Pat Dolan uses a Scorpius XS in this year’s Solo

I noticed that Pat Dolan used an XS in the Solo this year. Also noticed Kai Bartlett chose to use the XS for the Kauai World Challenge this past weekend. Seems like the XS might be a better choice for their Team riders in smaller ocean conditions. I figure these guys would have the pick on which canoe they want to use so it might be a good observation to consider.

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Molokai Solo 2013 Results: Danny Ching Champion

Unofficial results, Danny Ching riding John Puakea’s Ehukai wins this year’s Molokai Solo. Looks like he won in the last 100 yards or so heading up to the finish line at the Hawaii Kai boat dock. Unconfirmed, but seems he was running 3rd going under the bridge entrance, behind of Pat Dolan and Daniel Chun and some how sprinted past them to take the win. The Ehukai he was using, a supposedly heavy “cut-up” hull of the soon to be available Oc1 by Puakea Designs.

The last part of the race had paddlers battling 20mph head winds leading up to the Hawaii Kai finish.

Seems that Pat got really dehydrated and after the race needed to get an IV. It wasn’t good conditions for this year’s race.

More information to follow but it seems that the Ehukai will be a OC1 worth checking out when it becomes available.

Check back later for more results!

Unofficial Top 12
1. Danny
2. Daniel Chun (big island)
3. Pat Dolan (Scorpius XM extended)
4. Billy Lawson
5. Makana Denton (new pueo)
6. Greg Long
7. Aaron Creps
8. Justin Banfield
9. Kai Chong
10. Simeon Ke
11. Dan (from OZ)
12. Mario Mausio

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The Pueo Hull : Who’s Design is it Anyway?

Im seeing a lot of back and forth statements being made lately on the ownership of the OC1 Pueo design. Not so much about the deck or ama but the design of the hull. And now Im hearing some chatter about legal action that might be coming up in the near future by Kamanu. Im not sure if this is just talk, threats or if they are really trying to halt Puakea Designs from coming out with their new OC1.

So who’s design child does the Pueo hull come from? Where does that distinct slim and tall “V” hull concept come from? Was this concept used in the Kainalu or even before, in the Kaimana? I think one can also talk about rocker, and how much of it was used, and who influenced that part into the hull design, but thats going to be a harder aspect to claim I think because all OC1 shapers these days shape in a certain amount of rocker Into their designs.

It will be an interesting debate and if John Puakea first designed the slim/tall “V” into his earlier OC1s (Kaimana & Kainalu). That I think will say a lot about the design influence. But now, did John Puakea sell that property, those rights, when he sold his portion of Kamanu off? Now that’s an important question to ask.

In any-case all this debate and back and forth is really hyping up the Ehukai, I think more than the new Pueo now, and Im not sure if all this is good for Kamanu. In reading whats out there on the Internet, its making them look like they’re really threatened by Puakea Designs and responding in desperation. It might be a better move to just aloha their once friend and I would imagine mentor, and move forward. Team riders will come and go, and new ones will emerge, but friends and mentors are so more important to malama and support the paths they choose to take.


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Molokai Solo 2013: Kamanu vs. Puakea Designs

Wow reading comments today on ocpaddler, about the Solo coming up, you can sense there are definitely some bad feelings about the Kamanu and John Puakea split, as well as former Kamanu team riders leaving and most of all, the new Oc1 “Ehukai” that John Puakea is coming out with. Someone, which seemed like a Kamanu affiliate wrote some damaging things implicating that John was stealing Kamanu’s design and 99% of his hull was in fact, the Pueo. Pretty strong statements that leads you to think that Kamanu is really worried about their 5-year reign on the Hawaii OC1 market and that they see Puakea Designs as a real threat. I been reading about how local monies stay in the local economy, no doubt pokes at the Ehukai which will be produced out of China. In my opinion, if you really want to help the local economy, help the local consumer who is currently paying $4500+ and make the canoes under $3k like the Oc1s of the past. I would love to see how much profit OC1 canoe companies have made in last years’ sales.

In communicating with Jimmy Austin, the Ehukai will be $4200. and you get the top of the line materials, so basically you get the strongest and lightest layup and save about $400. Thats money in the pocket for the direct consumer. I dont know about the Ehukai design but I like already the monies you could potentially be saving. Now only if its fast!

Jimmy stated today on ocpaddler that Danny Ching will be using the Ehukai in the Solo, a cut up plug, as John’s canoes will not be ready in time. If Danny can pull off a win or stay close to Pat Dolan or Manny, the canoe will make a statement, if he’s behind, he can blame the weight of the plug. In any case less pressure for the California paddler.

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MOLOKAI SOLO 2013: Update on Thoughts

Looks like Karel Jr. and Kai Bartlett are not doing the Solo this year. I also heard that Jimmy Austin is not doing it and John Puakea’s new OC1, the Ehukai will not be ready. So looks like the favorites are Pat Dolan riding the Extended XM, Danny Ching riding a Pueo (not sure if he will be using the new Pueo or the original, standard one) and Manny riding the new Pueo. With the Solo in 2-weeks away there is still a chance for Danny to get the first Ehukai from the Ozone shop in China, if we see any pictures out from Ozone soon, Im betting its going to be Danny’s ride! Good luck Paddlers and awesome job to Pat Dolan for winning the Kanaka Ikaika Champs this past weekend!

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Scorpius XM (Maui Made, Extended Footwells)

The latest Kai Waʻa oc1 most of the competitive guys in Hawaii are moving towards is the Scorpius XM with extended footwells. I see a lot of guys trading up their recently bought Scorpius XS canoes and Scorpius XMs (no footwell extension) and moving to the XM with the extended footwells. The question is why? Does the body position moved 4″ forward compared to the original XM make a significant difference?
With the XM I liked the height of the cockpit, you are positioned a little lower to the water, more so than the Pueo. You get good hull control and feel, especially in the surf. The ama is super buoyant, no way of going ama under and the iako settings allow you to adjust enough so that you can ride the ama light and fast or stable. Compared to the Pueo, the XM iako(s) are longer, giving the rider a lot of adjustment options.
I must say that the XM is a bigger volume Oc1 compared to the Pueo. Just sitting on the XM you notice that the deck by the front iako area is bulky and also in the hull area right under. Once surfing downhill you notice it more. Even in ideal surfing conditions, and like the original Scorpius, the XM takes a lot of effort to get it onto bumps. Once on, the canoe carries nice and holds its hull speed (i think) a little longer than the Pueo can. But when trying to push onto the bump forming in front of the one you are riding, its hard to power over and down it.
From what I understand the ama, hull shape, iako sleeve placement all remains the same for the new XM (Extended Footwells). Only the 4″ move forward of the footwells makes this canoe different than it predecessor. I had a chance to try the new XM (maui made) extended footwell model and I noticed a few things:
Position of Ama in Water: For my height and weight (5ʻ9″, 187lbs) and the placement of my body forward by 4″ I noticed the waterline of the ama moved a bit forward. More of the ama was now in the water. The movement forward (for my leg length) threw off how the ama was originally designed to sit. By Kai Waʻa moving just the footwells forward and not the iako sleeves, the front half of the ama rides more in the water than it should.
Dropping in: We did a series of downhill runs, three 20-minutes intervals at 80%, 85% and 95% efforts. Having the extended footwell allowed me to sit more up front and having my body weight 4-inches more forward did help drop the front down in the surf. But the ama felt off with me being more forward, I noticed the front where the ama touches the water digging in more than when on the standard XM. Like with the standard XM, I had to muscle it to get on bumps riding the Extended. I found it still hard to get the larger volume front to drop down. Once on the canoe carries nice. The XM maneuvers well and has a quick pedal to rudder response. Kai Wa’a has the height of the cockpit down, in the surf you can really get a good feel being inside the hull and close to water. For me this really helps with control when maneuvering on bumps.
I am not sure the intent of the XM extended footwells, if it was created to help drop in easier in surf (which is needed with the original XM) or was it designed just for taller guys. It seems the later. I am by no means an expert and do not want to disrespect any canoe or builder. But for me, the XM (standard as well as extended) seems to need some of the volume taken out in the hull area below the front iako. It just takes a lot of energy to power the front down and onto the bumps. Iʻve always liked Kai Waʻa canoes, I had many, a Polaris, Spica and Scorpius from them. I think Oc1 designs have evolved so much that it maybe time to rethink the round hull concept originally taken from the Wave Blade and used for the Polaris, Scorpius, and now XM.
I must say that Kai Wa’a canoes have awesome construction. The canoes are light, stiff and components are quality. Pedals are carbon (nice and light!), seat soft and comfortable with a bungee system in front for your hydration.
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Molokai OC1 Solo 2013: Thoughts on this years race

Its April and the Molokai OC1 Solo race is coming up in the next two and a half weeks! This year I really think its going to be an exciting race. For me, im most excited in seeing which new OC1 will fair better. With the “New” Pueo out and people joining sponsors, leaving sponsors, and I think we’re all hoping that John Puakea’s new OC1, the Ehukai, will make a debut. Both Jimmy Austin (last year’s champion) and Danny Ching (Former Solo champ) have left Kamanu and are now riding for Puakea Designs. I am not sure if they even got their OC1s yet but I would think it would place them at a slight disadvantage this year considering the learning curve in really figuring out how your OC1 surfs. As I understand it, John Puakea had a lot of design influence on the original Pueo and if the Ehukai hull is similar (having a tall and slim “V” shape hull) hopefully its an easy transition for Jimmy and Danny, they only have a month if that.

As for the contenders, its got to be these guys again, Jimmy, Karel, Pat Dolan, Danny, Manny and if Kai is back, watch out, its going to be a boat-builders ocean shootout! Kamanu has to be a little disappointed having their defending champs move to a different OC1 with their new Pueo just coming out. They will be banking on Manny to bring it home for them, added pressure for the elite paddler and race organizer. But I think more pressure will be on Jimmy and Danny, moving from one canoe sponsor to another. They’re going to want to prove that the Ehukai is the better canoe and that the decision to move was a right one. That and being defending Solo champ is a lot I think for Jimmy to carry on his shoulders. We shall see.

Karel Jr. has to be on a mission this year. With his close second place finish last year I bet he is hungry. The Oc1 Torrent he uses hasn’t really taken off here in Hawaii, Outrigger Connection I think needs a solo win this year to help sales. If junior isn’t pressured, hasn’t overtrained and goes in fresh and relaxed he may pull it off. I dont know how the Torrent runs, they’re just no Torrents around.

Pat Dolan, third last year is a strong and focused paddler. I think he has the physical and mental strengths to win this race, I just wonder if the XM is a slightly harder canoe to catch bumps for a 4hr+ race. I found that you gotta muscle it a bit to jump on the bump where the Pueo is such an efficient canoe, I found it much easier to initially get on the surf. The question could be, does Pat have enough to muscle the XM first across the line. In years past, Kai has.

And Kai Bartlett, if he enters this year Im sure he will have prepared and trained for it. He has the depth, experience and muscle endurance to win.

Good luck to all participating this year, to train for the 32mile, 4:30hr+ Kaiwi crossing, I know how much time you had to put in and how hard you all have trained to get there. Awesome!

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