Prone paddling

Molokai 2 Oahu Stories: Part 1

Molokai 2 Oahu Stories: Part 1

In this multi-part series I’ve put together the first set of stories and perspectives on the world’s gnarliest paddle board race, Molokai 2 Oahu (M2O). Six of my past guests and current legends in the water — Lincoln Dews, Mick Di Betta, Morgan Hoesterey, Nick Franco, Leanne Horton, and Jeff Denholm — all share their past experiences paddling in the Kaiwi Channel (The Channel of Bones) including sinking boats, injuries, super heavy conditions, the first M2O event ever, competing both SUP and prone, logistical horror stories, and much, much more.

If you enjoy this story compilation I’d be stoked if you gave a nice rating of This Ocean Life in your podcast app or even better stop using plastics whenever possible so we can keep them out of the environment and out of the stomachs of our favorite ocean critters. Thanks!

This Ocean Life Podcast M2O

Episode 66: Chris Aguilar

Chris Aguilar - endurance board paddling, ocean videos, helping others

In Episode 66 we speak with Chris Aguilar, a man of the water who has built an amazing lifestyle of board paddling and documenting the people and events of the sport. Chris takes us through his years filming the Molokai 2 Oahu paddleboard race and shares some of his favorite moments that he’s been a part of. We hear about the evolution of Chris’s video work and his passion for using this medium to tell stories from events like M2O, Carolina Cup, Battle of the Paddle while also pushing his own physical and mental limits competing as a prone paddler in many events. Chris talks about the 10+ Catalina Channel crossings that he’s done as well as his love for the Chattajack Race in Tennessee and shares his perspective on the paddle community and participating in fund raisers for those less fortunate, like the 24 Hour Paddle.

Thanks for sharing Chris’s ocean life with us. You can find Chris’s videos on Vimeo, pictures and video of him on his Instagram page and Facebook

This Ocean Life Podcast Chris Aguilar

Episode 56: Kailyn Winter

Kailyn Winter - Team USA board paddler, strength on water

In Episode 56 we chat with Kailyn Winter, a 15-year old woman of the water who represented Team USA in the 2018 ISA World Paddleboard Championships. Kailyn shares her story of training and qualifying in rough water for the USA Team in Santa Cruz at the legendary Jay Race, the excitement of making the team, and her months of dedicated training and preparation for the ISA event. We hear of Kailyn’s travel to the island of Hainan, China, her perspective on representing the USA on this international stage, and competing in both team and individual board paddling events. Kailyn shares a gnarly story of losing her water bottles at the start of the 12-mile distance race and overcoming physical and emotional challenges to be part of an incredible photo finish at the end of a grueling event. Huge congratulations to Kailyn for her success at the ISAs and for being an amazing representative of USA paddle sports.

Thanks for sharing Kailyn’s ocean life with us. You can find pictures and video of her on Instagram and the ISA website

This Ocean Life Podcast Kailyn Winter

Episode 50: Mick Di Betta

Mick Di Betta - Lifeguard, Ocean Athlete Trainer, Molokai to Oahu Legend

In Episode 50 (50!?) we speak with one of my favorite legends in the board paddling world, Mick Di Betta. Mick takes us through his amazing life of growing up in the waters of Gold Coast with heavy focus on surf lifesaving, surfing, and competitive sports. We hear of Mick developing a strong connection with the Hawaiian ocean community, creating his very first paddling training program, and winning the inaugural Molokai 2 Oahu (M20) race in 1997. Mick shares his perspective on his first time in the Kaiwi Channel and paddling in the M2O event for over 22 years since while training many of the top competitors. We get some great insight into Mick’s approach to performance training and the impact he made to SUP board design. Plus so much more from this board paddling legend…

Thanks to Chris Aguilar for the photo!

Thanks for sharing Mike’s ocean life with us. You can find pictures and video of him on Instagram and Facebook pages. Also learn more about how you can benefit from Mick’s training program on his JustPaddling.com website.

This Ocean Life Podcast Mick Di Betta

Episode 25: Leane Horton

Leane Horton and Changing the Tides

In Episode 25 we speak with Leane Horton, an amazing woman who has built an incredibly rich life in the ocean. Leane shares her stories of competitive paddleboarding in Molokai 2 Oahu (5x) and as a member of Team Hawai’i in the ISA World Championships (3x). Leane recounts her tales of buying sailboat Valkyrie with her husband and sailing from Mexico to French Polynesia where she makes repeat trips to explore each year. As a co-founder of the Changing Tides Foundation, Leane also provides perspective on giving back to the locations and people we visit on our travels and empowering women to participate fully in their own ocean lives.

Leane Horton This Ocean Life podcast

Episode 12: Jonathan Cowen

Jonathan Cowen and Paddling Alone in Tasmania

In Episode #12 of This Ocean Life podcast we speak with Jonathan Cowen, a dedicated surfer and paddle boarder who lives a life of ocean isolation in the wild land of Tasmania where there are very few people in the water (and only 2 known prone paddlers!). Jonathan shares stories about finding passion for the ocean in a land-locked town in England, bringing the second recorded prone paddleboard to Tasmania, and going hypothermic in the Antarctic-influenced wind and water he calls home. If you go to Tasmania and want to paddle or surf, Jonathan is the guy!

Jonathan Cowen This Ocean Life Podcast

Episode 7: Morgan Hoesterey

Morgan Hoesterey and a Life of Play in the Ocean

In Episode #7 of This Ocean Life podcast we speak with Morgan Hoesterey, an incredibly strong and talented woman of the ocean who has built an amazing ocean life. Morgan shares stories from her 10 years of competing in the Molokai 2 Oahu paddle board race, competing in the Tahiti Waterman Tour, and pushing herself mentally and physically to be able to play in the water with whomever, wherever, on whatever craft. With stories of friends and adventures from around the world, Morgan gives us a special perspective on life in and under the water.

Morgan Hoesterey

Episode 4: Dave Benet

Dave Benet and the Many Dimensions of an Ocean Life

In this episode we talk with Dave Benet, an extremely accomplished man of the ocean who has built an ocean resume that I myself dream of having. Dave shares his stories of training the next generation of marine scientist divers in the cold, sharky waters of Northern California. We hear about Dave’s passion for free diving and spearfishing along with his first experience surfing at Mavericks. Dave provides his grounded perspective on enjoying a multi-dimensional ocean life and eagerness to conserve what we today enjoy for future generations.

Dave-Benet-scuba

Episode 3: Steve Shlens

Steve Shlens and 30 Years of Paddle Board Racing

In this episode we talk with the prolific surfer and prone paddle boarder, Steve Shlens. Steve went from a broken back to winning the 32-mile Catalina Classic 1-year later. Steve has a crazily colorful and successful paddling career including national championship wins as a Jr LIfeguard in the 1980s, wins at Molokai 2 Oahu and Catalina Classic events, and onto a 2015 international win with the United States ISA Team which he now COACHES. After 4 years away from surfing, Steve’s first wave back was at Teahupoo, before Teahupoo was a household name. Steve takes us through his amazing ocean life and shares some great thoughts on the mental aspect of endurance sports and leveraging challenges in day to day life to push us beyond our limits in the ocean.

shlens-mavs

Episode 2: Mike Dilloughery

Mike Dilloughery and the 55-mile Unassisted Paddle

In this episode we talk with Mike Dilloughery, a native of Santa Cruz, CA who did the unthinkable — he paddled over 25 miles across the Monterey Bay, touched land and filled his water bottles, then paddled back. In total Mike paddled 55 miles, completely solo and with no support boat. We hear this and other paddling stories from Ghostryders Watermens Club (GRWC) along with Mike’s perspective on growing up at Steamer Lane during the 1980’s as Santa Cruz surfing progressed rapidly from twin fins and day glow wetsuits into big waves and airs.

trike-lane