Meet the athletes who help us develop and test our ocean performance gear.
NEW ZEALAND ATHLETES
SOUTH AFRICAN ATHLETES
Name: MICHAEL BOOTH
Date of Birth:1991
Hometown: Perth, WA
WORLD SUP DISTANCE CHAMPION
Favourite Vaikobi item: VCold storm L/S as it keeps me warm in the Perth winter. And VOcean L/S in summer as it keeps the sun off me as I hate getting burnt.
Sponsors: Starboard, Shaw and Partners, Inamo, Zazik, VMG Blades, Oceanpaddler, Psyborg
Michael has become a hugely successful SUP racer after turning his focus to it at the start of 2016. Since then he has become arguably the best distance SUP racer in the world winning the World Championship in Fiji in 2016 and the European Tour in 2017.
Prior to SUP, Michael had a successful background in other paddle sports, including Surfski, finishing 2015 with a 1st in the Durban World Cup and a 2nd in the World Series. In Kayaking he represented Australia in 2014 at the U/23 and Senior World Championships in Moscow in K2 events. Further to that he has also represented Australia in two U/23 Surf Life Saving teams touring New Zealand and Japan.
Michael is dedicated to not only building himself as an athlete but also to building the sport of SUP racing into a more widespread and credible sport. He does this by raising awareness of SUP as an alternative healthy choice and water activity for the masses which perfectly aligns with Vaikobi’s philosophy to all Paddle sports.
With Michael being one of the first athletes to join the Vaikobi Race Team back in 2012, Pat Langley from Vaikobi said “It is awesome to renew our partnership with Michael as he continues to evolve as a paddle athlete. To see him become one of the best SUP racers in the world is fantastic and we are delighted to work closely with Michael as we increase our focus on the international SUP market”.
- European SUP Tour Champion 2017
- World Champion ISA SUP Marathon Fiji 2016
- QLD SUP Distance and Technical Champion 2016
- European SUP Tour Runner up 2016
- Australian SUP Distance Champion 2015
- World Series Ocean Ski 2nd Overall 2015
- Australian Ocean Ski Series Champion 14/15
Name: MADDIE SPENCER
Date of Birth:8 August 1996
Hometown: Newport, NSW
Vaikobi favourite item: Ocean Active tights - Perfect for Board and ski paddling and most importantly the colours match my board and ski!
Weapons of Choice: Kracka Paddleboards, Fenn Spark Ocean Ski, Dolphin Drive Surf Ski, Bennet Paddles
Maddie had a break out year in the Summer of Surf series where she achieved some fantastic results in the Iron, Board and Ski throughout the season which qualified her for the Nutri-Grain Iron Woman final in Cronulla where Maddie enjoyed some solid finishes over the big weekend.
Maddie also won the stock prone division at the 2017 Molokai World Championship.
When not training or racing, Maddie is completing her university degree at Sydney University where she is studying Medicine.
Maddie is an awesome ambassador for Vaikobi and we're stoked to have her on the team. She also puts up with us asking her to model the gear for our photo shoots all the time - but who can blame us!
Name: MACKENZIE HYNARD
Date of Birth:14 Oct 1994
Hometown: Wollongong, NSW
U/23 OCEAN SKI WORLD CHAMPION
DOB: 14 Oct 1994
Born: Wollongong, NSW
Resides: Gold Coast, QLD
Weapon of Choice: Think Kayak
Vaikobi product I couldn't live with out: PFD for obvious reasons + the fact I'm not that great a swimmer. Plus the new v ocean paddle top is a winner!
We are stoked to have World U/23 Oceanski Champion, Mackenzie Hynard (AKA Macca, Big Wave Macca) on the Vaikobi Race Team!
Macca has emerged as one of the strongest contenders on the international circuit after posting some fantastic results in 2015 and 2016 including his big U/23 title in Tahiti at the Worlds.
Macca was brought up in the Surf Life Saving scene in Australia and is a professional lifeguard whilst also competing on the World Surf Ski Series.
2017 has been a great year so far for Macca, with 2nd's and 4th's across all the Australian Ocean Racing Series!
Name: TIM JACOBS
Hometown: Freshwater, Australia
Weapons of Choice: Nelo Ocean Ski, Bennett Paddles
Tim is amongst the worlds best Ocean Paddlers, having taken out some of the major events around the globe in his Ocean Racing career which extends beyond 15 years. Tim is a record six time winner of the iconic 20 Beaches race in Sydney and has twice won the Dragon Run in Hong Kong and the Dubai Shamal in the U.A.E.
Season 2012 was a stellar year for Tim with wins in the Dragon Run in Hong Kong and The Doctor in Western Australia.
In 2013, Tim finished 2nd to Sean Rice at the Inaugural ICF Surfski World Championship in Portugal before winning yet another 20 Beaches Classic in Sydney.
Name: JENAYA MASSIE
Date of Birth:23/04/2002
Hometown: Sunshine Coast
Sprint Kayaking and Surf Life Saving
Home: Alexandra Headland, Queensland
Favourite Vaikobi Item: VCOLD Flex Paddle Pants
Weapons of choice: Epic Surf Ski & Jantex Paddle
Jenaya began Surf Life Saving at the age of 5 and has continued her passion and love of sport. Today, Jenaya is committed to achieving her personal goal to be selected in the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games Australian team for her chosen sport of Sprint Kayaking. In 2018, Jenaya was selected in the Australian Youth Olympic Games Team for two disciplines; Sprint and Slalom Kayak, which was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Since then, she has continued to represent Australia at national and international level in sprint kayak and ocean paddling. Jenaya recently won gold on the U18 K1 1000m at the Australian Sprint Kayak Championships, and also won silver in the U18 K1 500 and U18 K2 500m. These outstanding performances secured her a spot on the 2020 World Junior Sprint Kayak Championship team to be held in Brandenburg, Germany.
Jenaya is the current two times U18 K2 500m and U18 K1 500m Asia Pacific champion and is striving to continue this success in upcoming regattas. Out of the kayak, Jenaya has continued her love of paddling in a different craft. She has found a new passion in an ocean ski and is excited about downwind paddling. In March 2020, Jenaya won the won the U19 Australian Downwind Championships and was selected to represent Australia at the 2020 World Ocean Racing Championships in Portugal.
Name: CORY HILL
Date of Birth:April 24, 1989
Hometown: Gold Coast, Australia
OCEAN SKI WORLD CHAMPION
NAME: Cory “Chill” Hill
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT: Defending my 2015 ICF World Ocean Ski Title last year in Hong Kong
Cory originated from a Surf Life Saving background where he found success as a professional Ironman before discovering his talent, passion and love for the sport of Ocean Paddling. He has since etched his name into the Surf Ski history books as one of the most successful and decorated athletes.
Cory is the current Ocean Ski World Champion and the only paddler in the sport to ever win consecutive world titles.
We are honoured to have Cory on the Vaikobi team as a part of the Shaw and Partners Race Team.
Name: HANNAH MINOGUE
Date of Birth:1 Nov 1989
AUSTRALIAN SLSA SKI CHAMPION, INTERNATIONAL OCEAN SKI CHAMPION, AUSTRALIAN SPRINT KAYAKING TEAM
DISCIPLINE: OCEAN SKI, SURF LIFE SAVING, SPRINT KAYAK
FAVOURITE VAIKOBI ITEM:V Cold Storm paddling pants. Love them!
Hannah's paddling career is chock full of success with victories across all disciplines of paddle sport- Surf Life Saving- 3 X Gold Medalist, Ocean Ski- Multiple International Race wins and Sprint Kayaking- part of the Australian & NSWIS Sprint Kayak Squads.
This year, Hannah has had the honour of captaining the Australian Surf Life Saving team that raced in Japan.
On land, Hannah is the most friendly and easy going person you can come across. Put her on the water and the killer instinct emerges and she is unstoppable!
We are stoked to have an Athlete such as Hannah on the Vaikobi Race Team!
Name: RYAN PAROZ
Hometown: Brisbane, Australia
OCEANSKI & SURFLIFE SAVING CHARGER
Born: Brisbane, Australia
Lives: Sunshine Coast, Australia
Discipline: Ocean Ski/ Surf Life Saving
Weapon of Choice: Epic V14, Performance Paddles
Favourite Vaikobi Gear: The VOcean Paddle Pants are so sweet! Super comfortable and look after my body on those long days on the ocean.
website: Ryan Paroz Athlete Page
Ryan is a 21 Year old charger from the Sunshine Coast in Australia. This year, Ryan has chased major events on the World Surfski Series with great sucess, including the gruelling Molokai World Championship (for a 3rd time!) along with the Canadian Surfski Championship and Gorge Downwind Championship (USA). He is now back in Australia preparing for the down under summer ahead which includes The Doctor in Western Australia.
Ryan loves to compete and recently placed 4th overall in the US Surf Life Saving National Championship at Long Beach, CA.
Vaikobi is stoked to have Ryan on the team. His enthusiasm and approach to everything fun and worthwhile is infectious and we always have a blast when he is around!
Name: BEN BRICKNELL
OC & SUP
Weapons of choice: Kai wa'a , Ares oc1 and Fanatic SUP
Ben paddles out of Cronulla, Sydney most days of the week wether it's on a OC1 , OC6 or SUP.
Bens best year on the OC1 was 2017/2018 season taking out the Australian titles and went on to win the Makai Cup for the second consecutive year.
He also mixed it up with the Hawaiian locals in the Maui to Molokai in March 2018 coming in 10th across the line!
With multiple Molokai crossings under his belt he is set to go back next year and better his last result where he came 20th across the line in 2016 Molokai solo.
Ben is also working with Fanatic SUP's bringing depth to his training and racing.
Name: JENAYA MASSIE
Date of Birth:23 April 2002
Hometown: Alexandra Headland, Queensland
SPRINT KAYAKER AND SURF LIFE SAVING
Born: Sunshine Coast
Favourite Vaikobi Item: VCOLD Flex Paddle Pants
Weapons of choice: Nelo Sprint Kayak, Hayden Surf Craft Surf Ski & Jantex Paddle
Jenaya began Surf Life Saving (SLS) at age 5 with Maroochydore Surf Club! As a nipper, Jenaya medalled at State and National level and represented QLD in the, “Cyclones” Junior Surf Life Saving team in 2017. Jenaya is the current U17 female QLD SLS Single Ski champion. At the 2018 Australian SLS Championships, she won bronze in the U17 female Single Ski and gold in the U17 female Ski Relay.
At the Youth Olympic Game Qualifiers in Barcelona, Jenaya competed against 75 international competitors from more than 60 nations. She was ranked 9th overall in the Sprint Kayak/Slalom events. Jenaya has been selected in the 2018 Australian Youth Olympic Games Team for the 2 disciplines; Sprint/Slalom Kayak, which will be held in Argentina, Buenos Aires in October 2018. In sprint kayak, Jenaya competed at the National Sprint Canoeing Championships held in Penrith, Sydney where she won 6 Gold medals in the; K1 500m, K1 1000m, K1 2500m, K2 1000m and K4 200m, K4 500m and K4 1000m and silver in the K2 200m, K2 500m.
These elite performances at national level, resulted in her selection to compete for Australia at the 2018 Asia Pacific Cup in West Lakes, Adelaide where she placed 2nd in K1 500m, 1st in K2 500m and 1st in K4 500m. In September.
Jenaya will fly to Poland in September where she will compete for Australia at the 2018 Sprint Olympic Hopes Regatta.
Name: SIMON MCTAVISH
Date of Birth:July 96
Hometown: Ontario, Canada
Based: Mississauga,Ontario Canada
Favourite Vaikobi Item: VCOLD HYDROFLEX TOP
Simon is an all round kayak legend. Winning a Silver medal at the 2018 U23 World Championships in Bulgaria and representing at numerous Senior and Junior events. This year he is working with fellow Vaikobi athletes to qualify the k4 500m for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games at the upcoming 2019 World Championships in late August.
Name: NICK MATVEEV
Club: Balmy Beach Canoe Club
Favourite Vaikobi Item: VCold Base Layer
Nick Matveev also known as Fitveev is a Kayaking powerhouse. He was apart of the K2 500 with fellow Vaikobi athlete Pierre-Luc Poulin winning silver in 2018 at World Cup 2 in Duisburg. Nick (seat 2) is looking to qualify an the K4 500m for the 2020 Olympics at the upcoming World Championships in August.
MARK DE JONG
Name: MARK DE JONG
SRINT KAYAK WORLD CHAMPION
Mark de Jonge’s first goal in a kayak had been to just stay upright. Nearly two decades later he is amongst the best paddlers in the world. After missing out on qualifying for both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, de Jonge’s time to shine came when the quick sprint K-1 200m was added to the Olympic program for London 2012. After a breakout season in 2011 when he won a World Cup medal, he captured bronze in his Olympic debut at London 2012. He had qualified for the Olympic team despite being unable to paddle for several weeks before the Canadian trials when he dropped an 80-pound dumbbell on his finger. After sitting out the World Cup stops, he won the trials in a faster time than ever recorded in international competition. Over the next two years de Jonge became Canada’s most consistent kayaker. In 2013 he won his first World Cup gold medal and finished second at the ICF World Championships by just 0.03 of a second. He bettered himself in 2014, setting a best-ever K-1 200m time in an ICF event in the semifinal before claiming the world title. He successfully defended that world championship gold medal in 2015, making him the first man to win back-to-back titles since 2003. Earlier in the summer he won K-1 200m gold at the Pan Am Games in Toronto and added a bronze medal in the K-2 200m. Mark is now looking for Olympic victory in the team boats. Teaming up with fellow Vaikobi Athletes Nick Matveev, Pierre-Luc Poulin and Simon McTavish he has taken lead in the front seat where the team aims to qualify the K4 500m for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Name: PIERRE-LUC POULIN
SRINT KAYAK WORLD CHAMPION
Favorite Vaikobi item: VCOLD PANTS
Pierre-Luc followed in the foot steps of his older brother. Following him into the canoe kayak community, considering himself lucky to live under the same roof as one of is hero's. He made is way up the national rankings and is now pursuing an international career with the Olympics in mind. When not paddling Pierre-Luc studies business at HEC Montreal.
World cup Silver K2 500m with fellow Vaikobi athlete Nick Matveev
U23 World Championship K4 500m 6th 2018
U23 World Championship K4 500m 4th 2017
National Champion K1 1000m K1 500m K2 500m
Name: KATIE VINCENT
CANOE SPRINT WORLD CHAMPION
Katie has always had passion for sport. It wasn’t long after she picked up her first paddle at the age of 10 that she realised she would be spending most of her childhood at the Mississauga Canoe Club. A multi sport athlete growing up, when she turned 16 she focused all her efforts on sprint canoe hoping to be one of the first women to ever canoe on the Olympic stage. Picking up a handful of world titles in the last few years, Katie has her sights set on the podium in Tokyo 2020, which all starts with her qualifying in C2 500m at the world championships at the end of August.
Favourite Vaikobi Item: VOcean Long Sleeve
Based: Mississauga Canoe Club
- 2018 C2 500m World Champion,
- 2018 C1 500m Bronze
- 2018 U23 C1 200 & 500 World champion
- Worlds best time C2 500m - 1:51.264 (June 2018)
- 2017 U23 C1 200m World Champion
- 2017 C2 500m World Champion
- 16 x World Cup Medalist
- 33 x Canadian National champion
Name: GEORDIE GOODMAN
Favorite Vaikobi Item: VCold Storm Paddle Pant
Patrolling the sand as the Head Lifeguard on Vancouver's busiest beach, constant trips in and out of the water are nothing new to Geordie. After being introduced to SUP by a coworker, he's been in love with it ever since and has gone on to hold a top rank amongst Canadian paddlers in the SUP racing scene.
A former collegiate athlete, Geordie thrives on the challenge that competitive SUP racing brings and continues to be motivated to improve his expanding ocean skill set. With his sights set on the ISA's in 2018, Geordie will be looking to test himself against the world's best and will be trusting the VCold gear to get him through his training in the Canadian Winter.
Name: LEANNE STANLEY
Hometown: Parry Sound, ON, Canada
Lives: West Kelowna, BC
Favourite Vaikobi Items: VCold and VOcean pants!
Weapons of Choice: Puakea Designs Ehukai, Levas Paddles, Vitargo
Leanne began her paddling career in marathon canoe back in 1998. Her paddling evolved to incorporate dragon boat, outrigger, sup and surfski over the past 20 years. She has won numerous individual Canadian titles in marathon canoe and outrigger as well as several team titles at the World Dragon Boat and Outrigger Sprint Championships, along with a team win at Queen Lili, a 4th at Na Wahine O Ke Kai, and 4th at the 2017 inaugural World Va'a Distance Championships with Team Canada. 2017 was a break out season for Leanne with a 4th in the V1 (rudderless outrigger) at the World Distance Championships in Tahiti, a 2nd place Canadian finish at the Canadian Surfski Championships followed up a week later with a win in the OC1 at the Gorge Downwind Championships.
Leanne is happiest when sharing her passion for paddling with others. With all the travelling, coaching and racing that Leanne has done, her favourite paddling experience has been helping with the development of the Kelowna Paddle Centre. The unique combination of outrigger, surfski and SUP programing, paddling excellence, social events and community has put Kelowna on the radar of many of the world’s paddling elite.
One thing Leanne never leaves home without (besides her Vaikobi gear!) is her insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor (mostly because they are attached to her). As an athlete with Type 1 Diabetes, Leanne demonstrates that with careful planning and listening to your body, people with Type 1 can compete with the best in the world.
With her KPC teammates pushing her in every workout, Leanne currently has her sights set on the next World Outrigger Championships, and in the coming years, a top 10 placing at Te Aito and her first Molokai Solo.
Name: LINA AUGAITIS
Date of Birth:1980
Hometown: Coldstream, BC Canada
2014 & 2015 FASTEST FEMALE PADDLER ON EARTH WINNER
Born: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Favourite Vaikobi item: VCold and Ocean active UV Tights
Lina Augaitis, originally from Ottawa, ON Canada now lives and trains in Vernon BC Canada. Lina spent much of her youth as a competitive gymnast. In 2003 after a move out west she began exploring outdoor adventures beginning with rock climbing, then trail running, mountain biking and backcountry skiing. By 2007 Lina was competing in triathlons, marathons, and adventure races. In 2010 she discovered the sport of stand up paddleboarding (SUP) by chance, while visiting California!
She has since established herself as one of the world’s top female standup paddlers and we are stoked to have her as part of the Vaikobi race team. She has built momentum with wins around the world in 2014, she became the ISA World Champion in Nicaragua (Distance), the "FASTEST FEMALE PADDLER ON EARTH" (2014and 2015), 2014 Battle of the Paddle Distance and overall champion as well as the Overall 2014 World Series World Champion. She is also the first Canadian female to complete Molokai 2 Oahu and the first Canadian SUP Champion (14ft). In 2016 she won the ISA World Championship Sprint race and became the first female to officially complete the Yukon River Quest (750km race).
In 2015 and now 2017 she has given birth to two beautiful children and has enjoyed her new life as a mother alongside her other careers. She hopes she can continue to motivate and inspire regular SUP enthusiasts or enthusiasts-to-be through her ability to connect as a mother, wife, friend, athlete, and teacher. Lina is also a certified school teacher and is a teacher at her local secondary school. When she's not paddling, Lina loves traveling, mountain biking, trail running, backcountry skiing, adventure racing, and camping.
Lina is involved in SUP in many aspects. She is the SUP director for the Canadian Surf Association (under ISA). A Director of BC SUP CUP series. She began teaching a morning SUP fitness session throughout the summer in Vernon. She coaches a small but awesome group of young SUPers throughout the summer. She has taught and continues to teach clinics and private lessons around BC, Canada and internationally.
Major International Race wins/Accomplishments to date:
2014 ISA GOLD Distance World Champion
2014 World Series Overall Winner (now called APP)
2014 Battle of the Paddle Salt Creek Distance and Overall winner (now PPG)
2014 and 2015 Fastest Paddler on Earth winner Germany Lost Mills
2015 Bilbao World Cup winner
2016 Yukon River Female Champion
2016 GOLD ISA Sprint World Champion
Past SUP Expeditions
2011 first to SUP the 750km of Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson Yukon Canada
2012 First to paddle from Koh Lanta to Phi Phi Island Thailand via SUP
2012 First to SUP a 6 day canoe circuit in Algonquin Park (with portages) Ontario Canada
2014 Part of a group to SUP Vancouver to Victoria 3 days expedition 160miles crossing the Georgia Straight.
Name: TAMLYN BOHM
SPRINT, SURKSKI, SUP AND OC!
Born: Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Lives: Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
Weapon of Choice: Think Uno
Favourite Vaikobi Item: V Cold Storm Paddle Pants
If anyone was born to paddle, it was Tamlyn. Raised in South Africa by a national team member mother, and a marathon river junkie father, there was no doubt she’d find her way to the water. With constant coaching and encouragement she became an accomplished kayaker at an early age.
Whether she was touring around Europe competing in K1 or running some of South Africa’s legendary river races, she was building skills that would eventually elevate her status in the paddling community.
Tamlyn moved to Mississauga, Canada in 2004 and joined the Sprint racing program at the Mississauga Canoe Club. She was successful at Provincial and National Championships, representing Canada at the 2009 World Championships.
In 2011 Tamlyn moved to the Balmy Beach Canoe Club and finished in 6th place at the Marathon World Championships in Singapore, and won multiple National Sprint Kayak events between 2011 and 2015.
In 2015 Tamlyn started working full time as Manager of Operations at the Kelowna Paddle Centre (KPC), in British Columbia, Canada. In this rich environment Tamlyn switched from flat water kayak to Surfski, Outrigger and SUP and has flourished, winning many regional and national races.
Tamlyn’s life exemplifies that of a passionate athlete and as a member of the Vaikobi team. Living and working to improve her own abilities and nurturing the skill set in the hundreds of paddlers she mentors at work at KPC, ensuring that there is a future full of passionate paddlers.
- National Sprint Kayak Champion in singles, doubles, fours
- War Canoe National Champion and current record holder
- Senior National Team Member Marathon K1 at World Championships (2005 ‐ 2014), and World Games (2013)
- Senior National Team Member Canoe Polo at World Championships (2008, 2010)
- Senior National Team Member K1 Sprint at World Championships (2009), and Pan Am Championships (2013)
- Canadian Surfski Champion (2015 - 2017)
- Kalamalka Crossing (SUP) and Board the Fjord SUP Champion (2017)
- Gorge Downwind Champs (surfski) - 7th overall woman, 2nd 19 - 39 (2017)
- Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge (SUP) - 14th overall Elite Women (2017)
Name: NORM HANN
Hometown: Squamish, BC
Favorite Vaikobi Item: V COLD Storm Cold Paddle Pant & V Cold L/S Base top
Norm Hann grew up on the lakes and rivers of Northern Ontario before moving out west to British Columbia to pursue his passion for the outdoors after a successful university basketball career and a few years spent as a high school teacher. Norm worked as an outdoor guide in the Great Bear Rainforest for close to a decade. In that time he was adopted into the Raven Clan of the Gitga'at people for the work he was doing with local youth.
Norm has been at the forefront of standup paddleboarding in Canada and began paddling in 2008. In 2010, with the threat of oil tankers in the Great Bear Rainforest, he paddled the 400km proposed tanker route on an expedition called Standup4Greatbear. A few years later he was part of the award winning adventure conservation documentary called Stand, a project which again brought more awareness to the threat of oil tankers on the north coast. As a sought after speaker, Norm continues to use coastal expedition paddling and years spent in the Great Bear Rainforest to bring education to elementary and high school students through his Take a Stand Program.
Norm has competed in numerous sup events and races around the world in the last decade with highlights of being the first canadian to cross the finish line at the Molokai2Oahu Paddleboard Championships and more recently as part of the first group of standup paddle boarders to finish the 717km Yukon River.
Norm's Expedition business offers world class multi day sup expeditions around the world and he is an Instructor Training for Paddle Canada. Norm's passion lies in big remote coastal expeditions and paddle surfing Canada's remote cold water breaks. He lives in Squamish BC with his partner Jen and his son Kiel.
We are very proud to have Norm as part of the Vaikobi team!
ANGIE LE ROUX
Name: ANGIE LE ROUX
Date of Birth:28 October 1991
Hometown: Pontivy, France
Weapon of Choice: Oya, O'krea Kayaks
Favorite Vaikobi items:
-2016 V Cold Storm Paddle Pants. It's the most comfortable pants I've ever had to paddle.
- Ocean racing PDF, it brings me comfort and security, I love it !
2017 race results:
Atlantic Ocean Surfski ,Lanzarote : 1st
Allwave Cup : 1st
Eurochallenge : 1st
Nelo Summer Challenge : 3rd
Dutch Coast Race : 1st
Breizh Ocean Race : 1st
World Champs : 10th
The Doctor : 5th
Name: MAEL TISSIER
Date of Birth:25 May 1996
FRENCH LIFESAVING CHAMPION!
DOB: 25 May 1996
Vaikobi item you couldn’t live without: All gear in the V COLD Performance because I'm training into the mountains and the winter is hard there!
- French Champion in Overall Board Race and Beach Sprint (2017 and 2016)
-Silver Medals in Beach Flags (European Championship 2017 in Belgium)
-Elected as the SurfLife Saver Athlete of the Year (2017)
Maël has been training in Surf Lifesaving for 14 years, mostly around the area of Seignosse (SouthWest France).
He is currently studying 3rd year in a Chemical Engineering School in Clermont-Ferrand, which also allows him to train every day and compete almost every weekend thanks to a special school timetable.
Registered on the official list of the French Ministry of Youth and Sports as Athlete, since 2012, he has participated with the French Team at the last European Championship in Oostend (Belgium) and with his club at the last French Championship in Hendaye.
Mael is an amazing athlete who wears Vaikobi gear in and on the water but also for running as you can see from the picture below! We're delighted to have him on the team.
Name: MAX HOFF
Date of Birth:12 Sept 1982
Hometown: Troisdorf, NRW, GER
Lives: Essen, NRW, GER
Weapon of choice: Nelo cinqo xxl and FES "K2 II 2016“ and for fun my Nelo 560 and my Downriver K1!
Favourite Vaikobi Item: V cold base layer and the Vaikobi Travel Bag.
Coach: Stefan Ulm, Arndt Hanisch, Robert Berger from the German National Sprint team.
Max Hoff is one of the most decorated Sprint Athletes from the strong German National Sprint Team.
He has won several World and European Titles, the European Games, the overall Sprint Worldcup and was a member of the K4 squad, which raced one of the most impressive races at the Rio Olympic Games 2016 to win that Gold medal.
Max is an inspiring athlete who started with kayaking in 1994. His first career started with Downriver racing where he won the World title in 2006. The dream of the Olympic Games changed his life in 2007 where he made it after a couple of months of sprint training to the German Team and 2008 to the Beijing Olympic Games where he finished 5th. Over a 3rd place in London 2012 he made the win in Rio 2016 and is now on the journey to Tokyo 2020.
If there is some free time Max is off to the nature with his friends. Skiing, Biking, Sailing.
He has finished a masters degree in molecular biology and one in economics.
We are delighted to have such an accomplished athlete on our V Team!
Name: DANIELLE MCKENZIE
Date of Birth:4 August
Favourite Vaikobi Item:
Danielle's Dad took her down to Mairangi Bay SLSC when she was 7 years old and she has never looked back.
Today she 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.
- Molokai Unlimited Prone Paddleboard World Champs 3rd 2017
- Coolangata Gold, Australia's tougest endurance surf ironman, 3rd Place 2017
- Chasing dreams of becoming one of the Worlds Best Ironwomen, and all round ski and board paddler.
Dani graduated in July 2017 with a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation degree Majoring in Exercise Science and Sport Management.
In her spare time Danielle also runs Nipper clinics, sharing her passion for sport and the ocean, with tomorrow's champions!
Name: RACHEL CLARKE
Date of Birth:2 March 1990
Hometown: Auckland, NZ
MOLOKAI & NZ OCEAN SKI CHAMPION
DOB: 2 March 1990
Lives: Auckland, NZ
Weapon of Choice: Epic V11
Favourite Vaikobi Item: definitely the V cold L/S top, this is seriously key for Paddling in NZ throughout the winter. It’s very comfortable and keeps you warm at the same time.
Rachel Clarke is one of the fastest female surfski paddlers in the World today!
2 x Molokai Champion 2014, 2017
5 x NZ Champion 2013-2017
2017 North American/Downwind Champion
3rd 2015 ICF Word Champs - Tahiti
2 x NZ Police Sportsperson of the year
An inspirational Athlete, Rachel is coming back to form after getting through a cancer scare in 2015 after a routine visit to her GP discovered pre-cancerous cells requiring a cervical biopsy. Rachel is promoting cervical cancer awareness and is encouraging women of all ages to have regular check ups with their Doctor.
When Rachel is not training or racing, she is keeping the streets safe as a member of the NZ Police Force on the North Shore of Auckland!
Rach is an integral part of the Vaikobi family and we love having her onboard.
Name: DANIEL KEREOPA
Hometown: Raglan & Orewa New Zealand
RED BULL ULTIMATE WATERMAN
Home: Raglan & Orewa New Zealand
Red Bull Ultimate Waterman 2015
If Vaikobi had a definition in the English Dictionary it would say- Daniel Kereopa!
Daniel Kereopa (DK) is a living breathing example of a Water Athlete who has dedicated his life to pushing the limits, riding all types of waves on a variety of water equipment.
Hailing from Raglan, “DK” has won multiple national surfing titles in shortboard, longboard and SUP divisions and continues to challenge himself, mastering new ocean disciplines from tow-in big wave surfing, waka ama paddling to kite surfing.
DK along with partner Renee runs DK Surf School at Orewa and Raglan, coaching grommets of all levels.
Name: TARA HOPE
Date of Birth:15 June 1985
Hometown: Nelson, New Zealand
WEAPON OF CHOICE: NSP Stand Up Paddleboard
VAIKOBI ITEM I COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT: VCold Flex Pants. These are my go to item over winter, they keep me nice in warm in those cold and windy months, without overheating and are so comfy!
1st Place 2018 NZ SUP Nationals Open Womens Surf Race
2nd Place 2018 NZ SUP Nationals Open Womens Downwind Race
2nd Place 2018 Aotearoa Downwind Race Open Women SUP
Named in NZ team to compete at the 2018 ISA World Paddleboard Championships.
Name: SAM MAYHEW
Hometown: Auckland, NZ
WORLD SURF SKI SERIES CHARGER
Weapon of Choice: Epic V12 Elite
Favorite Vaikobi Item: Vaikobi Travel Bag, packed full of VCold!
#10 in the World - 2017 World Surf Ski Series
1st - 2017 Bo Herbert 30km Ocean Race
10th - 2017 Canadian SurfSki Champs - World Series Event
2017/18 Northern Region Surf LifeSaving High Performance Squad Member
When not chasing the international tour, Sam is full-time registered GP Doctor in Auckland NZ, with special interests in Skin Cancer and Sports Medicine.
Name: SEAN RICE
Date of Birth:5 August 1989
Hometown: Cape Town, South Africa
OCEAN SKI WORLD CHAMP, PADDLE LIFE FOUNDER
Weapon of Choice: Think Kayaks
Vaikobi item you couldn't live without: I couldn’t live without my V Storm gear. I wouldn't survive a winter without it!!
Sean is the 2013 ICF Surfski Champion and 2017 Molokai champion and has a string of victories at pretty much every major surfski event around the globe! A professional paddler for the past 8 years, Sean's achievements make him always the one to beat.
Sean's love and passion for the sport is carried wherever he goes and is evident on and off the race course. Not only is he a dedicated athlete, he is a passionate teacher with a mission to spread the ocean paddling lifestyle around the world.
Sean and his wife Emily are currently living in Richmond, London where they continue to run their coaching business PaddleLife, of which Vaikobi is also a proud supporter. For more information and dates go to Paddlelife
Name: HAYLEY NIXON
Hometown: Durban, South Africa
2016 WORLD SURF SKI SERIES CHAMPION
Weapon of Choice: Carbonology Pulse
Favorite Vaikobi item: Vaikobi Ocean Racing PFD
Hayley Nixon is a biokineticist during work hours and a passionate paddler every other waking moment, married to a mad-keen fisherman, Paul Nixon.
Hayley, started paddling in 2013 after long 10 year career on the South Africa national rowing team in both pairs and sculling.
In both 2014 and 2015, Hayley raced at the World Canoe Marathon Champs in K2 but after World Ocean Racing Champs in Tahiti in 2015, she made the decision to focus heavily on the surfski.
This decision proved to be the right one because in 2016, Hayley had a massive year on tour and ultimately took out the World Surfski Series finishing off with two big wins at the Perth Doctor and the Cape Point Challenge.
2017 is shaping up as a big year for Hayley where her goals are to get back on to the South African Canoe Marathon Team for World Champs in South Africa, before then building up to challenge for the World Surfski Title in Hong Kong in November.
Vaikobi is super stoked to have Hayley on the team and we are looking forward to following her progress this year!
NACHO SOLER FABRE
Name: NACHO SOLER FABRE
Date of Birth:25/09/1994
Hometown: Gran Canaria, Spain
U/23 SPANISH OCEAN SKI CHAMPION
Weapon of Choce: Carbonology
Favourite Vaikobi item: Any of them, I really love every piece of equipment and they all are essential in every travel but if I had to pick one it would be the PFD, it's as comfortable as my pyjamas and I think it is bright as a ray of sun, and useful as as a swiss knife, light, versatile, comfortable and user friendly when it comes to travel and race. It's easy to fit anywhere and you don't feel you wear it when paddling, IT'S A WINNER !!
I also love the V Cold gear, I have raced in Northern Spain in winter and and In the northern Sea in France and the water is freaking cold, instead of putting on hundreds of thermal clothes I just need to put my V-Cold pants and the V-Cold Storm top on.
- 6 times Spanish U23 surfski champion (singles and doubles 2015, 2016 and 2017)
- ICF World Championships: 9th Tahiti 2015, 7th Hong Kong 2017
- ICF World Cups: 3rd U23 and top20 Nelo Summer Challenge 2016 and 2017, 2nd U23 and 10th overall at Breizh Ocean race 2016, 1st U23 and 7th Overall at Dutch Coast Race 2016.
Nacho is part of the very strong ocean ski team based on Gran Canaria and is also a champion Surf Life Saving competitor. He is a hot prospect for the future of Spanish Ocean Ski racing.
Social media links:
We are stoked to have Nacho on the team!!
DANIEL SANCHEZ VILORIA
Name: DANIEL SANCHEZ VILORIA
Date of Birth:11/01/1980
Hometown: Ibiza island since 2008
SPANISH SURFSKI CHAMPION
Name: Daniel Sánchez Viloria
Born: in Asturias 11/01/1980
Living: Ibiza island since 2008.
Daniel has had a brilliant career in paddle racing. Early on he was actively training and competing in marathon and sprint kayaking but is now focussed on training and racing surfski's around the world!
-1° World Cup ICF-Ohana Mana Cup(Sardinia-Italy)septembre.
-10° World Cup ICF-Duch Coast race (Holland)October.
-14° World Cup ICF-Breith Océan Race (France).
-final World Ranking 16°.
-3° European Championships (2014-portugal).
-Champion of Spain in ss1(one time) and ss2(6 times).
-First World Cup ICF Sardinia (2015).
-5° in USA champs (SAN Francisco).
Like most of the top paddlers, Daniel travels a lot for his sport, including to Guadalupe, Hong Kong, Canada, South Africa, Europe (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Holland) and Australia!
Name: CHLOE BUNNETT
Date of Birth:10/05/1978
SPANISH SURFSKI ATHLETE
Best Vaikobi item: For Winter the new V-Storm Vest, my winters are not extreme so this is the best item to give me that extra warmth. Still my ultimate is the PFD, it does not feel like you are wearing anything extra, but when you need it there is enough flotation to help you and the hydration fits perfectly in the back. So hard to choose a favourite - the V-Storm short pants are so darn comfortable its unbelievable!
Chloe is currently in the Spanish National Team and has had some solid recent results:
- 3rd Eurochallenge 2017
- 2nd Dutch Coast Race - Holland -2017
- 2nd Spanish National Championships 2017
Name: AUSTIN KIEFFER
INTERNATIONAL & USA OCEAN SKI CHAMPION
Born: Asheville, NC, USA
Lives: San Francisco, CA
Weapon of Choice: Fenn Elite S
Favourite Vaikobi Item: Vaikobi Travel Bag!
Austin, is one of the number one ranked US surfski paddler and competes in the World Surfski Series.
Austin was previously a member of the Team USA White Water Slalom Squad building up to the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Austin has spent more than a decade racing in the highly competitive white water slalom kayaking discipline and is well known for his high work ethic and dedication to the sport.
2014 was a breakthrough year for Austin where he became the US National Champion at the US Surfski Championships and then racked up numerous wins around North America over the Summer.
In 2016, Austin returned to competitive surfski racing and raced with success at major events across North America, South Africa, Australia & Asia.
This year, Austin placed 4th at both the Gorge Downwind Champs in Hood River, OR and the Canadian Championships in Squamish, BC. He also placed top 10 in the Ocean Racing World Champs and locked down his first ever international podium with a bronze medal at the Doctor in Perth, Western Australia!
Name: TIM BURDIAK
WORLD CHAMPION SURFSKI- SURF LIFE SAVING WORLDS
Hometown- Manhattan Beach, California
Favourite Vaikobi Piece- VOcean Top
Weapon of choice: Fenn Elite S
Tim started paddling surf ski when he was 20 years old so that he could compete in the overall Ironman discipline at surf lifesaving carnivals.
After seeing his ski paddling progress and the little swim speed he had vanish, Tim decided to go full on into ski paddling and pick up K1 to go along with the winter-time distance ski racing.
Tim spent a season learning, training and racing up on the Sunshine Coast in Australia with Maroochydore and has since been racing for the USA Lifesaving Team since 2013 and the USA Canoe/Kayak Flatwater Team since 2016.
Tim has achieved some fantastic result in his career so far including being 2 X USA Ski Champion and then taking the World ILS Ski title in the Netherlands in 2016.
Tim has a massive second half of 2017 lined up where he will be racing in the Catalina Outrigger Crossing (48 km), USA Team at the Dragon Boat Worlds in China, ICF Ocean Ski Championship in Hong Kong, The Doctor in Perth and the International Surf Rescue Challenge in Mt. Manganui,NZ.
We are stoked to have Tim on the Team to represent Vaikobi Team USA!
Name: ANA SWETISH
Date of Birth:2-21-2002
Hometown: Bellingham, WA
BELLINGHAM'S GOLDEN GIRL
Favorite Vaikobi gear:
- V Cold Flex Paddle Pants - average water temp around here is about 6 degrees celcius - need I say more?
- V3 Ocean Racing PFD - low profile, super comfortable and highly visible - I honestly have been known to forget to take it off, long after I get off the water.
Weapon of Choice: Fenn Spark, purchased when I was 13 years old with the babysitting money I had saved up.
At 16 years old, Ana is the youngest member of the Vaikobi team. But what she lacks in age, she more than makes up for with a genuinely infectious stoke for paddling. Raised in the Pacific Northwest paddling mecca of Bellingham, Ana has quickly amassed a solid rough water skillset as well as a formidable flatwater resume.
Ana had her break out event at the 2018 Gorge Downwind Champs. In conditions that had even the most seasoned paddlers second guessing themselves, Ana earned her first international podium with a third place finish. She’s hoping to carry on that momentum this next year as she balances an international racing schedule and her high school class schedule.