Kai Lenny almost broke the Internet with his hydrofoil antics in 2016. Photo: Franck Berthuot

Kai Lenny Connects Entire Hawaiian Island Chain With The ‘Downwind Voyage For Change’

After a week of downwind SUP foil crossings connecting the Hawaiian islands from the Big Island to Kauai, yesterday SUP superstar Kai Lenny finished his Downwind Voyage for Change—a statewide coastal cleanup initiative to bring awareness to plastic pollution in the Hawaiian Islands. The Maui paddler teamed up with Red Bull for this monumental effort to help clean the Hawaiian coastal and–in true Kai Lenny fashion–he incorporating multiple watersports into the project.

In addition to leading community beach clean-ups on six islands–Hawaii, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu and Kauai–Lenny also tied in a “downwind challenge” for himself. Instead of traveling to each island via boat or plane, Lenny used man-powered craft (his forte) such as hydrofoils, kiteboards, standup paddleboards or whatever non-motorized craft necessary to cross from island to island. Upon completing each crossing, Lenny worked with the local community members and organizations like Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, Surfrider Foundation, the Hawaii Wildlife Fund to clean up their coastlines.

The 24-year-old began this conservation project on Tuesday and reached Kauai today. In addition to the fulfilment of the project’s environmental effort, Lenny sites his SUP foil crossing of the Ka’iwi Channel from Molokai to Oahu as a highlight.

“The foil is just so fast,” Lenny says. “I don’t know if I’ll ever cross that channel on anything else again!”

Lenny, who set the new record time for a standup paddling crossing of the revered channel at 4:07:41 last year during M2O, beat that record by 41 minutes yesterday on his SUP foilboard.

Lenny’s Molokai to Oahu Crossing On FB Live

In addition to support from his main sponsor Red Bull, Lenny has also teamed up with researchers at the Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii and The 5 Gyres Institute to help understand where the trash is coming from.

"The Downwind Voyage for Change was a really awesome experience for me,” Lenny says. “It was cool to not only clean up our beautiful beaches here in Hawaii but also to use the downwind crossings to bring awareness to the micro and macro ocean plastics that pollute the Pacific Rim and everywhere. It’s the least I can do to give back and I’ve learned so much.”



Kai Lenny’s Record-Setting Victory at 2016 M2O