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Young surfers compete at Pohai Na Keiki Nalu at Launiupoko

By BY WALTER CHIHARA - | Jun 25, 2021

Mason Burns of Lahaina won the Boys 9-10 years Division.

LAHAINA — He is a soft spoken, low-key kind of a guy, but his contributions to the overall integrity of Maui have been monumental.

Kim Ball, founder of Hi-Tech and Shapers surfboards and water sports equipment, has guided these businesses to unprecedented heights with the explosion of windsurfing, kite boarding, foil boarding and all sorts of ocean riding.

Ball has also contributed to the nurturing of the youth of the Valley Isle community with his work as a youth wrestling leader with the Napili Surfriders and the Lahainaluna High School teams, and more importantly, with the Kumulani Chapel youth ministry.

And, for almost three decades, Coach Kim has sponsored Pohai Na Keiki Nalu, “Gathering of the Surf Kids,” a surf contest specifically geared toward Maui’s youngest rippers.

The event is held at Launiupoko Beach Park on the West Side — a picturesque, grassy park with abundant shade trees, a natural keiki wading pool and soft-breaking summer waves tailored for kids and beginners.

After the 2020 event was canceled due to the pandemic, the 27th annual Pohai Na Keiki Nalu took off with over 100 youngsters ages seven to 12 years old competing in the two- to three-foot surf.

COVID-19 protocols limited the number of kids in the contest to 100, as the last event drew 230 keiki. All participants received gift bags and memorabilia courtesy of Hi-Tech and Shapers.

The results were as follows:

Girls, 7-8 years — 1. Brynne Payne, Lahaina; 2. Madison Cambier, Lahaina; 3. Gracie Sarno, Haiku; 4. Mika Ebro, Haiku; 5. Kinsley Williams, Lahaina; 6. Gianna Bacchus, Wailuku.

Girls 9-10 years — 1. Alana Robalinho, Kihei; 2. Kini Varona, Lahaina; 3. Danielle Myers, Lahaina; 4. Payton Kuwasaki, Wailuku; 5. Mayli Hack, Haiku; 6. Kayo Wallace, Makawao.

Girls, 11-12 years — 1. Maya West, Haiku; 2. Ione La Turner, Haiku; 3. Kaya McCord, Haiku; 4. Zoey Offergeld, Lahaina; 5. Emma Lee, Kihei.

Boys, 7-8 years — 1. Rael Pineres-Schooley, Makawao; 2. Owen Everett, Hana; 3. Keahi Lee, Kihei; 4. Axel Baptiste, Kihei; 5. Kona Yamada, Lahaina; 6. Crews Oliver, Haiku.

Boys, 9-10 years — 1. Mason Burns, Lahaina; 2. Harris Gruber, Lahaina; 3. Seth Jucker, Lahaina; 4. Taj Craig, Wailuku; 5. Johnny Mahan, Lahaina; 6. Malakai McKim, Kihei.

Boys, 11-12 years — 1. Kahlil Pineres-Schooley, Makawao; 2. Marley Lopaka Franco, Haiku; 3. Kaden Awad, Paia; 4. Kaden Pritchard, Haiku; 5. Nahuel Messera, Haiku; 6. Kingston Panebianco, Paia.