The Queen Liliuokalani Race

This September I was slated to attend The Queen Liliuokalani Race (the Queen’s race) to work in the KIALOA booth. I had no intentions of racing. However, a woman named Annie McEveety Allen stroked the Napali race I had just done the month before and she was going to be in Kona. She said, “Come on – let’s do Kona”. So two weeks before the race, we called up friends and we put a masters crew together and decided to race Iron in a Koa canoe.

Left to right: Annie McEveety Allen, Mindy Clark, Julie Wolfe, Meg Chun, Cynthia Hahn, Lisa Jakubowski

Left to right: Annie McEveety Allen, Mindy Clark, Julie Wolfe, Meg Chun, Cynthia Hahn, Lisa Jakubowski

Annie – what a go getter. I arrived in Kona on Wednesday night and on Thursday I was at the airport picking up two employees when Annie called. She said, “Can you get down to the pier in the next hour to race in the 4 man race? I already registered you.” I told her, “Yep, I can make it but I’m wearing a dress.” Now here is where I have to plug Title Nine – a women’s clothing line. I was wearing one of their dresses and they had a marketing campaign this summer called “Do It in a Dress”. That cracked me up. Anyhow, I get down to the pier to learn that this race entails a mandatory huli – a flipping of the canoe. “Hmmmm….interesting. Guess I”ll be doing that in this dress too.”

On Saturday we raced iron for 18 miles in a koa canoe that was loaned to us by Kai Opua Canoe Club.   It was rigged, had padded seats and was sitting on the beach waiting for us. We can’t thank them enough! We took off from the line and never looked back. It was hot as hades and really challenging both mentally and physical due to the extreme heat and humidity. But we managed to pull off a First Place with our Masters crew in the Koa division.

Come Monday, I got to race again in the Ali’I Challenge with my home away from home Kailua Canoe Club. This is where my husband Dave and I learned to paddle 30 years ago. This is where we still have many deep bonds, many life long relationships. This is where KIALOA was born – through our love of outrigger paddling. Kailua Canoe Club will forever be in our hearts and racing with them in the Ali’i Challenge was one of the more fulfilling things I have done.

All in all, what a great summer of racing. To end the season in Kona was a gift.

— Meg Chun




The Bucket List

In December of 2014 I was given the go ahead to return to “working out” via Pilates after several years of neck problems and migraines. I immediately committed to 3 mornings a week at 6:30 am, rain, snow or shine. And at the same time, I set a goal to do one of my bucket list outrigger races – The Napali Challenge. One thing about setting goals, even if they are quietly living inside your head, the intention usually makes the goal come to fruition. Napali

Fast forward to August 2015 and I am flying down the Napali Coastline with 5 amazing women and a crew of 6 men cheering for us from the escort boat. And one of those men – my hero – Vic Allen was the one who brought this whole experience together. Vic is an amazing paddler, funny, driven, hard working, loving – and did I mention? He’s also blind. “NLP”, he tells me. “No light perception.” This means without even a shadow Vic Allen is jumping into the ocean and doing water changes. Then paddling miles at a time in rough ocean waters.   He truly is an inspiration. If you want to learn more about Vic, check out this videoNapali 2015

After the race, we did all of the typical team stuff. We talked story, we laughed, we shared meals, we took pictures, and we all formed new bonds. And we were lucky enough to have Whosane Sayre document our adventure in a video that we will all cherish. Check that video out here.



— Meg Chun

Travels to Europe by Gillian Gibree

This past June, I traveled over to Europe to teach some SUP Yoga & Fitness workshops in Switzerland, run a few rivers on my SUP, and hike through the beautiful Alps. I bought my inflatable and Kialoa travel paddle that fit inside the board bag perfectly.
I landed in Berlin, Germany where I visited my family for 3 days before flying south.
Once I got to Switzerland, I was lucky enough to travel around the entire country, starting with the Italian border for an 18K paddle race, a part of the Swiss SUP tour.
After the long paddle I enjoyed a true Italian meal – wine, salami, prosciutto, salad, pasta with spicy marinara, polenta with beef, different cheeses, dessert, and espresso!
Tree Pose

Tree PoseI

I met up with the coordinator of the tour Dani Reini, who is also the river expert of Switzerland, and ran the Weissnburg River in Bern. The water levels were high after a heavy rain the night before, so the water was moving!

Weissnburg River









After getting my adrenaline pumping, we found a nice calm area on the river to wind down with some SUP Yoga. The next stop was the French border – and after a challenging hike in the Alps  I headed to Montreax to teach a SUP Yoga workshop and it was by far the most beautiful yoga ‘studio’ I had ever seen!

After my Switzerland tour, I took the train to Chamonix, France to meet up with my friend Lauren for some hiking, cheese, and of course Baguettes!




SUP Yoga

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SUP and Charity

Paddling For A Cause

Paddling for the good of others can be quite a rewarding experience.  SUP and charity have united to bring you local and national events to raise money for causes. Last weekend in Salem, MA, a gathering of SUP enthusiasts and KIALOA Ambassadors shared their passion for paddling while contributing to a worthwile cause.  The Plummer Home is a non-profit shelter that provides housing and education for orphaned and foster children in the Boston area.  Spin classes, SUP Yoga, Race Clinics and a 1 Mile Recreation and 6 Mile Elite race helped to raise over $50,000 for this event.

Highest Fundraising Individual Receiving Award

Highest Fundraising Individual Receiving Award

Men's 12'6" Eliet Division Winners Johnny O'Hara and Andrew Kellar

Men’s 12’6″ Eliet Division Winners Johnny O’Hara and Andrew Kellarimage002

Elite racers, Johnny O’Hara and Andrew Kellar, who tied for first in the 12.6 foot board division, made a pact to cross the finish together and announced that they were donating their cash winnings ($1,000) to Plummer Home. Kellar noted that, having adopted his three children from foster care, Plummer’s work was near and dear to him.  Johnny O’Hara has also spent time paddling outriggers with boys who live in Plummer’s group home, and confirmed the importance of The Plummer Home.

“This truly is one of the nicest events I have ever been a part of and I’m honored to have been there to raise money for these kids” states Evelyn O’Doherty who came in 2nd place in the women’s 12’6″ Elite 6 Mile at 1:28.40.

A great deal of research has examined how giving affects people’s emotional well-being. So, if you love to paddle, then grab your favorite paddle and board and find a SUP charity event near you. And thank you to all who give back to the paddling community via your support.