Kinimaka Kaua‘i Surf Invitational to launch Sunday

Organizers are hoping the forecast for a large swell will materialize on Sunday at Kalapaki Beach.

If the swell materializes, it could be “ama”-geddon at Kalapaki Beach when the first Percy Kinimaka Kaua‘i Surf Invitational will open with the blowing of the conch shell announcing the first heat of the canoe surfing event hosted by Kaua‘i Beach Boys.

Paddlers from across the state will compete against rival teams in four-man surfing canoes in the waters of Kalapaki Bay.

“Hawaiian canoes have always been front and center at Kalapaki,” Kamal Salibi, owner of Kaua‘i Beach Boys, states in a news release. “They are a big part of our beach concession and in fact, our operation is located where beach boy Percy Kinimaka introduced guests of the former Kaua‘i Surf Resort to canoe surfing back in the 1960s. We wanted to honor those roots by naming the event after Percy.”

Canoe surfing events are rare in Hawai‘i despite the sport being practiced for more than 1,000 years, the release states.

During the Percy Kinimaka Kaua‘i Surf Invitational, four canoe teams, each including three paddlers and a steerperson, will be scored in 15-minute heats by a panel of judges similar to conventional surfboard and tandem surfing competitions.

The invitational will be encompassing a SUPsquatch division in which up to seven paddlers ride along a wave on a 16-foot inflatable water sled.

The giant surfcraft was developed by Makaha waterman Brian Keaulana and is manufactured by C4 Waterman of Honolulu, enjoying its debut as a competitive division during the recent Buffalo’s Big Board Surfing Classic held at Makaha Beach.

It drew interest from around the world, according to the release, and Kaua‘i Beach Boys is the first beach concession to add C4’s SUPsquatches to its watercraft arsenal.

“The weekend of April 21 and 22 was a natural choice for us to hold the event, said Marleny Cotrim, operations manager of Kaua‘i Beach Boys and Da Life Outdoor Gear, Da Life being a sponsor of the Kaua‘i World Challenge scheduled for Saturday. “The Kaua‘i World Challenge relay event is scheduled for Saturday and we figured all of the paddlers will still be here Sunday so why not offer them something else fun to do on Kaua‘i which involves paddling.”

Proceeds from the event will be contributed to the Kaua‘i Junior Lifeguard program.

Visit or stop by the Kaua‘i Beach Boys and Da Life retail store at Kalapaki Beach for registration or for more information.


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