help maui recover

While any natural disaster is devastating, the recent Lahaina fires hit particularly close to home. Some of us may have been affected directly, but all of us are deeply moved. Though many miles may separate us from the shores of Maui, we are all united by our deep love for the ocean and the vibrant watersports community it has birthed.

In the Hawai'ian culture, two words resonate with profound meaning: "Aloha" and "Ohana". Aloha, a word radiating goodwill, fellowship, and genuine heart connections, transcends its usual greetings. Ohana, meaning family, is an emblem of unity that nobody in our community gets left behind or forgotten, especially during times of trial.

Being watersports enthusiasts, our ohana, our community, is more than just about the stoke. It's about the connections that bond us. Maui is a touchstone for so many in our world. To me, it was home for nearly twenty years. For others, an annual vacation spot. But for all, its inspiring conditions, innovative athletes, and birthplace to many of the brands we champion, Maui, more than anywhere has shaped our passion.

The gravity of this disaster, unparalleled in modern history, felt deeply personal. Imagining people I’ve known, running for their lives, losing every memento and treasured possession, is heart-wrenching. My memories of Lahaina—a place vibrant with history, from lively Halloweens to its significance as Hawaii's original capital—are now clouded with concern and sadness.

Upon hearing the news of the fires, my thoughts raced to my friends on the West Side of the island. I immediately called Zane Schweitzer, whose family, especially windsurfing pioneer, Hoyle Schweitzer, has deeply influenced my life. Zane's update on his safety was a relief, but the widespread destruction he mentioned, from his wife's family home to Kim Ball's, owner of Hi-Tech’s loss of three houses, and even Olukai's headquarters being claimed by the fire, was overwhelming. Zane called for prayers, but I wanted to take a more tangible action: raising money.

We are now on a fervent mission to raise funds for those impacted. I’m a firm believer that in the face of adversity, our community's strength shines brightest. Generously, our long-time retail partner, Olukai Sandals, through the Ama Olukai Foundation, has committed to matching up to $300k in donations. With each dollar we raise, they will match it, doubling the impact. Our other retail partners, too, have come forward with prizes and raffle items for our Winter Race Series #1, which we will use to send aid.

Please join us, whether through donations or by attending our fundraising event, because every gesture amplifies our impact. Together we can extend our aloha spirit and start healing the scars left behind by the Lahaina fires.

 

 

We have set up a GoFundMe page to contribute to those in need. While many times I've heard of donated funds being misappropriated, that will not happen here. I personally will be working with trusted locals like Kim Ball, to ensure all funds you contribute get to those who need it most. Please click here to donate.

Mahalo for being an essential part of our ohana.

Cort Larned

maui sports foundation