• Kate Dittloff/Groundswell PR

OluKai Celebrates a Decade of International Paddling and Preserving Hawaiian Culture

Kahului, Maui (April 24, 2018):

For the 10th year in a row OluKai, is bringing the world’s best paddlers together for a weekend of racing and celebrating the Hawaiian culture at the annual Ho’olaule’a (celebration). OluKai created the now legendary event in 2008 to pay tribute to the ocean lifestyle through competition, tradition, family and giving back to the community, a key component since the race’s inception.

This year’s event takes place April 28th and 29th on Kahului, Maui from Maliko Gulch to Kanaha Beach Park and will bring together 500 paddlers for two days of racing, including two brand new divisions: Foil and Prone. Introducing Foil as the newest innovation in the SUP category, OluKai is excited to host the first foil race. The race features the largest gender equal prize purse of $15,000 with athletes from all corners of the globe vying for the top prize and bragging rights.

Friends and family will also gather to enjoy canoe sailing, ancient Hawaiian games, a traditional luau, hula and music. OluKai’s Ama OluKai Foundation takes the opportunity to recognize and honor their beneficiaries during which the community shares collective gifts of time, energy and spirit.

"We are honored to share a spirit of community and Aloha through this weekend’s experience." Commented Kerry Konrady, OluKai's Vice President of Marketing. "Far more important is that we are able to utilize some of the race fees to support the flood rebuilding efforts in neighboring isle of Kaua’i.”

A portion of the race registration fees from this year’s Ho’olaule’a Festival will go to the Kaua’i Lifeguard Association to aid in recovery efforts after devastating flooding on the island.

Top performances in the Ho’olaule’a are expected again this year from last year’s winner James Casey and five-time winner, Connor Baxter. Annabel Anderson will defend her title in the women’s category against seven-time ho’o champion Andrea Moller. OluKai Ho’olaule’awill be filmed in HD and broadcast internationally courtesy of OluKai media partner, Ocean Paddler TV.

As part of the tenth annual Ho’olaule’a Festival, the Ama OluKai Foundation and ‘Imiloa present “The Art & Science of Wayfinding,” hosted by Hokule’a master navigator Kalepa Baybayan and crew member Kala Baybayan Tanaka. Kalepa and Kala return from their three-year worldwide voyage to share their mastery and experiences to festival-goers on how to navigate by the stars. Workshops will be offered inside an on-site mobile planetarium and via a Hawaiian star compass at Kanaha Beach Park on Saturday and Sunday.

‘Imiloa is a museum and planetarium complex on the campus of the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. The word ‘Imiloa means “the pursuit of new knowledge,” or “one who explores.” ‘Imiloa is the first museum anywhere in the world explicitly committed to inspiring scientific exploration within the context of an indigenous language and culture and are a 2018 beneficiary of the Ama OluKai Foundation.

Event Calendar:


9 am—‘Ohana Fun Paddle Start

10 am-3 pm—Music, ‘Imiloa Wayfinding Presentations, Hawaiian Games, Canoe Rides

12 pm—SUP and Prone Paddle, Maliko

1:30 pm—Live Music


11 am-2 pm—Music, ‘Imiloa Wayfinding Presentations, Hawaiian Games, Canoe Rides

12 pm—OC1/OC2 Race, Foil Board Race, Maliko Downwind 8 miles to Kanaha Beach Park

1:30 pm—Live Music

2:30 pm—Awards Ceremony

3:30 pm—Lu’au at Kanaha

Additional information on the Ho’olaule’a, including race registration, can be found at OluKai.com/Race. Follow along the journey or share an experience from this year’s race on social media with @OluKai #OluKaiRace.

OluKai would like to thank the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association for their support ensuring this is a great and safe race for all.

About OluKai: OluKai is a sought after lifestyle brand that believes everyone, no matter where they are, can live Aloha. OluKai products feature thoughtful design elements and handcrafted details inspired by the ocean lifestyle. We are committed to partnering with best-of-class retailers with whom we share an unwavering pursuit of excellence. OluKai's spirit is shared by others through the Ama OluKai Foundation, a 501(c)(3) created to formalize the company’s giveback initiatives. Every OluKai sold supports Ama OluKai Foundation’s mission in Hawaii. For more information visit www.OluKai.com or #AnywhereAloha.

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