Vaikobi is excited to announce the arrival date of a brand new line up of Vaikobi's VCold Performance range of technical paddle gear set to storm on to the market in April.
Designed to control your body temperature for maximum performance in cool to cold conditions, the next generation VCold range features a number of new fabric and design innovations, engineered specifically for the paddle athlete to further enhance body temperature control, wicking and overall comfort.
Included in the range are updated designs of the hugely popular VCold Storm Paddle Pant, Storm Paddle Top & Base Top however there are some awesome new additions to the line up which will become "must have" items in every paddle athlete's kit bag!
Vaikobi's Pat Langley commented that "This exciting new range is the culmination of two years of R & D, working with Vaikobi's international race team and paddle athletes across all paddle disciplines. Over this period, our Athletes tested a number of new fabrications and designs across a range of conditions to ensure that the final product will deliver the ultimate in performance and comfort on the water".
Keep an eye out for the official range launch in April 2017 when the full line up will be announced and available through your local Vaikobi Stockist and through www.vaikobi.com
The Paddle Life UV Paddle Top features our super lightweight and stretchy VLight fabrication, which is extremely soft feeling for maximum comfort whilst racing and training.
Iron Woman Danielle McKenzie from New Zealand is at the top of her game right now and holds numerous titles across all surf disciplines at New Zealand, Australia and World Championship Surf Life Saving events.
Vaikobi is stoked to have Danielle on the team and we look forward to working with her as we develop our range of technical performance products for Surf Athletes.
Danielle competed in many sports growing up through school. Her international career started off when she competed for NZ in the U19 Age group triathlon World Championships in Budapest 2010. At only 16 years of age she placed 2nd in her age group. In 2011 she again competed at the Triathlon World Champs in China, where she again placed 2nd.
In 2012 after finishing high school Danielle shifted her focus to Surf Life Saving. In 2012 she was selected for the U20 NZ Surf Life Saving team which placed 2nd to Australia at the World Championships in Adelaide. From here, her dreams of representing NZ in the Open Surf Lifesaving World Champs would become reality.
In 2014 she was selected in the Open NZ Surf Lifesaving team (Black Fins) who were crowned World Champions at Rescue 2014 in France and created history in NZ Surf Lifesaving by becoming back to back World champions. Danielle is the current World Board and Line Throw Champion.
In 2014, Danielle qualified for the Professional Nutrigrain Kellogg’s Ironwoman Series in Australia, one of the few kiwis to gain acess to this elite series. She placed 13th overall with her best result 11th. In 2015/16 she again re-qualifed for the Ironwoman Series where she again placed 13th overall, with her best result a 10th. The 2016 Surf Life Saving season saw Danielle take out both the ski and the board in the Summer of Surf Series in Australia as well and many nationals medals in New Zealand and Australia.
Late 2016, Danielle competed for NZ and BMD Northcliffe at the Surf Life Saving International and club World Championships in Netherlands. Both the team NZ and BMD Northcliffe reclaimed their World Title positions. Danielle is now current World Champ in female Ski race and line throw. Danielle headed to Fiji in November to compete in the ISA World Paddleboard technical and Distance races. Here she placed 2nd in both.
Keep an eye out for Danielle as she competes in the last round of the Summer of Surf this weekend on the Gold Coast, before she takes on the World's best Iron Women at the Nurti-Grain IronWoman Final at Cronulla on Feb 24-26.
DANIELLE MCKENZIE PROFILE:
Lives: Auckland, NZ / Gold Coast, QLD
Surf Club: BMD Northcliffe
National Team: Black Fins, NZ Surf Life Saving
Favourite Vaikobi Item: VCold Storm Paddle Pants!
Danielle's Dad took her down to Mairangi Bay SLSC when she was 7 years old and she has never looked back.
Today Danielle is a star on the Nutri-Grain & Summer of Surf Iron Woman Circuits and holds numerous titles across all surf disciplines at NZ, Australian and World championship events.
Danielle also finished a tight second at the ISA Paddleboard World Champs in Fiji in 2016.
Danielle is currently studying a Bachelor of Sport and recreation majoring in Sport and Exercise Science and Sports Management at AUT.
In her spare time Danielle also runs Nipper clinics, sharing the passion with tomorrow's champions. For more info, check out www.facebook.com/oceanathleticscoaching/
The sun is the enemy!
We all love a bit of sun on our bodies, however being the ocean going creatures spending long periods out on the water, the sun quickly becomes the enemy as it increases body temperature and cooks our skin having a negative impact on performance.
Developed and tested by Vaikobi's Race Team of Athletes, the VOcean Performance range is designed to protect your body from the harsh sun and help control body temperature to keep you powering on the water.
Vaikobi Race Team's #1 USA Surf Ski paddler on the world tour Austin Kieffer, has just wrapped up a 5 week trip taking on some of the world's best races in Hong Kong, Western Australia and the surf ski paddling mecca of Sydney on the East Coast of Australia.
Here he reports on his last race of the tour down under:
The Palms to Pines was my final race of 2016 and the second to last World Series races on the calendar. Nestled in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the Palms to Pines is one of the few races with a completely flexible course designed to maximize downwind. Race organizer, Dean Gardner, did a fantastic job of adapting the course and making the most of race day conditions.
Due to the conditions on the day, the race was set at 12.5km, meaning that it was shaping up to be fast and painful. Given the large swell pounding the Northern Beaches and the tendency of athletes taking off before the start, there was a very strict no on water warm up policy. Athletes stayed on the beach until a signal was given and then they only had 10 minutes to get out through the surf and line up between two jet ski's for the start.
In an attempt to add a little extra distance and sneak in a warm up, I took a wide line out through the surf. Three quarters of the way out, I realized it was a terrible idea. I timed my exit completely wrong, but I was too close to change my plan as a big set reared up. All I could do was grit my teeth and paddle and received a thorough pummelling for my troubles. It was the kind of pummelling that leaves your shorts washed back into Speedo form and gives your nasal passage a proper pressure wash. Luckily, after three hammerings, I was still on my ski and wobbled up to the start line rattled and with a cockpit full of water with only had a few seconds to gather myself before the race horn......Not the warm up I was hoping for.
The horn blew and Macca Hynard took off like a rocket, leading the pack to the first turn buoy. As we turned upwind, Jeremy Cotter surged on the inside and took the lead. A small pack, including Cory Hill, formed for the upwind grind. Try as I might, I couldn’t find my rhythm. I don’t know if I was still rattled from the waves or if I wasn’t ready for the messy conditions, or even if the pace was just too fast, but by the end of the upwind leg I was hurting. I tried to time the turn well and maximize an inside line, but I was outmaneuvered and pushed offline as we all caught our first waves of the downwind leg.
I tried to gather myself, ratcheting back my pace for a moment and rebooting for the downwind. It took a few minutes and some course correction, but I found my rhythm surfing the waves hard left. The downwind stretch was fantastic! Some moments I felt like I was alone on the water, focusing solely on the wave ahead. In other moments, people would surf in out of nowhere. We would battle, trading runs, leads, and suffering to pull away. And then with a wave choice or a final surge, I would be alone again. I was trying to stay focused on my surfing, but it was hard to tell where I was in the race standings. I might have been top five or I might have been 30th.
In the end, after my shaky start, I was able to put together a solid downwind leg and I was able to push myself to the very last wave, finishing 7th with a run up the beach just behind Michael Booth.
All in all it was a fantastic race, a real learning experience and a great way to round out the 2016 season!
Men's Top 3:
1) Cory Hill
2) Jeremy Cotter
3) Macca Hynard
By Austin Kieffer (USA) - Vaikobi Race Team
Photo Credit: Sam Murray
The Doctor is one of the few surfski races in the world that offers a true ocean crossing and there is something uniquely adventurous about an ocean crossing. Perhaps it stems from the knowledge that, at half way, you are further from shore than any sane person should be. Or perhaps it’s the wild quality of the ocean so far from shore.
Regardless, the Doctor is one of the few races of its kind and as a result draws a tremendous field of talent and depth. The 27km crossing starts at Rottnest Island, blasts out a kilometer to a hotspot, turns left towards the Australian coast for 20km, and finally hooks another left around a central channel marker for a furious 6km finish to Sorento Beach. Named after the winds that blow consistently in Perth, Australia at that time of year, the Doctor is a must do for anyone with their eye on global surfski.
As you go through the pre-race preparation for the Doctor, it becomes quite obvious why crossings are traditionally logistical nightmares. For this race, competitors must load their boats with hundreds of others on privately chartered barges the day before the race. These barges leave early Saturday morning, while racers themselves take the public ferry to the destination island.
Once there, the barges are unloaded and everyone finds their ski (in a sea of white surfskis [predominantly consisting of only two brands] it’s not as easy as it sounds). And finally, racers settle in and try to avoid the sun as race organizers wait for the afternoon wind to build.
This year, however, we were waiting for a Doctor that refused to work on weekends. With a high of 100 degrees, race day saw the lightest wind of the surrounding three weeks. The 2016 Doctor was a hot and brutal grind, pure and simple. Conditions were so brutal that many athletes received medical attention following the race (including the reigning world champ, who still managed a fantastic second place finish).
The Race Begins
The pace off the line was as hot as the weather. Hank and Olympian Kenny Wallace were off like rockets, pushing the pace to the hot spot (turning the marker first and second respectively). Further back, I rounded the hotspot to see the 20+ km of hot, lumpy ocean stretching out before me. I was already burning up. I knew I had to conserve in this first half if I had any hope of lasting the entire course. I backed off my pace and mournfully watched the leaders crawl away into the shimmering heat.
I put all my focus on paddling as efficiently and smoothly as possible. Mercifully, the Fenn S made it easy and I was able to milk every minute bump and ripple that came my way. Finally, after an hour of what felt like an eternity (and the loss of most of my body weight in liquid), I miraculously started feeling better. Maybe my body adjusted somehow, maybe it found some semblance of homeostasis in the brutal heat, but whatever it was, I could feel that I had a little more gas to give. It was time to see if my strategy of conserving would actually work.
Around that same time, a small breeze began to build (nothing substantial mind you, but the 5-10 knots were just enough to kick up small waves). Just ahead of me, Big Wave Macca seemed to be experiencing the same phenomena as he picked up the pace. Determined to try and catch him, we put our heads down and started gain ground. I never managed to pass him, but we seemed to keep the exact same separation as we hunted racers down. It wasn’t any less brutal or hot, but there is something magical about passing people in the later stages of a race and it seemed to be giving us both a little extra charge. In the end, we were able to claw our way back from the mid-teens to an amazing 6th and 7th finish, just 7 seconds apart! That being said, I did have to lie down in the shade for about 15 minutes after the race to gather myself.
My hat goes off to everyone who competed in the brutal conditions and the resilience of the top finishers who went out hard from the first stroke, inspires the heck out of me (well it does every time I am fortunate enough to race with them, but especially today).
1) Hank McGregor
2) Cory Hill
3) Mark Anderson
4) Dawid Mocke
5) Jasper Mocke
6) Macca Hynard
7) Austin Kieffer
8) Kenny Rice
9) Kenny Wallace
10) Brendan Rice
1) Hayley Nixon
2) Teneal Hatton
3) Niccole Russell
4) Tegan Fraser
5) Wendy Reyntjes
6) Rachel Clarke
7) Jamie Roberts