Lahui Kai Paddleboards was founded in 2008 in Australia by legendary paddler, designer and coach, Mick Di Betta. The Molokai 2 Oahu champion would become the official Lahui Kai team coach for the likes of elite team riders Annabel Anderson, Kelly Margetts and Lincoln Dews.
In 2012, to fuel their move into the race side of the industry, SUP ATX Paddleboards purchased the distribution rights to the Lahui Kai brand. The stated goal was to make the Lahui Kai high-end designs and constructions, traditionally reserved for the elite few, available to all at an affordable price.
Two years later, one of the most respected paddleboard shapers in the world, Brian Szymanski joined SUP ATX to further develop their Lahui Kai race board line. Szymanski played a part in many of the iconic Starboard race designs, while also shaping custom boards for their international team riders such as Annabel Anderson, Connor Baxter and Zane Schweitzer. Along with Brian, California SUP pioneer John Becker also joined the SUP ATX team and the addition of these long time pros helped form an industry leading brain trust of shaping, training and design knowledge. Lahui Kai Paddleboards would become responsible for putting more athletes in the top-10 at the annual 2014 Battle of the Paddle than any other brand in Stand Up Paddleboard Racing.
The Battle of the Paddle was the perfect opportunity for leading manufacturers to showcase their new gear, hence the nickname “Battle of the Brands”. In 2014, the BOPs last year before being cancelled in early 2015, Lahui Kai was dubbed “the new kid on the racing block” after dominating over the likes of Naish, Starboard, Sic and Fanatic.
Annabel Anderson is quick to give credit where credit is due and sees Lahui Kai’s Brian Szymanski as an undeniable asset in her three years of dominance. “[Brian] Szymanski was well before his time… that is what they call innovation, the confidence to go against the grain,” she states. Adding that although her fitness and training regimen are legendary, the edge was often under her feet, “… it was more down to board design and reading conditions than anything else.” Szymanski is responsible for the winningest boards in the history of the sport.
Lahui Kai team racer Kelly Margetts.