Even though we always have the nicest travel stories for our readers to indulge in, we don’t get to go to all these stunning destinations ourselves. The athletes do though, and so from time to time we ask them to bring back a little photo diary as souvenir. Like Dakine mountainbiker Steffi Marth, who went on a mind blowing trip to the island of O’ahu this Spring…
Words and photos by Steffi Marth
There were only two things I knew about Hawaii before I organised this trip – it might be one of the most beautiful places on earth and the history of surfing is big there, which should have something to do with the founding story of my sponsor Dakine. Unfortunately I have not been sure about the mountainbike qualities on O’ahu at all. So my main drive for this trip was to find out about the riding on the Hawaiian Islands as well as where the word ‘Dakine’ actually comes from and what it means.
I have been very lucky to meet Kyle and his Hawaiian Enduro Team in Whistler last summer. They invited us to come visit them on O’ahu and check out their riding spots. Here I was, accompanied by two other German male pro mountainbikers, Daniel and Rob, plus a filmer and a photographer. Kyle and his friends showed us around all the beautiful places and trails near Kailua, Honolulu and Waikiki. The short time of one week was packed with lots of action, different terrain, changing weather, meeting several new people and learn about the ‘Aloha – Lifestyle’.
Of course mountainbiking was our main activity but beside that I had the chance to try stand up padelle at Lanikai beach – one of the 10 most beautiful beaches on earth! Our new Hawaiian friends explained several times that you can use ‘Dakine’ for almost everything, people, things, places. So I guess the history is true that the first Dakine Surf Leash was something so innovative that the Hawaiians could not name it any different than DAKINE. To my mind that’s just the founding story of the brand, quite easy.
During the week I swam in clear blue water and felt beach sand smooth like powder on my feet often because we had an accomodation right at the coastline of Kahala in a super upper class area, surrounded by perfect little isles, huge palmes and green areas which made the whole place look like a film set.
Our ‘native guide’ Kyle was living there as well and shared as much time as possible with our crew and his family plus several friends that he knew from riding and his job as an ‘entrepreneur’. Beside mountainbiking he does 5 others sports and creates new businesses, produces his own music … I can´t even remember everything he does. On our last evening he organised a nice BBQ between the appartments and the ocean on the tiny perfectly shaped coastline, invided all the people that we hung out during our stay and hold a breathtaking speech about how happy he is that we were staying with him and that we now are ‘Ohana’ – which is Hawaiian for family/ friends. I was close to tears, what a great experience to find people on the complete opposite site of the earth that welcome us with open arms like they have knows us forever. I am still not sure if it is the passion of mountainbiking that made us feel so close like it does so often. I guess it´s more the ‘Hang Loose’ lifestyle of the Hawaiians and their special sense for human relations. I will definately go back there and meet my ‘Ohanas’ again after they come and visit us in Europe.