QuikSilverEdition Ku Ikaika Challenge Enjoys Successful Inauguration.
World's First Big-Wave Stand Up Paddle Surfing Event
HONOLULU - (February 14, 2008) - Today's inaugural QuikSilverEdition Ku Ikaika Challenge, presented by C4 Waterman and Red Bull, was a hugely successful celebration of the waterman heritage, epic surf and aloha that have been Hawaii's gifts to the world for centuries. Staged in waves that ranged throughout the day from six to 15 feet (wave face heights of 12-30 feet), the world's first big-wave stand up paddle surfing event was more about gathering together to honor a tradition than it was about winning. The first place winner's check of $4,000, ultimately claimed by revered Hawaiian waterman Aaron Napoleon (Pearl City, Oahu, 41), was presented on his behalf to the West Side Junior Lifeguard Foundation. Every surfer in the main event received an equal prize check of $350.
Napoleon surfed through a total of five rounds to win the all-Hawaiian final, charging hard through every round and posting one of the event's two perfect 10-point rides for a huge barrel. Second place today was 24-year-old Keoni Keaulana (Waianae), who was the top-performing member of the highly represented and respected Keaulana family of Makaha. Third place went to big-wave specialist Ikaika Kalama (Waialua, Oahu), and fourth was Kamu Auwae (Waianae).
Of the field of 32 surfers, 24 were from the Hawaiian Islands, four were from California: Scott Bass, Kyle Mochizuki, Chris Mauro and Chuck Patterson; two were from Tahiti: Raimana Van Bastolaer and Arsene Harehoe; and two were from Australia: Jamie Mitchell and Liam Wilmott. There was also one woman in the event: Maui's Tiare Lawrence.
Above: Aaron Napoleon setting up for the barrel that earned him a perfect 10.
The top-performing non-Hawaii surfer was fifth-placed Chuck Patterson, 38, (San Clemente, CA), who lost in the semi-finals to Napoleon and Kalama. Patterson posted the other perfect 10-point ride of the contest in round one of the main event. Like Napoleon, he surfed all the way from the trials.
Above: Chuck Patterson (CA) was a standout charger today. Photo:
As the oldest competitor in the final at 41, Napoleon had a well of ocean knowledge to draw from today, both from his own lifetime of experience and as the product of one of Hawaii's best known ocean-going families. A top-performer over the years in every salt-water sport on offer, Napoleon attributed his success to good genes and just wanting to have fun.
"If you could have been out there and seen how the water and the waves looked from where I was, it was so beautiful, man, I was in heaven," said Napoleon. "How you goin' beat one guy (sic) that's having fun?
"It wasn't super big, but it was fun.
"My first heat in the trials I kinda really bonked. I told myself that if I get another chance I'm going for it."
On his perfect 10-scoring, 12-foot wave: "I set it up, pulled in there, had some travel time. I could see the jet-skis in the channel and even though I didn't make it out, when I came up it seemed like the crowd was in awe. To get the respect, I'm on cloud nine."
Chuck Patterson followed an identical path to Napoleon through the event, unfortunately falling one heat short of the glory, but not an ounce short on respect earned. Like Napoleon, he only made it out of the trials by virtue of being one of the highest placed thirds (technically only first and second in each heat were advancing, but a couple of vacancies in the seeded main round allowed a couple of top thirds a second shot).
Where Napoleon capitalized on the biggest, most critical waves and a high, racing line, Patterson opted for large open-faced waves and a top-to-bottom sequence of power carves that totally utilized the paddle.
Like Napoleon, Patterson is also an exponent of multiple sports - kite-surfing, big-wave tow-in surfing, snowboarding and skiing. Stand up paddle surfing is his latest passion.
"I'm addicted!" said Patterson, who runs a construction company and cross-trains young athletes when not pursing his own sporting goals. "This new sport is so exciting. It's as much fun as anything I've ever done and it's the most humbling. It has its glorified moments that leaving you feeling amazing, but then you can turn straight around and fall on a small little bump on the water. It's a humanizing experience - you've just got to get back on your feet and start over. You're always learning and it's never boring."
The vibe on the beach said it all today: no commercial hyp, just an intimate crowd of mostly surf-stoked aunties, uncles and families. There couldn't have been a better venue on the planet than Makaha Beach - for natural beauty or waves. Located near the end of the road on the West Side of Oahu, Makaha has long been a paradise for surfers, playing host to the first world championships of surfing more than 50 years ago. Not much has changed around here in that time, and those things that did have now come full circle, like the old beachboy style of stand up paddle surfing that proved without a doubt today that it's back to stay this time.
Ku Ikaika: "Stand Strong". The name for this event came from the name of the non-profit foundation established last year by supporting sponsor of this event, C4 Waterman. The Ku Ikaika Foundation was established to shine a light on the youth that it encourages to stand strong and make strong, positive choices in life.
Hi-res digital images will be available to registered media affiliates. Please contact Jodi Wilmott: (808) 258-8533.
A benefit for the Junior Lifeguard Foundation on the West Side.
January 15 to February 29, 2008.
To be held on the day when wave face heights reach 20 feet.
Makaha Point, West Side Oahu, Hawaii.
32-man format featuring the world's top stand-up paddle surfers (24 invitees and 8 trialists from a 16-man trials division to be held on the same day).
$4,000 donation to the West Side's Junior Lifeguard Foundation will carry the event winner's name. Surfers will share equally in $11,200 prize money ($350 each).
1st - Aaron Napoleon, 41, Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii
(White) - won $4,000 that will be awarded in his name to the West Side Junior Lifeguard Foundation.
Points: 16.83 (two of three judges awarded 10s) total - 10, 6.83
2nd - Keoni Keaulana, 24, Waianae, Oahu, Hawaii
(Black,) - won $350 like everybody else in the main event.
Points: 14.0 total - 7.83, 6.17
3rd - Ikaika Kalama, 28, Waialua, Oahu, Hawaii
(Green) - won $350
Points: 13.5 total - 7.17, 6.33
4th - Kamu Auwae, 28, Waianae, Oahu, Hawaii
(Red) - won $350
Points: 8.9 total - 2.33, 6.57
Top non-Hawaiian finisher: Chuck Patterson, 38, San Clemente, CA. Placed =5th overall after being eliminated by Ikaika Kalama and Aaron Napoleon in the semi-finals.
Highest single wave score: Aaron Napoleon, heat 7, first round of main event - 10 points.
Highest heat score of the event: Chuck Patterson, heat 6 first round of main event - 18.57 out of 20.
SEMI FINALS: 1st & 2nd advance, 3rd place =5th overall, 4th place =7th overall
H1: Kamu Auwae (Black, HI), Keone Keaulana (Green, HI), Brian Keaulana (Red, HI), Bonga Perkins (White, HI)
H2: Ikaika Kalama (Green, HI), Aaron Napoleon (White, HI), Chuck Patterson (Red, CA), Kealii Mamala (Black, HI)
QUARTER FINALS: 1st & 2nd advance, 3rd place =9th overall, 4th place =13th overall.
H1; Brian Keaulana (Black, HI), Kamu Auwae (Red, HI), Raimana Van Bastolaer (Green, TAH), Nolan Keaulana (White, HI)
H2: Keone Keaulana (Red, HI), Bonga Perkins (Green, HI), Duane DeSoto (White, HI), Keone Downing (Black, HI)
H3: Chuck Patterson (Black, CA), Kealii Mamala (White, HI), Rusty Keaulana (Red, HI), Garrett McNamara (Green, HI)
H4: Ikaika Kalama (White, HI), Aaron Napoleon (Green, HI), Dave Parmenter (Black, HI), Sam Pai (Red, HI)
H1: Kamu Auwae (White, HI), Keone Keaulana (Green, HI), Craig Davidson (Black, HI), Kamaki Worthington (Red, HI)
H2: Brian Keaulana (Red, HI), Jamie Mitchell (Green, AUS), Keone Downing (Black, HI), Scott Bass (White, CA)
H3: Bonga Perkins (Red, HI), Raimana Van Bastolaer (Green, TAH), Ekolu Kalama (White, HI), Archie Kalepa (Black, HI)
H4: Duane Desoto (Black, HI), Nolan Keaulana (Green, HI), Buzzy Kerbox (Red, HI), Kainoa McGee (White, HI)
H5: Rusty Keaulana (Black, HI), Sam Pai (White, HI), Noah Johnson (Green, HI), Arsene Harehoe (Red, TAH)
H6: Chuck Patterson (Green, CA), Dave Parmenter (Red, HI), Blane Chambers (Black, HI), Chris Mauro (White, CA)
H7: Aaron Napoleon (Green, HI), Garrett McNamara (White, HI), Robby Naish (Black, HI), Mel Puu (Red, HI)
H8: Ikaika Kalama (Red, HI), Kealii Mamala (White, HI), Liam Wilmott (Green, AUS), Todd Bradley (Black, HI)
H1: Kamu Auwae (Black, HI), Scott Bass (Green, CA), Liam Wilmott (Red, AUS), Kyle Mochizuki (White, CA)
H2: Ekolu Kalama (Red, HI), Kainoa McGee (Green, HI), Blane Chambers (White, HI), Nalu Froiseth (Black, HI)
H3: Sam Pai (Red, HI), Chris Mauro (Green, CA), Chuck Patterson (White, CA), Bunky Bakutis (Black, HI)
H4: Garrett McNamara (White, HI), Kealii Mamala (Green, HI), Aaron Napoleon (Red, HI), Tiare Lawrence (Black, HI)
Jodi Wilmott, Ocean Promotion, in Hawaii
QuiksilverEdition's commitment to stand-up paddle surfing is multi-layered involving event sponsorship, athlete development and design & innovation. Some of the planned events include SUP clinics in Florida and the Great lakes, open event fundraisers in Laguna Beach and Long Island, NY and The QuiksilverEdition Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard Race. QuiksilverEdition has assembled some of the top stand-up paddle surfers in the world including Bonga Perkins & Jamie Mitchell.
QuikSilverEdition, a division of Quiksilver Inc, is inspired by the waterman lifestyle. Whether surfing, paddling, canoeing or just spending quality time with family or friends talking story, QuikSilverEdition is a great looking, comfortable and stylish compliment to the best moment of our lives. QuikSilverEdition is a premium sportswear brand built for the man who is looking for a more refined alternative to today's youth-driven surf companies. It is an authentic brand that embodies the rich heritage of Quiksilver's legendary wave and mountain culture.
About C4 Waterman:
Founded by Hawaii's Brian Keaulana, Todd Bradley, and Mike Fox, C4 Waterman brings together over 100 years of ocean experience to create the C4 Waterman brand of wave-riding tools and equipment. Sharing a passion for ocean sports, the drive to excel and a desire to share the waterman's spirit, C4 Waterman's state-of-the-art paddles, stand-up boards, paddleboards and accessories are the modern evolution of the ocean-based lifestyle that originated in Hawaii.