|Ocean Ski Racing|
The modern ocean ski was developed off the 'Spec Ski" used in Surf Lifesaving from many years. It didn't take long before people began going further afield in these new, extremely seaworthy craft, and ocean racing began to emerge. The most famous of them all, the Molokai race in Hawaii, a 60 km event first held in 1976. There are also major surf ski races held in South Africa, Australia, and Dubai, with "The Doctor" in Western Australia and the Southern Shamaal and the Dubai Shamaal, the newest ocean surf ski races. Our own race the Alcoa Mandurah Duel is now attracting paddlers from across the world but essentially one for the locals to enjoy.
More recently, there has been a huge growth in ocean surf ski racing in mainland USA, Australia, New Zealand and other Pacific countries along with this growth the new designs of the racing ocean ski. There has been a move in many of these active surf ski racing countries to transfer the ocean events to the International Canoe Federations as the Lifesaving Federations often do not have the resources to manage long distance races with up to 500 competitors.
As well as ocean racing, these skis are becoming increasingly popular as a versatile racing craft for open class races that take place in sheltered bays, lakes and rivers. One advantage of the ocean ski over the traditional kayak is that if the conditions tip the paddler into the water, a "wet entry" is possible by simply climbing back onto the boat and continuing paddling without first having to drain the boat of water.