Unpredictability. It’s a term that can best describe the conditions of any given race day at the Moloka’i-2-O’ahu Paddleboard World Championships (M2O). The goal is clear. Paddlers must navigate the fastest line from the island of Moloka’i to the island of O’ahu, but the channel of water they must cross to reach that goal is constantly changing. At times, it offers a welcomed push that carries racers atop swells that provide the opportunity to surf in the middle of the ocean. And, in the same breadth, the currents shift to push back, demanding each competitor grind for every mile they earn toward the finish of what is considered the apex of paddle culture.
About the Moloka’i-2-O’ahu Paddleboard World Championships
M2O is an open-ocean endurance paddleboard challenge, featuring racers in both the prone and SUP divisions. Connecting the islands of Moloka’i and O’ahu, the 32-mile race crosses the Ka’iwi Channel, also known as the Moloka’i Channel. Men and women from more than 20 countries will face challenging conditions as they navigate the fastest downwind route over one of the deepest channels in the world. Top athletes typically complete the crossing in less than five hours, riding mid-channel waves that can crest more than 12 feet and carry paddlers hundreds of meters at a time. The race starts on Kaluakoi Beach on the north shore of Moloka’i and finishes in Maunalua Bay on the south shore of O’ahu. Founded in 1997, M2O has grown from a grassroots challenge for the legendary lifeguards and watermen of O’ahu to the premiere event for the sport of paddleboarding. The annual race is a deeply personal experience, challenging every paddler’s physical and mental endurance. Every finisher experiences an individual championship.