Spring is a busy time for paddle racers. The East Coast’s flagship SUP race—the West Marine Carolina Cup—is all set to kick off racing season tomorrow, and coming in hot behind it, Maui’s two major downwind SUP events—the OluKai Ho’olaule’a (April 29-30) and the BLUESMITH Paddle Imua (May 6)—will see SUP’s elite travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific to vie for victories on the island’s famous Maliko Run, an 8-mile stint of downwind perfection stretching from Maliko Gulch to Kanaha Beach Park. Of these three major races, Paddle Imua holds a special place in the heart of the paddling community; its premise is to give back to special needs kids in the Maui community. This is a little glimpse of what to expect…we’re excited! How about you?

For more on the BLUESMITH Paddle Imua race coming up May 6, check out our gallery and recap from last year’s experience.