One of the greatest things about Maui is the ocean.
In the winter months, the island receives some of the biggest swells on the planet. In fact, this year our friend Yuri Soledade rode a 73 foot wave to claim the largest wave ridden in the 2016 Tag Heuer XXL Biggest Wave Awards. At the same time, our very own Andrea Moller won the WSL (World Surf League) title of Best Women’s Performance. Both Yuri and Andrea claimed their best rides at Peʻahi, a place better known as Jaws.
A few miles down the coast from Jaws is Maliko Bay. For big wave surfers, Maliko boat ramp provided them a vital but tricky launch for jet skis. (As fuel tanks became bigger, they began to launch from the relative safety of Kahului Harbor, ten miles away).
Fast forward through the winter to April and May and Peʻahi and Maliko look very different. The trade winds kick in and the swells subside. It’s all about fishing and paddling. The Maliko Run, which starts at Maliko Bay and finishes at Kahului Harbor, is one of the best open-sea downwind paddle courses in the world. It’s nine miles and almost always supported by incredible trade winds from behind. It's become a bucket-list, must-do paddle for many ocean athletes.
Open ocean glides are what this run is all about – see this short on Jeremy Riggs from Paddle With Riggs. Jeremy is one of the best downwind paddlers in the world and we are grateful to have him on the team. This video was shot during Paddle Imua in 2012.
BLUESMITHS PADDLE IMUA – A BENEFIT RACE FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Every year since 2012, we have worked with the crew at Imua Family Services to put on Paddle Imua. Paddle Imua raises funds for Maui’s children with special needs. Specifically, it supports Camp Imua, which is a much needed week long camp for the kids that takes place in the West Maui Mountains. Before Paddle Imua, the Camp was endangered due to escalating costs. Now, thanks to Maui’s incredible Ocean Community and the tireless work of Imua Family Services, it’s thriving. We are stoked to be a part of this great project.
OCEAN COMMUNITY + PADDLE IMUA
What’s special about this event is that despite it being a race – and it is – it’s probably the most unique race on the circuit. Sure, it attracts the world’s best athletes like Sonni Hoenscheid (2x Molokai2Oahu World Champion), Andrea Moller and Dave Kalama to name but a few, but it's about more than just paddling.
The one thing everyone comments about is just how special Paddle Imua is for them. We all agree that paddling The Maliko Run is always an awesome experience, but paddling for such an incredible cause seems to make it that much more meaningful.
Watch this short film of Paddle Imua 2015. Giora Koren filmed this for us. You get the spirit.
For 2016, we have some phenomenal sponsors and a great list of competitors.
HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP ...
We hope to see you Saturday May 7th 2016 to paddle the race or, just as importantly, join us for the ‘Ohana Festival.
Register here: www.paddleimua.com
Donate here: www.paddleimua.com
Donate or Raise money by cellphone: Text “Paddle” to 71777 and follow the instructions. The top fundraiser wins a SIC Maui 10.6 FLOW series Airglide Inflatable. EVERYONE who raises $25+ gets a Bluesmiths Paddle Imua Hat or Exclusive Shirt.
You can also BUY the BLUESMITHS Paddle Imua Event Hats and Tees HERE. All profits go to Imua Family Services.
We’ll see you on the water.
John Smalley and the Bluesmiths Crew