A Paddlers Expectations – by: Vic Anthony Allen

A Paddlers Expectations – by: Vic Anthony Allen. What exactly is on my mind when I enter the water and train; what are the driving forces, my purposes.

Vic-Allen-55What do I want to achieve, what do I expect, what will I accept?
I hate it when I get all intellectual,rational and analytical.
Enter water,paddle hard,feel good, go home. What more is there to say?
Guess that’s why we’re blessed with intelligence, that we might question and wonder, develop and resolve.
Does that mean I have to answer the dopey questions I presented earlier? Yes!
I’ll give it my best shot… remember, I’m no B-29, said the B-59 to the wind and rain and fire.

What’s on my mind when I get in the water?
First and foremost, I review my physical and mental capacities to ascertain my ability to
train well or at all on the particular day. That I shall train is not a given, as it was
only a few years ago.
If I don’t pass muster, I think tomorrow. Tomorrow always comes, so far.
It’s very important I’m sufficiently fueled (mahalo Hammer Nutrition it works), I have my
paddle (mahalo Kialoa Paddles ), I’m appropriately attired (fav sunglasses mahalo Maui Jim),
I have a notion of my workouts (stressing on technique, willing muscle groups, agreeable
workout… including sprints , distance ) and a psyche (psychological prep) is in the works!

What are my driving forces, my purposes?
Beyond technique, endurance,power and menacing, I want to complete the workout without
disaster and get home in one piece. Just kidding… I pass on menacing.
The workouts are all about the performance of the right movements, the blend and flow,
the groove and finesse, crisp, calculated exertion, total involvement with maximum
training appreciation.
Think taste and flavor to a chef, consistency, aroma, texture and appeal of presentation
of an exotic dish…MMMM, you’re drooling!! Ha.

What do I want to achieve?
Oh, that I might add to this ordinary life. More directly, I want immortality, wealth,
power and a female puppy. Just the puppy would probably do fine.

What do I expect?
Another workout, a decent pump, solace of the body, mind and spirit, temporary evasion of
guilt, a slice of fulfillment, a scoop of satisfaction, a dash of exhilaration, a nod of
knowing from another deranged paddler across the water, obsessive overtraining and the
barest maintenance of muscle and might topped off with two miles of maddening traffic
thru Kapa’a on the way home… UGGH!

What will I accept?
Whatever I can get, 8-15 miles of selectively random movements with a minimum of 80-percent
focus and exertion, survival with a grin and exiting the va’a on my own two feet!

Cya on da water..never a pun intended…ha!

What are your expectations?

With Honor – by: Ruthie Reyes

With Honor
By: Ruthie Reyes

Having the honor to be on a Northern California paddling team was an experience I
would have not believed myself doing in a million years. I’ve been paddling since I was
seven years old, not knowing how much this sport would make me crave for it more and more.
Growing up I fell in love with outrigger canoeing every time, every minute I was out on
the water. Since then I had this determination, this dream to race in both Southern
California and Hawai’i. So being asked to be on the first junior Norcal team was
unbelievable. Knowing that outrigger paddling is growing and the next generation of keiki,
are the next ones up for an exciting future,in long distance outrigger paddling

withhonorWhile training for the 2015 Catalina Crossing, which is a two day event; consisting of
women, men, coed,and youth crews racing 27 miles starting from Newport Harbor and
finishing at Catalina Island. Throughout trainings, it challenged me in ways that I did
not know were inside of me. It not only pushed my limits but also my teammates, every time we were all out on the water.

Going into this journey with the Norcal team, we became more than just a team. We are more like a family to each other. At our first practice we were all a pretty quiet group of girls, ages 1618.

But time passed along and by the time we knew it we all grew this one big friendship, and
nothing will break us apart. Knowing we all had each others backs, we knew we could face
all the challenges we had coming towards us and we would face it all together as a team,
as sisters.

Going through the months, leading up to the big race it really changes you as a person
and also teaches you so much more about how to read the waters, team work, and knowing
your capability in a canoe. As a steers person I really had to get out of my comfort zone
and be confident in myself. Being the loud and encouraging steers person, you really want
your team to know that you are right there, right behind them the whole way. Also as a
paddler, you really gain a lot of trust in each other. We told each other that we were
going to work hard every minute in that canoe but to still have fun.

By crossing that finish line at the end of the Catalina Crossing, we were one of three
keiki crews with a total of 68 crews overall. This experience allowed me to successfully
see one of my two dreams I have for myself come true. As we approach a new season, I have
been training on the oc1 for our time trials with aspirations to make the Nor Cal 2016
team in hopes of achieving other big races.

My words of encouragement is, no matter how young you are or if you are a group of
girls, you can do it. It may be a lot of work but the pain doesn’t last forever and in the end it’s all worth it.


With the help of Brent Allen and Danielle La’a. There is a fundraiser, selling trucker
hats to help Keiki ( kids ) of Ke kai O’Uhane Outrigger canoe club for the upcoming 2016
sprint season. Hats can be purchased through me at the next two upcoming events. Norcal
time trials in Alameda the Encinal boat ramp, February 6th from 9am 11am.

Also at the annual Ke Kai O’Uhane Annual Lū’āu, February 27th will be located at Keanu’s
crafts booth from 5pm 9pm. There are only 23 hats available. The first edition hat is
black with a purple logo, only 3 left. Second edition, is a yellow hat with a blue logo
only 19 left and also a grey hat with a yellow logo, 1 left. They are selling fast, get
a hat before they all sell out. Thank you for the support.With honor

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SUP Adventure in New Zealand

Welcome to 2016!  KIALOA looks forward to sharing adventures near and far throughout this new year!  New comers to the KIALOA ‘Elele family last year, Kevin and Christian have kindly shared an expert from their SUP Adventure in New Zealand.  Enjoy…

SUP Whitewater in New Zealand

The green lush forest, the tropical looking palm trees, and the tight gorge makes you feel like your in the most remote places in New Zealand. The Upper Kaituna in Rotorua was the river we had our minds set on paddling. We were lucky enough to scout the river with professional kayaker Sam Sutton who owns Rotorua Rafting which takes tours down the highest commercially rafted waterfall drop in the southern hemisphere daily. He invited us on a raft trip to scout the river for SUP. While rafting the Kaituna, Sam and his raft guides do an incredible job of making you fear what’s ahead while also making you feel safe. They teach you about the Maori culture and before you hit that 7 meter drop they have you say a Maori prayer asking permission to pass. I asked Sam and his guides if the front of the boat would go under and he replied the whole Freaking raft is going under! After rafting the Kaituna I was a bit intimidated by the tight channels and big drops while my husband Kevin couldn’t wait to SUP it the next day.

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The Kaituna has a Slalom course right at the beginning of the upper part of the river where I spent most of my time practicing and watching all the pros train. There were a ton of hard core rafters getting ready for the International rafting championships in Indonesia. Mike Dawson Olympic kayaker and World Champion from NZ offered for Kevin and I to come have dinner and stay at his place the night before we were getting back on the river on the SUP’s. He made us an amazing dinner and we talked a lot about both our travels and future plans. His training schedule inspired us and he got us all pumped up for the next day.

The slalom course consists of a few fun drops and nice eddy turns which are the perfect warm-up that can be lapped over and over – and we did. Mid day we met up with Rotorua Rafting and followed their rafts down one of the most beautiful rivers we have ever seen. On the river are three Class IV drops and over a dozen amazing Class III rapids. All in all it was one of the best days we have ever had on the river and our Kialoa Insanity Swift paddles were the perfect whitewater paddles to have for their durability and lightweight. The rapids and scenery were out of this world – but the people we met and became friends with made the experience truly unforgettable and that is what paddling is all about – being together on the water.

Dave’s Design Principles

Daves-desing-btnDesign Innovation KIALOA has been building products for paddlers for over 24 years. Where does the inspiration for paddle design come from? To answer this question, I had a conversation with designer and owner Dave Chun.


Question: Where does your inspiration for paddle design come from?

Dave: I owe a debt of gratitude to the sport of Outrigger Paddling. Paddling gave me a life direction. I repay my debt, by designing the best paddles possible for the paddlers.

The Paddler Equation 

Question: When you build, how do you know ‘what’ to build?

Dave: I listen to the paddlers, they tell me what to build. When paddlers tell me what to build, it is rarely specific. Most times the image of what they desire is not clear to them. The comments I get are really about themselves, the paddler. Not the paddle. My job is to take their feelings and translate it into the paddle.

Question: Where does your information you gather come from to determine what to build?

Dave: I believe in “The Wisdom of Crowds”.  James Surowiecki, writes in his book that a group of people with average intelligence will tend to be better at solving a problem than a single expert. Because of this, I try and get information from all levels of paddlers. Individually, the information has limited value, as it is only one person’s opinion. But when I put the entire piece together, it becomes my road map for what I need to build.

When I am shaping a new paddle model, I think about the people who will use it. It’s like a video loop that repeats over and over in my head. How big are their hands? How much force will they apply? Will they be bracing? Will they be steering? Some of my thought is analytical and conscious; sometimes my hands just know what to do.

On A Personal Note

Question: Aside from customer feedback, what drives your decisions from within?

Dave: I have always been small. To compete with larger, stronger, athletes, I have always had to excel at the technical aspects of sport. The laws of Physics govern all things in the universe. All humans have similar biomechanics. So, I am always asking myself, “Does this make sense, considering Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion? “Is this how the human body works?” I study sports videos, mainly MMA, weightlifting, and paddling. Hitting a golf ball, throwing a punch, all human powered sports are about leverage and engaging the large muscle groups.

Question: What inspires you to create?

Dave: I am most creative when I believe I can improve the design of something. I enjoy the pursuit of perfection. Jiro Ono, the great sushi chef, said, “How will our customers know great sushi, if we do not know it ourselves.’’ I am inspired by art, music, and craft, anyone who is willing to dedicate their life to being creative. Innovation is an outcome of being willing to fail.

Straight from the Designers Mouth – A Summary of Dave’s Design Principles

A paddle should become part of the paddler’s body. A good paddle should “disappear” in the hands of the paddlers. If the paddler doesn’t have anything to say about my paddle, then I have done my job. What’s the best pair of running shoes? The one that doesn’t give you blisters.

Build it to last a lifetime. Yvon Chouinard says, “The poor cannot afford to buy cheap goods”. Meaning, if a consumer has to buy an item over and over again, it is not good for the customer, nor is it good for the Earth. Broken paddles ruin my day. I think, “Did someone lose a race because of me?” “Did I ruin a vacation?”

Simple is better. No frills, no gimmicks – only the bare essentials.

The Catch is everything. I build my paddles to enter the water like a Gold Medal Olympic dive. Clean, no splash. When I shape the tips of my models, I think about my hands and swimming. The tip is the most important feature to get right, where the catch is concerned. I like to shape the tips with a soft sponge backing the sand paper. It’s as if the curve in my hand becomes the shape of the tip’s power hook or arc.

Bigger isn’t always better. Get the blade surface area right. Paddles provide traction, or friction. They are like the tires on a car. Once maximum traction has been achieved for the horsepower or handling potential of a car, more traction is not of more benefit. A bigger paddle does not mean a paddler will go faster. Generally speaking, the faster the craft moves, the larger the blade that can be used. The only method to figure out what is the optimal surface area for a given paddler is trial and error.

The paddle must connect the paddler with the water. A paddle must “load” to give the paddler feedback on their technique. I believe there is a fraction of a second at the moment power is applied when the paddle loads. To feel this, the paddle must flex. This is why I design my blades to flex slightly. Feedback on technique is essential for continued progress in paddling efficiency.

There is no such thing as sprint racing in paddling. I believe all paddling races are middle distance to long distance races. At the finish of a 10 second, 100-meter sprint, the runners are slowing down. Thus, I design all my paddles for comfort. If the paddler is comfortable, they are better able to endure.

The ultimate paddle does not exist. Paddles are like golf clubs. If they excel at some aspect of paddling, they will be inferior at another. I design for a specific attribute. In the case of an all-around design, the attribute is to be neutral.

No matter the price point or skill level of the paddler, I will give 100% in my design process. Regardless of their skill level, fitness level or budget I believe that all paddlers deserve good gear.

—Thank you Dave Chun for your continued contribution to the sport of paddling and sharing your Design Principles.