time M2O champion Brad Gaul. The 36-year-old holds the second fastest time in race history of 4 hours, 43 minutes, 54 seconds. Race founder Mike Takahashi believes Gaul is back to take down the course record of 4:40:31 currently held by 10-time M2O champion Jamie Mitchell. With the 2014 champion Matt Poole out of this year’s race due to injury, the door is wide open for young Rory Chapman, 25, to make a run at Gaul. Chapman’s respectable second-place finish last year (4:58:58) was just minutes behind Poole and solidified his role as a serious competitor for years to come. The men’s field will be pushed by three other Australians who are taking their first crack at the infamous channel crossing. Matt Bevilacqua, 23, is an Australian Ironman competitor and professional water sport athlete. Cory Hill, 26, is the 2015 Maui Jim Molokai to Oahu Surfski champion, and Tanyn Lyndon, 22, is ranked just behind Bevilacqua in the Australian Ironman series, ranked 10th in the series. The women’s race will likely be guided by Australia’s Jordan Mercer, 21, who is paddling for her fifth consecutive M2O championship. In 2011, at the age of 17, the Australian Ironwoman pro and M2O record holder (5:22:31, 2011) was the youngest woman in race history to win the solo division at M2O. Mercer will be joined by the winningest woman in M2O history, Kanesa Duncan-Seraphin, 39. The eight-time champ established the first women’s course record (5:53:49, 2004) on a stock board, which stood the test of time for seven years before Mercer’s arrival. Duncan-Seraphin’s record still holds today as the fastest time in the women’s stock category. Newcomer Maddy Dunn, 21, joins the women’s solo competition for the first time. She is currently eighth in the Australian Ironwoman series and one of the country’s top board paddlers. Stock Paddleboard Category This year’s men’s stock paddleboard field could offer the most competitive race in M2O history, pitting two talented Californians against a loaded Australian squad. The past three races have been defined by Jack Bark, 21, from Palos Verdes, California and Zeb Walsh, 31, from Victoria, Australia. The two have raced neck-and-neck in their previous meetings at M2O – Bark besting Walsh two out of three for top honors. But there is another athlete who has been in the mix,...

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Official Race Artwork by Matt Beard Revealed for 19th Annual Moloka’i-2-O’ahu Paddleboard World Championships

Posted on Jun 19, 2015

Official Race Artwork by Matt Beard Revealed for 19th Annual Moloka’i-2-O’ahu Paddleboard World Championships

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...

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