It’s the 15th annual event, and it happened on the 7th and 8th of April 2018 at Ho’okipa Beach Park on Maui’s North Shore.
The usual one-day event was changed to a two-day format ‘to provide 100 additional kids the opportunity to participate in this unique surfing competition,’ according to Ian Walsh. So, more surf, more fun, more music and more art.
The constant rain didn’t stop the kids from surfing and having fun. Hundreds of kids showed and up showed their moves to about 500 spectators. Ian Walsh says the rain wasn’t a factor and it only showed how resilient the Maui kids are. “It would be nice to have sun but the swell came with a little weather, so the tradeoff is that we had good surf for the kids. The kids didn’t even notice; right now there are three girls playing in the ocean in the rain at 7 o’clock in the morning,” Ian says.
What’s new this year?
Hula, a haku lei station, a bagpipe band and taiko drums. Ian says they’re raising cultural awareness for the kids. “We don’t just tell them about things, we involve them in it. We don’t just say to them, ‘Don’t use single-use plastics,’ we give them reusable water bottles and show them why we use them and how to take care of the beach. These kids are the future stewards of our oceans and planet.”
Other activities the kids loved were the jumping castle, dunking pro surfer Jamie O’Brien in a dunk tank, the art station, and autograph booth. There was also a DJ for the party.
Paia Bowls provided tasty treats throughout the weekend. Deep Relief Athletic Training Center offered warmups for the contestants. The Maui Surfrider Foundation led the beach cleanup, which was participated by kids who weren’t busy prepping for the contest. The Lucky Honey hosted a scavenger hunt where kids and adults got to know more about the island’s history.
Ian Walsh’s Menehune Mayhem Foundation together with the George and Betty Harbaugh Foundation is also giving away two scholarships with a total of $5,000 to students attending college this 2018.
Thanks to these sponsors (including Hawai’i Life, Minit Medical, Hydro Flask, and Patagonia), this annual event will continue to thrive and inspire the Maui youth community to become creative, an environmentalist, academically inclined and enjoy surfing.
This annual event hosted by Ian is truly an inspiration and I believe every surfer could give back to their community as well by doing this, or any other project that would promote creativity, academic and environmental teachings and surfing activities as well.
Learn more about Ian Walsh’s foundation HERE
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