October 02, 2019

Next week I will be a tourist. My goal is to discover something I have not experienced before. Contrary to the traveler seeking an eatery made famous by Anthony Bourdain, my goal is the less glamorous less obvious less crowded restaurant across the street. I am Moloka'i Hoe bound, a trip I have made many times, and my goal is to learn something new about paddling or paddle design.  

My yearly timeshare is crossing the Kaiwi Channel with Lanikai Canoe Club. My go to muse, LCC has been the primary source for KIALOA data and testing.  After a particularly grueling Molokai Hoe, I once asked John Foti if the crew would have gone faster with a larger blade. His response was an emphatic “NO!” Watching a crew’s effort or listening to feedback at the exact moment it is happening is priceless to me as a designer. Design rendered without experience is the same as playing tourist on the internet, where you can read the menu and reviews of a restaurant, but you cannot smell or taste the food.  

This year I’ll be traveling with a young crew from the Westside of Oahu. A few of the crew I am familiar with, others I do not know. While familiarity is the comfortable path, the new sites I seek are through the eyes of those I do not know. The best thing that can happen is for someone to tell me I am not doing my job well “and here is what I’d like to see on the menu...” To find this experience, I need to venture somewhere new. 

 While I have an itinerary, I know that my best find will likely happen on an unplanned side trip. So be the side trip. If you stumble onto me while I hitch hike on my O-M-O journey, stop me, give me a ride, and let me know what is on your mind. You might be the inspiration for the next KIALOA paddle.  





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