Molokai 2 Oahu

Episode 99: Zeb Walsh

Zeb Walsh -- prone paddling Bass Straight, winning Molokai 2 Oahu, big wave rescue training

Episode 99!!

Zeb Walsh grew up in the waters of Southern Australia to become a world-class ocean athlete with a strong focus on long-distance and semi-crazy endurance events. Today Zeb shares his stories of winning the Molokai 2 Oahu paddle board race, paddling with friends across the Bass Strait to Tasmania, and hand-carving a dugout canoe for a 250km / 2 week paddle across the Torres Strait. Along the way we share a bunch of laughs while talking foiling, big wave rescue training, getting the groms out into the wild, and Zeb and me first meeting days before paddling M2O way back in 2011.
 
After you listen to Zeb here you’re gonna be fired up to get out in the water. Before you go though, decide on 1 way you will not use plastic today and then follow through on it. It’s pretty rad to do.
 
Thanks for sharing Zeb’s ocean life with us. Be sure to check him out on Instagram and his rad documentaries on Red Bull.  
This Ocean Life Podcast Zeb Walsh

Episode 97: James Casey

James Casey - winning Molokai 2 Oahu, foiling, coaching, surfing

In episode 97, we hear the stories of professional athlete and man of the water, James Casey, who takes us down his path from a young grom taking his beatings in Hawaiian surf to the dominant standup paddle boarder he is today, winning the infamous Molokai 2 Oahu paddle race on his SUP in 2019. James’s stories and perspectives on his love for coaching and foiling, traveling the world, running camps in Thailand and the Maldives, and commitment to family are fun and inspirational. I was lucky enough to have time with James before he took off from his home in Sydney to fly out for the Red Bull Heavy Water event in San Francisco.

Highlights of our conversation:

  • M20 win in 2019, top 5 finishes years leading up in the standup paddleboard division
  • Working for months to perfect his SUP race boards for M2O with Sunova Surfboards
  • Great perspective on top competitors that James battles in paddle contests, including Connor Baxter, Michael Booth, Travis Grant
  • James has caught the foiling bug in a big way and is running foil training camps in Thailand
  • Growing up splitting time near Sydney and Maui — right near world class downwind Maliko Run
  • How James’s father inflluenced him in the water and set him up for today’s success (best of wishes go out to James’s dad battling health issues!!!)
  • Coaching others, how that started, where that is today, and how James loves doing it
  • Casey. — the family business James operates with mom and sister at www.caseyaus.com

Thanks for sharing James’ ocean life with us. Be sure to check him out on Instagram and dive into the Casey. website.

This Ocean Life Podcast James Casey

Episode 92: Pat Shaughnessy

Pat Shaughnessy -- Mavericks competitor, prone paddle athlete

In episode 92 I speak with a good friend and legend, Pat Shaughnessy, a world class big wave surfer and prone board paddler. Pat takes us through the past few years of focusing his summers on lifeguarding at Santa Cruz beaches and competing in both the Catalina Classic and Molokai 2 Oahu paddle board races with stories of dealing with the physical and mental challenges of these long distance events. Pat takes us through the evolution of his surfing from competitive shortboarding in his early teens to following his sister, Savannah, to Mavericks for his first big wave introduction. We hear of Pat taking a cautious first few years at Mavericks before things clicking for him and finding his true love for big wave surfing and being invited to compete in the 3 recent Mavericks contests. Pat talks about his crew in the line-up, continued inspiration from his sister in big waves, no-leash days at Puerto Escondido, and spending time to help the next generation find their stoke for big waves.

 

Thanks for sharing Pat’s ocean life with us. Be sure to check out photos and videos of Pat on Instagram. Top photo credit: Ryan Craig / @chachfile

This Ocean Life Podcast Pat Shaughnessy

Episode 87: Johnny Kahakalahoa

Johnny Kahakaloha -- water life on Maui, enduring Molokai 2 Oahu

In episode 87 I speak with Johnny Kahakaloha, a man who has found his calling on land and the water of Maui. Johhny talks story of moving to Maui and immersing himself in local Hawaiian culture within the town of Kahakuloa where he learned how to live off of the land and be in harmony with the natural world around him, all while remotely running a highly successful record label company. Johnny tells the story of his entry into the world of paddling starting with the outrigger canoe and moving to the SUP where today Johnny is a regular in the waves and downwind courses on Maui. We hear of the strong community of Maui board paddlers and people who have influenced Johnny to take on one of the biggest paddle challenges on the planet, Molokai 2 Oahu. Johnny shares his story of deciding to paddle M2O in 2019 three weeks before the race and his intense training he went through to prepare. Johnny then shares a super heavy story of being stuck in 30-knot wind less than 2-miles from the M2O finish line and having to dig deep to persevere and finish the race. Throughout, we hear a great perspective from Johnny on finding and pursuing passion in life.

 

Thanks for sharing Johnny’s ocean life with us. Be sure to check out photos and videos of Johnny on Instagram.

This Ocean Life Podcast Johnny Kahakaloha

Molokai 2 Oahu Stories: Part 2

Molokai 2 Oahu Stories: Part 2 - Gerry Lopez, Josh Riccio, Alice Henley, Jenn Lee, Mike Dilloughery

In part 2 of this multi-part series with stories and perspectives on the world’s gnarliest paddle board race, Molokai 2 Oahu (M2O). Five of my past guests and current legends in the water — Gerry Lopez, Josh Riccio, Alice Henley, Jenn Lee, Mike Dilloughery — all share their past experiences paddling in the Kaiwi Channel (The Channel of Bones) including seasickness, poor choice of lines, horrific sunburns, dealing with mental fatigue, logistical nightmares, and much more.

Gerry Lopez podcast stories from M2O is available here.

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!

Episode 80: Hunter Pflueger — Molokai 2 Oahu stories

Hunter Pflueger -- Molokai 2 Oahu Stories

In the continuing series around the unofficial world championships of padde board racing, Molokai 2 Oahu (M2O), we speak with Hunter Pflueger on his past years in the Kaiwi Channel. Hunter takes us from his first relay team as a 13-year old grom up to today where he is focused on challenging to win the prone stock division. Hunter shares his stories of training for the event, persevering through the various areas of the channel, pushing through the mental and physical challenges paddlers face in this heavy 32-mile stretch of water. We hear of intense paddle battles with other racers, bumping rails across the channel, and epic finishes. Hunter provides a very humble and gracious perspective on the event, the paddle community, and his own family for providing strong support for him throughout the years. 

Thanks for sharing Hunter’s M2O stories with us. Be sure to check out photos and videos of Hunter on Instagram.

Episode 76: Steve Shlens — Molokai 2 Oahu stories

Steve Shlens Part 2: Molokai to Oahu paddle stories

In this podcast episode we chat again with Steve Shlens talking about the seven Molokai 2 Oahu races he’s competed in. Steve shares stories from his first time in the Kaiwi Channel and the hard learning curve everyone faces around travel, logistics, and paddling the race. We hear about Steve being lost in the Channel for 3+ hours when his escort boat was unable to locate him after the start plus great perspective on the mental challenges the race delivers and Steve’s tactics for overcoming them. Steve relates stories of sinking boats, fixing large holes in his paddle board before the race, working with boat captains, and the overall amazing camaraderie of this very special event. Whether you’ve done M2O or are considering the attempt, there is plenty of great stories and perspective from Steve to enjoy.

Thanks for sharing Steve’s M2O stories with us. Be sure to check out photos and videos of Steve on Instagram. You can hear Steve’s Part 1 episode here.

This Ocean Life Podcast Steve Shlens M2O

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 53: Jenn Lee (part 2)

Jenn Lee (part 2) - 4 Molokai channel crossings, ocean canoe, SUP racing

In episode 53 we continue our conversation with Jenn Lee, a woman of Oahu who raced across the Kaiwi Channel on 4 different paddle craft in 2018. Jenn picks up toward the end of her race season as she joins a novice 6-man outrigger canoe team to battle the best teams in the world in the Na Wahine O Ke Kai race. We hear the story of Jenn’s team challenging the field, working through the always gnarly Kaiwi Channel, and taking an epic inside line through the surf at Waikiki to make an amazing finish. Jenn then takes us to California where she immediately competes in SUP races of Battle of the Bay and Pacific Paddle Games, capping an incredible year of paddle racing. And of course, we talk pet chickens as well 🙂

Thanks for sharing Jenn’s ocean life with us. You can find pictures and video of her on Instagram and Facebook pages.

This Ocean Life Podcast Jenn Lee