'Elele (Ambassadors)

'Elele(noun) Messenger, delegate, ambassador

At KIALOA we take great pride in our team of 'Elele and are honored to include them as members of the KIALOA family. Our 'Elele are athletes, artists, activists, elders, explorers, teachers, craftspeople, leaders and modern day voyagers.  They are storytellers, and product testers and all around good people.  We embrace our 'elele and share their stories with you so that you may do the same.


'Elele Jenn Lee

"I have always equated hard work as a vehicle to having the most fun, i.e., the harder you work, the better you get, the more fun you have. But, I have found recently that at this level in ocean sports, sometimes discipline interferes with that fun and stoke".

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Jenn Lee


Luke Evslin

Luke is an outrigger paddler that lives on Kaua'i and is the owner of Kamanu Composites.  He coaches for Pu'uwai which is a small club near his house in Wailua.

"My thought was that paddling had given me everything that I have (friends, career, experiences, etc) and that it was my turn to give back. So, I started coaching."

Mulu Tapassa

What does paddling mean to you?
Represent my culture in a way to connect with my ohana.

What is something people might not know about you?
Most people don't know my full name is Mulufuainaitaneitagataleaga Tu'umamao Tapasa given to me by my grandfather.

Julie Wolfe

What does paddling mean to Julie Wolfe?
Paddling means so much to me.  Paddling is my workout, it's my competition, it's my family time, My vacations are planned around paddling.  Paddling keeps me physically and mentally healthy.  My life as a single mother and Los Angeles City Firefighter is very stressful.  Paddling is my stress outlet, without it I get depressed. Paddling has given my daughters self confidence and a positive self esteem. I have met my best friends through paddling.  The Ocean is where I am closest with God so paddling is my transportation to church. Paddling is such a big part of my life that I can't imagine life without it!

Brett Saguid

What does paddling mean to you?
 To me paddling is a lifestyle. It is my favorite form exercise from an outdoor activity. I feel a connection with the water and the elements when I'm out there paddling. It has also introduced me to some amazing life long friends and I love the culture within the paddling community. I am truly blessed to be a part of this amazing sport.

What is something no one might know about you?
 I love to cook. I love food in general but I love to BBQ and I feel at home on the grill or in the kitchen.

Jennifer Fratzke

What does paddling mean to you?
To me, paddling means freedom. The freedom to take a paddle and travel anywhere you want on the ocean. Its an extension of myself.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
 I am an avid book collector, I can spend hours in a book store, getting lost in the endless knowledge. I also love to fly-fish. 

Caroline Angibaud

What does paddling mean to you?
Paddling means to be able to go away from classique life, you can escape for  racing or for surfing, it just great moments every time. 

What Inspires you to do good?
Nelson Mandela.

Erik Scharffenberg

What does paddling mean to you?
Paddling means a lot of different things to me. It's one of the best ways I've found to connect to nature and observe wildlife. It's been one of my favorite ways to spend time with my dad and my family. It's very exciting to race in different crafts, whether it's using strategy and tactics, reading currents and eddies, and looking for bumps and wakes in small boats, or trying to blend and using teamwork in the 6 or dragon boat. Then there's the aspect of self-propulsion, which is a neat feeling, knowing that your canoe is going fast because of your strength, technique, and conditioning. Paddling can be very peaceful or very thrilling, and I love it all

What is something people may not know about you?
I finished two running marathons (26.2 miles) when I was 8 years old.

Al Van Giesen

What does paddling represent to you?
Every race I went to or did I had one thing in mind. Family. Not necessarily my own, but all the paddling families that started and kept the sport alive in our communities.  It's them that I felt like I represented everywhere I go or anything I do on the va'a.

Paddling is a means for me to share and inspire.

Paul Clark

What does paddling mean to you?
Paddling means adventure, and freedom, and opportunity for me. I feel with a paddle in my hand I can go farther.

Tell us something we don't know about you?
 I have a degree in philosophy, and even though I don't teach or practice law, I use my degree everyday. If truth lies in being meaningful and purposeful, a SUP paddle for me is a philosopher's stone.

Jaimie Kinard

What does padding respresent to you?
Paddling is a lifestyle. You go to a canoe race and meet tons of your "people", so to speak. Everyone is active, healthy, loves the ocean, loves the canoe. We are all different but the same, tied to each other by the canoe, and it is a very neat thing. 

What was your best Xmas present as a kid?
Strawberry shortcake tricycle with green, red and white tassels on the handlebars.

Kenny Kaneko

What does paddling mean to you?
 Paddling is more than a sport to me. It has become a way of life. Think about it during most of my days.

What are some qualities that you value in others?
 Honesty, Integrity, Positivity

Martin Sundberg

Martin Sundberg is a photographer, director and DP based in the San Francisco Bay Area specializing in making photographs and films of people living an active life, pursuing their passions, by land and by sea.  His work has been recognized for capturing the intimate emotions and intensity of the experience he shoots.

Riggs Napoleon

What does paddling mean to you?
 "It's indescribable, it's family tradition. I still don't know the true meaning of paddling yet."

What kind of advice do you get from your dad and grandfather?
My dad and grandpa always tell me to just have fun and enjoy myself. They also tell me to always be humble and show respect to everyone wherever I am in the world.

Jim Foti

Its pretty clear that you're not in it to win for yourselves but for the club. Can you describe why that's so important?
It's hard to explain. Our little club is part of this community. It's got these roots. The community and the club have developed together. There's a great sense of pride for community, city, state and in some instances our country. It touches a lot of people.

Gillian Gibree

How did you get started in Paddle sports?
Through lifeguarding competitions on Cape Cod….I used to compete with fellow Kialoa paddler Dani Schmidt in ocean swimming, prone paddling, and beach running. Now we get to do the Cape Cod Bay Challenge together and use SUP to raise money for charity! 

What do you like to eat/drink after paddling?
Everything I can get my hands on…but usually a burger and beer. 

Gerry Lopez

Author: "Surf is Where You Find It" is a must read for anyone who is interested in Hawaii and the surf lifestyle. Scratch below the obvious boards and surf banality, and one will find a life filled with literature, and a body and soul guided by yoga and the Dalai Lama.

Fun Fact: Early pioneer of the Banzai Pipeline and may have even combed his hair in the pipeline.

Jenn Lee

What is your proudest paddling moment?
Getting to cross the Kaiwi channel, it is absolutely magical!  Also making it to Dana Point at 9pm in the dark in bad weather when I paddled solo from Catalina.

What is your pre-race meal?
Oatmeal with protein powder or egg.  

Brent Allen

What does paddling mean to you?
Happiness. It's a pure connection of gratitude and respect for the ocean, nature, and has helped me to understand the importance of taking care of it. 

Evelyn O'Doherty

What does paddling mean to you?
In a word, freedom. When I'm paddling, I let go of my roles & responsibilities and reconnect with who I am at the core of my being. I often say I allow myself to think my truest thoughts when surrounded by large bodies of water. 

Lindsay Lambert

What Does Paddling Mean to You?
The paddling community is a Village of Stoke. Family, friends, neighbors, strangers all coming together to get out on the water and have fun! It doesn't have to just be about racing or yoga, just trying something new to promote a healthier way of living. Paddling to me is my calm place. I go to the water to clear my head of distractions and cleanse me body of unwanted stress. Paddling empowers me to adventure to new places and explores different bodies of water. 

Something most people wouldn't know about you?
I was a National Ranked swimmer in middle school! I've been certified as a swim instructor & ARC Life Guard for over 16 years!

Western U.S

Alan Goto

Jeannie Barrett

Cyril Burguiere

Tim Dougherty

Lori Jorgenson

Jen Kjellesvik

Thomas Maximus

Kristy Murphy

Terri Plunkett

Sarah Sandstrom

Jill Schooler

Judy Shasek

Joe Threadgill

Sarah Tiefenthaler

Beau Whitehead

Karen Wrenn

Scott Wu

Lambert Lo

Kyle Ikaika Pidot

 Eastern U.S

Danielle Benton

Kevin Cullen

Christian Edie

Travis Hayes

Maryann Jackowski

Kim James

Kate Lewis

Margo Pelegrino

Taylor Resnick

Matt Wise

Gary Wise

Central U.S

Michael Westenberger

Benjamin Gareiss


Brit Oliphant

John Foti

Vic Allen

Beanie Heen

Jennifer Lee

Penny Martin

Aaron Napoleon

Tiffany Paglinawan

Mel Puu

Noah Yap


Daniel Bova

Holly Bassett

Greg Carson

Melvin Palmiano

Bodie Shandro

Lori Velisek

Liz Wardley

Giordano Bruno Capparella

Harmony Dawn