Categorized | Canoe Racing, Sports

Velzy Hawaii paddle-raiser to benefit high schools


Local paddle-sports start-up, Velzy Hawaii, is asking for your old paddles for the first ever Velzy Paddle-raiser, a fundraiser aimed at gathering old and used wooden paddles for a donation to local high school paddling programs.

Velzy Hawaii has made it their mission is to eliminate the use of plastic paddles during instruction and practice, especially in high school programs.

Both founders of Velzy Hawaii, felt their lives were changed for the better the moment they were given a paddle. For local paddling stand out and co-founder, Patrick Dolan, a paddle meant more than a way to propel him self through the water, but opened up a world of international travel, competition and possibly a shot at the 2010 Olympics with younger brother Ryan.

“It all stemmed from Outrigger paddling,” said Patrick Dolan, who is currently in Italy with Ryan preparing for World Kayaking Championships later this month in Poland. “Once you learn to have fun with it and get good ad it, you start to make it the center of your life. It has given me opportunities to travel abroad and compete in ways I never dreamed.”

Owner and founder Angie Giancaterino, had a similar experience.

“I got addicted from the beginning. It really is more of a lifestyle than a sport. It starts as a way to workout and stay in shape then turns into a way to relax and get in touch with your self spiritually,” Giancaterino said. “It’s also something that can stay with you for the rest of your life, and that’s what we want to give to the kids in these programs.”

New paddles range from $125 to about $300, which is hard for some school programs to afford. They hope to get at least 75 paddles to donate to high schools such as Castle High School and Maryknoll that use plastic paddles to accommodate the high numbers of paddlers.

“It’s important to have the right equipment, especially when you’re starting out,” Dolan said. “There’s a certain feel for the water that a real wooden blade gives you, which a plastic one does not.”

Patrick and Ryan will also be giving back their time and knowledge to the high school programs. All the high schools that receive paddles will also get some one on one time with the National Kayaking team members and Lanikai Canoe Club standouts.

The brothers, who were just featured in the well attended HCKT clinic on outrigger paddling, will talk to the young paddlers and answer questions on technique, training and what it takes to get to the next level.

With the State Championship Canoe Regatta on Saturday, Aug. 8 on Oahu, thousands of island paddlers will come out to race, and they hope that neighbor islanders can bring paddles over as well.

Interested donors can bring paddles to their Velzy Tent at the State Championships regatta at Keehi Lagoon on Saturday, or contact them via their website for other drop off locations.

Velzy Hawaii is committed to promoting the paddle-sports that are predominant and native to Hawaii. It strives to report, promote, educate or train those interested in the present and future of the sport.

For more information, email or visit

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