Growing up at Outrigger Canoe Club, Jimmy was immersed into all things water at a very young age by his father. Starting with canoe surfing and prone paddle boarding around 15 years old, he soon picked up flat water kayaking, where he met Johnny Puakea, with HCKT. He loved kayaking, but it was not out in the open ocean, so he moved to ocean kayaking. After losing his job in 2009, Jimmy went all in training OC1 paddling with the mentorship of Johnny Puakea. In 2012, Jimmy achieved his goal of winning Molokai to Oahu, setting the course record. Now, Jimmy is enjoying being a dad, paddling in the 6mans and concentrating on where the sport of outrigger can go from here.
At 30 years of age Danny Ching solidified himself as the premier paddle sports athlete in Southern California, and is recognized worldwide as a skilled waterman. By 15 he was racing with Lanakila’s top men’s outrigger team, leading them to top finishes locally and in Hawaii. At 16, he took up Olympic flat water kayaking winning multiple national titles and setting himself up for a path on to the Olympics. His kayaking carrier culminated in 2007 when he raced on the USA National team at the Pan-American Games in Rio Brazil. At 18, Danny entered his first distance OC1 race and in less than a year he had climbed to the top of local competition, capping off his run to the top by winning the Outrigger World Championship in 2010 and 2013. Danny’s stand up (SUP) career started in 2009 with a 1st place in the Hennessey’s Championships. He then backed that up with a 3rd place in his second race (the Battle of the paddle California 2009). In 2010, Danny founded 404 Sup Boards and launched his new company by winning both Battle of the Paddle races in Hawaii and California and going undefeated for the year in SUP competition. Since then, Danny has also founded Hippo Stick Paddles and recorded multiple SUP victories, his most memorable coming at the prestigious Battle of the Paddle California and Hawaii, including 3 BOP Elite victories, 6 BOP distance victories, 7 Overall BOPs.
Nahokuheleiakeahu’olu has been paddling since she was 8 years old growing up on Moloka’i. Over the past 20 years, Hoku has paddle with various clubs on Moloka’i and O’ahu and is currently paddling with Outrigger Canoe Club. She has competed and podiumed in various OC6 races such as 2nd and 3rd overall in Nā Wahine O Ke Kai, 3rd place overall at Hawaiki Nui, 1st place overall at the Sydney Harbor Challenge, and 3rd overall 1500m sprint a the World Sprints in Tahiti with her perspective teams. She has also competed in various OC1 races placing 5th in the PA’A Hawaii Moloka’i Solo in 2018. This is also Hoku’s favorite race because “while this race is a solo race, itʻs not a race she ever feels alone…it’s a time for me to connect with my kupuna, my culture, connect with Kanaloa on a level that I haven't been able to replicate. To cross from one island to another, pulling the island closer and closer like my kupuna did, is why I love this race.” Her favorite thing about the paddling lifestyle is watching it flourish. While you will see Hoku competing and staying connected to the ocean through the wa’a, you will also see her celebrating her Hawaiian heritage and culture while perpetuating its traditions and history for the generations to come.