Quiksilver is pleased to announce that the holding period for the second annual Quiksilver Premium Ku Ikaika Challenge, sponsored by C4 Waterman, will commence today through to February 28th, 2009. It is possible that the event will run immediately, given the current long-range forecast for large to extra-large surf that will coincide with the onset of the holding period.
The Quiksilver Premium Ku Ikaika Challenge is the world’s only big-wave stand-up paddle surfing competition and invites 32 of the world’s leading exponents of the sport to compete at Makaha Point, on the West Side of Oahu, Hawaii, on a single day within the holding period when wave face heights reach a minimum of 15 feet. The inaugural event was staged on Valentine’s Day in 2008, and was won by well-known Hawaiian waterman Aaron Napoleon.
Invitees to this year’s event include Tom Carroll (Australia), Raimana Van Bastolaer (Tahiti), Jamie Mitchell (Australia), Gerry Lopez (Hawaii), Mel Puu (Hawaii), Brian Keaulana (Hawai), and Titus Kinimaka (Hawaii).
The Ku Ikaika Challenge will offer a total prize purse of $10,000, with $2,250 going to the winner, and $250 a piece for second through 32nd place. The main event will consist of 24 invited surfers plus eight surfers who advance from a 36-man trialist round.
The concept for the event was developed by C4 Waterman co-founder Brian Keaulana, who wanted to showcase SUP surfing at the historic venue of Makaha – home of the very first international surfing event in 1963 – while also giving back to the local community. It was embraced as a natural fit for Quiksilver, a brand built upon adventure, commitment, endurance and style – key components of SUP surfing and the waterman’s lifestyle.
Stand up paddle surfing first surfaced on the shores of Waikiki back in the 1940s and ‘50s. The original Waikiki Beachboys blended their favorite sports of outrigger canoe paddling and surfing, utilizing a canoe paddle to both paddle and surf while standing. It was an adaptation made for convenience as it afforded the Beachboys a better view of the Waikiki surf lineup where they assisted tourists in learning to surf and took their photos while doing so.
The sport has enjoyed a rebirth in recent years and has been given a high-energy, modern-day spin: big-wave riding. Utilizing a paddle that is today specifically designed for SUP, surfers maintain an upright position while paddling out to the lineup, paddling into the waves, and then surfing them to shore. The paddle is not only a tool for navigating the lineup, but is also critically employed throughout the surfer’s maneuvers on the wave.
For more information on the event and the complete list of invitees, go to quiksilver.com/kuikaika.