G. Niblock on the L41 TipSUP Noserider. Photo: J. Chandler

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Downwinding The Maliko

Met up with Jeremy Riggs at Kanaha for the shuttle up to Maliko. We strapped the boards down on Justin's truck and were enroute in no time.

Jeremy is perhaps the most gifted downwind teacher/coach in Hawaii with bookings from folks that circle the planet. Sandwich Islands Composites (better known as SIC) has recently (and wisely) contracted with Jeremy to represent their company and use their boards. A good move. Great teacher, great boards.

It is not an exaggeration to say that I learned more from Jeremy in an hour and a half about downwind runs than in the last year and a half on my own. Jeremy is gifted with the patience, insight and skills to teach. The world needs more good teachers, the world gained one in Jeremy.

I paddled the 7 mile Maliko to Kanaha run on the SIC 14 ft. Bullet which Jeremy brought with him. I'll be writing more (including a video interview with Jeremy) on this board (and the unique Maui developed fin that was installed) but for now let me just say that this board is a competitor. Fast, maneuverable, durable and light, it will get you where you want to go in a hurry. That said, it is not a beginner's board. But more on all that later.

We made the 7 mile run in under 90 minutes, which for a dedicated downwind paddler is slow, but we stopped three or four times for some "classroom instruction" and pep talks. If only all our educational experiences could include a classroom environment sitting in emerald seas over a multicolored reef with big turtles poking their curious heads at you at random times, we'd probably all be a lot smarter.

The take out at Kanaha was classic Hawaiian culture. We're carry our boards in, and a hoard of youngsters and their teachers are hauling their outrigger canoes out, to the sea from which we have just departed. The never ending cycle of spiritual and physical sustenance the ocean has provided since the beginning of time, is on display, now, in real time, for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

Jeremy needed to get going, time to pick up his beautiful girls from school. Mariposa arrived right on time to pick me up for the ride back to the Sugar Ranch. It was all over too soon. But then, it's only day two. Stay tuned.

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