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SurfingSports Standup Paddle Surf & Standup Paddling BLOG

The latest BUZZ in new standup paddle surfing sports gear.

We showcase the best standup paddle boards, standup paddles, standup paddle accessories with news and views.

StandUp Paddle Sports has the largest, and best, selection of SUP's in the UNIVERSE at our store in Santa Barbara, CA.

Over 150 standup paddle boards currently in stock. New SUP's arriving monthly.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

 

2009 Rainbow Sandals Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard Race

Congratulations to Starboard team rider, Ekolu Kalama, for winning the SUP division at the 32-mile Rainbow Sandals Molokai to Oahu Race held July 26...



Ekolu Kalama (white) led the SUP field out from the start and never looked back. Photo: Bernie Baker.

Ekolu posted his first solo win in the record time of 5:02:06...
He was 20 minutes in front of the next solo standup paddler, the legendary Guy Pere...

The 32-mile Rainbow Sandals Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard Race, presented by Honolua, C4 Waterman, Duke's Waikiki and Maui Jim, is the unofficial world title of the sport and is considered the most brutal physical and mental challenge in the world for the waterman. The race includes divisions for traditional paddleboarding, standup paddleboarding. Both solo and team in each division.

Results here...

In the SUP division, favorite Ekolu Kalama did not disappoint, posting his first solo win in the record time of five hours two minutes and six seconds. Kalama was emotional about his victory. "My grandfather was smiling down from heaven on me today. Words can't explain how I feel."

Australian Jamie Mitchell won the paddle board division. The toughest tidal conditions in years kept Mitchell from breaking the record he set in 2007, coming in 10 minutes slower today at 4:58:25.



Jamie Mitchell conquers crazy conditions off the cliffs of Oahu as he heads home for a win. Photo: Bernie Baker.


"It felt like six hours today," said Mitchell, who couldn't believe he came in under five hours. "The first two thirds was good, but that last third... it took forever to get close, then the current, then the backwash. It was definitely the toughest (race) of the last three or four years for me.

While Ekolu didn't complete the course in a faster time than Mitchell, Kalama sounded like he had more fun on the channel:

"That was like a five-and-a-half hour surf session. I'm not going to have to surf for a while.. I'm good for about a week."

Kalama and Mitchell were rewarded equal prize money for the first time today, thanks to Rainbow Sandals, each receiving $3,000.

The first solo woman SUP-er was Jenny Kalmbach (6:18:31) from the Big Island...she received $750 for her 1st place effort...as did Kanesa Duncan (6:29:29) for 1st place women's unlimited prone...

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Monday, March 23, 2009

 

A Standup World :: Ohana Project

Our friend Ekolu Kalama has been charging some mind bending waves lately all over the planet on the new Starboard SUP's...from the Hawaiian Islands...Sunset Beach on Oahu...to Maui...to secret spots on Molokai...Puerto Escondido...El Salvador...Indo...Teahupoo...Tahiti...Italy...etc...

I don't know of anyone that has been spreading the stoke all over the planet as much as Ekolu...

Image Sources: A Standup World and Ekolu Kalama









Through the Ohana Project, Ekolu has a film coming out soon called "A Standup World"...

Q: What is the Ohana Project?

Ekolu: "Ohana first of all means, "family" in the Hawaiian language. The Ohana Project is a non-profit liaison that inspires and assists individuals, groups, and corporations by giving help in any possible way we can help. It accomplishes this by connecting social innovators with humanitarian causes and packages the results for immediate exposure in mainstream media. Eventually we would like to see everyone become a part of our Ohana Project."

His website says it best:

"Ekolu is a true ambassador of "Aloha" and is the premier torch carrier for the sport of stand-up paddling. He has crossed the globe (literally) promoting this rapidly growing sport. In September 2008, Ekolu became the first to stand-up paddle from Europe to Africa across the Straight of Gibraltar.

Look at where he's been! Where will he go next?"







"A Standup World" trailer:



Standup paddle surfing at Puerto Escondido, Mexico...huge, gnarly , barrels...





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Thursday, December 18, 2008

 

Ekolu Kalama SurferMag



Any time that the mainstream surf media recognizes an alternative waveriding form, it's noteworthy...as they are generally laser focused on shortboarding...

A Scott Aichner gallery on SurferMag shows Starboard team rider, Ekolu Kalama, scoring a nice barrel at Pipeline...



He is riding "The Whopper", a new SUP from Starboard...it's 10' x 34"...
I rode it in the surf last Summer in Oregon...and it was loads of fun...you can't fall off, even when powering out through a river mouth with dozens of breaking waves to go through to get to the outside sandbars...





STAY TUNED: The new 2009 Starboard SUP catalog is an unbelievably gorgeous piece of work...from small kid's SUP's...more waveriders than you can throw a stick at...all the way up through race boards and touring "boards"...even a 2-piece SUP...the 2009 Starboard SUP line is the most complete and well engineered SUP line on the planet...the selection is 2nd to none...come by the shop for a L@@K see...

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DON'T FORGET EVA HOLLMANN'S (the BoardLady) RETIREMENT PARTY THIS SATURDAY AT OUR STORE : NOON UNTIL 6 PM...
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

 

Ekolu Kalama & Ohana Project

"It's a simple equation: surfing = stoke = happiness..."

It's been my mantra for life...surfing for life...stoked for life...



Here's something pretty kewl that you should know about...and, hopefully participate in with Ekolu Kalama and friends...the Ohana Project...

"With the advent of the Stand-up Paddleboard, surfers have cut the umbilical cord to mother ocean. We can take surfing inland where there doesn’t even have to be waves. Thus, a whole new terrain is wide open for exploration. The Ohana Project is the first to see just how far surfers can go with our newly acquired mobility. There are lakes in Africa, rivers in South America, canals in Egypt and people, old and young ready to find their inspiration. As a former surf instructor, I can already imagine the look on people’s faces when we put them on a surfboard for the first time."



Ekolu Kalama signed with Starboard SUP in May 2008, he has since spent most of his time traveling across the globe either to participate in the biggest SUP races, or to find the most hardcore waves on this planet. He is one of these characters that is full of positive energy and is spreading his good vibe not only through his passion for the water, but also through his music. Next year will take a little different slant for Ekolu as he is just about to finish a pilot for an SUP TV series. We caught up with Ekolu to see what the project is actually about.

What is the Ohana Project?

Ohana first of all means, "family" in the Hawaiian language. The Ohana Project is a non-profit liaison that inspires and assists individuals, groups, and corporations by giving help in any possible way we can help. It accomplishes this by connecting social innovators with humanitarian causes and packages the results for immediate exposure in mainstream media. Eventually we would like to see everyone become a part of our Ohana Project.

Who are you working with?

The founders of the Ohana Project are myself, John Perell, and Scott Mortensen. We will be the core of the project but will be working with a lot of partners and "Ohana" members.

Are you making a pilot for a Stand-Up movie?

Yes. Our show is called "A Stand-Up World" and I would like to see it become a television series. If a network doesn't purchase it then we are going to make it a 2 hour movie. For now, I will speak this into existence and say that the pilot for our weekly television series will be released Jan. 1st 2009. It is getting a lot of support already and I imagine it will sell rather quickly.



What destinations are you going to for shooting?

Our first two destinations, episode one, is going to turn the world on its ear! We are headed to the Roatan Bay Islands, Honduras, where our main task will be to dig a fresh water well which will provide drinking water to an entire village. Our second destination will be in El Salvador where I will be performing a benefit concert for Libras De Amor, an organization that helps fight malnourishment in that country as well as other Central American countries. Two years ago I played in a similar concert and raised $1500 for that organization. My hour and a half of music was enough to feed 24 people for one full year! This year we are going to do better than that and are hoping to feed twice as many people. At every destination we will be teaching the locals how to stand-up paddle and will be leaving stand-up boards and paddles as tokens of goodwill.

EKOLU KALAMA PHOTO: Kyle Juk



What other Stand-Up Paddlers will we see in this movie?





You never know who will show up as a special guest on our weekly series so you have to tune in. We have a lot of support and everyone wants to be a part of "A Stand-Up World" and "The Ohana Project". It's not strictly for stand-up paddlers but for anyone who wants to stand-up and help out. We have a long list of musicians, watermen, professional athletes, celebrities, and even the U.S. President elect, Barak Obama, will be making an appearance or two.



Your willingness for helping other people is quite remarkable. Have you made any other charity foundations in the passed?

I've worked with charities before but this is the first charity that I've actually started.

Thanks a lot Ekolu, we wish you the best of luck for your project.

If anyone would like to be a part of A Stand-Up World and The Ohana Project or would like to remain up to date with our happenings, you can visit our website at www.astandupworld.com/ "I'm in.....are you in?"

EKOLU KALAMA PHOTO: by Eric Aeder

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

 

Starboard Fish Bowl

Here's a killer shot of Starboard team rider, Ekolu Kalama, guiding his Fish through a glassy bowl in Tahiti...



This is just a taste of the photographic work that Margareta Engstrom has been up to lately at her role as head of Starboard's media department...

Here's a teaser of the cover for the 2009 Starboard SUP catalog...we have heard chatter that it's the nicest watersports catalog EVER produced...



We are just receiving another container of Starboard SUP's...plenty Fish...and all the other great Starboard SUP product...including the new 2009 SUPer 12'6"...

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

 

HOLY SHMOLY!!!

Dunno if you've stumbled across any of the big wave SUP photos trickling out of Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca Mexico lately...

Edwin Morales professional bodyboarder and XXL Billabong Monster Tube Award Photo winner, snapped this sick pit of Starboard team rider Ekolu Kalama at Playa Zicatela, aka the Mexican Pipeline...



Chuck Patterson, Hobie team rider, was captured by photog Tim Ditty, dropping into some Puerto death pits...



You can catch CP's Puerto article at SUPSURFMAG

I want to see video of the wipeouts...the Mexican Pipe is known for breaking boards and people...heaps have died here...

I used to trek down to Puerto (and environ) a couple of times a Summer to get out of the small wave Summer doldrums in Santa Barbara...and to keep tuned up for mysto Central & North Coast big wave spots...





















Had the pleasure of sk8ing and trading barrels with talented (& tormented) Dogtown skater Jay Adams...



Jay bumped into a few problemos along the way of life...but, he's trying to get it back on track...



There's always counseling available...even, in Mexico...;-)

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

 

Ekolu Kalama Interview / Rainbow Sandals Gerry Lopez Battle of the Paddle


Here's a video clip interview with Starboard stand up paddle team rider Ekolu Kalama, three time winner of the Standup division of the Quiksliver Molokai crossing race.
Ekolu reflects on his tour around the U.K. and big wave surfing at Jaws with Laird Hamilton. Video by www.standuppaddlesurf.co.uk

Since becoming Starboard's top standup gun, Ekolu has been traveling the world Duke style...spreading the stoke of standup by walking the walk...and then, talking the talk...

"Ekolu Kalama won the Oxbow Distance Race that was part of the famous Paddle Round the Pier Beach Festival in Brighton, England. Ekolu flew in to the UK especially to compete in the event. Using Starboard's The Point 14'8" he paddled strong in blustery conditions to take the top spot.

The evening party saw the paddlers and public come together for some live music. Ekolu rocked the capacity crowd with his guitar, playing a mixed set of Hawaiian songs and modern classics. Playing for over an hour Ekolu showed that he is not just an awesome paddler, but he can entertain the crowds after dark too. Ekolu who has been known to organize stage shows at short notice to benefit local kids in poorer countries is a big hearted man, who carries the spirit of the ocean and his people with him. Starboard is very proud to have him as a SUP team rider."

In a few days, we'll be getting some paddling tips from Ekolu in person...perhaps, we can talk him into sharing some of his world class expertise with the rest of us mere mortals here in Santa Barbara...;-)

Also, we want to share the info on the Rainbow Sandals Gerry Lopez "Battle of the
Paddle"
race/event.



"That stand-up paddleboarding has become the coast’s fastest-growing ocean sport should come as no surprise. Combining surfer’s balance skills and wave riding with canoe paddler’s endurance and speed, SUP harkens back to the surfing’s Golden Age, when in the 1940s and ‘50s calling yourself a surfer meant mastering a broad variety of ocean skills.

Now come celebrate the modern West Coast waterman’s lifestyle at the Rainbow Sandals Gerry Lopez’s Battle of the Paddle, a stand-up paddle festival/exposition with a series of races and demonstrations that offer ocean athletes of all ages and skill levels the chance to experience this exciting new sport.

Staged at Dana Point’s historic Doheny State Beach, the Battle of the Paddle is more than an ordinary paddle race. For the sport’s elite paddlers it presents the first-ever championship styled SUP race featuring an offshore course that tests not only endurance but also the open-ocean and surfing skills of the world’s best men and women stand-up paddle racers. Not to mention a cash purse of over $25,000.

Invited competitors on stock (12’6”) SUP boards, will complete multiple laps on a circuit that will include beaching their equipment through the surf for a short run around a course flag on the sand. This exchange will challenge competitor’s technical and athletic skills as well as create great spectator drama. There will also be an age-group race open to all SUP craft categories (12’6” stock, 14 ft. and unlimited) that will compete on the same circuit course without the exchange.

For the recreational paddler and newcomers to the sport The Battle of the Paddle’s exclusive festival/exposition is an extraordinary opportunity to paddle with legendary watermen like Gerry Lopez, Dave Kalama, Jamie Mitchell, Kyle Mochizuki, Colin McPhillips, Titus Kinimaka and many more. You’ll meet the world’s best shapers, check out the latest board designs and paddle innovations and naturally there will be demo boards and paddles of all shapes and sizes available for those who want to perfect their stroke or even try SUP for the first time."

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

 

Starboard Signs Ekolu Kalama

Breaking news on the coconut telegraph...

Big news for a BEEEEG Molokai boy...
The two time winner of the 32 mile Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard race , Ekolu Kalama, has signed on with Starboard...
Pic below shows Ekolu on one of the new 2009 Starboard SUP prototypes...



From the Molokai Dispatch
By Jennifer Smith

Is there anything more pure and fantastic than a boy’s dream? How about when that dream becomes a man’s reality?

For as long as Ekolu Kalama can remember he wanted to be a professional surfer, but for almost just as long, people have told him he couldn’t do it. To those people Kalama says, "if it's your dream, it's your dream-and no one can criticize it."

After several years of hard work and trying dedication, Kalama made his dream a reality last May when he became one of the first Stand Up Paddle (SUP) surfers to receive a sponsorship.

SUPing is a newly popularized sport where surfers use elongated canoe paddles to propel themselves on longboards. The oversized surfboards allow SUPers to keep their balance and remain standing whether they’re on a wave or not.

Starboard, a famous board making company in the windsurfing industry, snatched up the Molokai born paddler and surfer in hopes that he will assist in designing a signature SUP board, and help to further popularize the sport.

To understand how a former Molokai High School graduate ended up on the beaches of Maldives testing boards and taking part in photo shoots the story needs to rewind two years.

Kalama was turning 30 in a few hours, and felt what he describes as a “mid-life crisis of sorts.” Sitting on Makaha beach, waiting for midnight to hit so he could jump in the water, he saw his friend Duane DeSoto playing with his kids.

Something about the image stuck with Kalama and while out in the water catching waves and contemplating his life, he stopped. "I said ‘this is the life I want!’"

"Everybody thought I was crazy," Kalama said, explaining how people reacted when he gave up one of the best jobs on the island, as a firefighter. Friends and family argued that the 10 day per month work requirement left him with more than enough time to surf.

But, Kalama realized he had to make sacrifices if he wanted to go all the way, and it would take nearly two years, and several tries before he would realize he made the right decision.

Broke and worn, “it didn’t seem like the doors were going to open,” Kalama said. The fire department gave him three years to go back, and every month for several months he filled out the paper work to return, but each time "it was like pulling teeth for me to go back."

Now with a sponsorship and a busy summer schedule that includes stops in Bali, England, California, Spain, and France, Kalama knows his sacrifices were worth it. "I feel like I have natural abilities God gave me," and I wasn't able to use them at the fire department.

Kalama credits his cousin Dave Kalama and infamous big-wave rider Laird Hamilton for introducing him to SUPing. "Laird gave me my first board and paddle" nearly two years ago, he said.

"I was surfing before I can even remember," Kalama said. And coming from a well-known family of canoe paddlers, "it was a common sense natural match for me."

"It's been my childhood dream to be a professional surfer," Kalama said, explaining how excited he is to be doing what he loves. His experience has taught him that you can accomplish your dreams, no matter how great, and he hopes to pass on this attitude to his two young sons.

A two-time World Paddling Champion in the Molokai-to-Oahu race, he said now he just needs to earn a surfing world title.

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