'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.

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."

Luke Evslin

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 giving to me by my grand father.

Mulu Tapassa

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!

Julie Wolfe

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.

Brett Saguid

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. 

Jennifer Fratzke

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.

Caroline Angibaud

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.

Erik Scharffenberg

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.

Al Van Giesen

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.

Paul Clark

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.

Jaimie Kinard

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

Kenny Kaneko

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.

Martin Sundberg

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.

Riggs Napoleon

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.

Jim Foti

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. 


Gillian Gibree

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.

Gerry Lopez

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.  

Jenn Lee
Brent Allen
Evelyn O'Doherty
Lindsay Lambert

 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

Jessica Bellofatto
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
Sylvain Mercandalli
Melvin Palmiano
Bodie Shandro
Lori Velisek
Liz Wardley
Giordano Bruno Capparella
Harmony Dawn