Monthly Archives: November 2012

Mafua Teaupa


Sadly, a good friend and paddler passed away.  Days after the Ace Race, Mafua Teaupa passed suddenly.  We will miss him greatly.

I first met Mafua on the water, I was out on the SUP heading into the wharf in Tonga, he was pretty stoked to see us coming in on the SUP and called out to get our attention.  Next thing we were standing around the outrigger canoes at NOCC headquarters talking paddling.  Mafua had just returned from Hawaii, where he had paddled with Tui Tonga.  From that day on, Mafua, Kiko and I were pretty much in that canoe every morning or afternoon hitting the water.

Mafua was really passionate about paddling and his enthusiasm soon rubbed off on Kiko and I, in fact, his encouragement inspired me to start Strongarm.  With Mafua and Kiko becoming our first official Team Strongarm paddlers.

I was looking forward to paddling with Mafua in the Tui Tonga team in Auckland for the 2012/2013 season.  Kafoa and I have decided to dedicate the races we compete in to his memory this year.

It is a real loss to the Tongan paddling community and sad to lose a good friend like Mafua.Mafua

Te Awahaku Dogfish – Molokai Hoe

Molokai Hoe Race Finish

Our first opportunity to provide teamwear has been a great experience.  Dan Firth (Te Awahaku Outrigger Canoe Club) contacted us from Christchurch, looking to get some team gear for his crew, The Dogfish.  The team were heading to the 2012 Moloka’i Hoe to compete in the gruelling crossing of the Kaiwi Channel from Moloka’i to Oahu in Hawaii.  They had competed there before and knew what to expect, and fortunately they have given us the opportunity to promote the Strongarm brand in New Zealand during the 2012-13 Waka Ama season.

We used the Mens Mana S/S Top as the basis for the gear, and included the Te Awahaku Logo on the back of the top and the team mascot on the front.  Topping the gear off with some Red Strongarm Trucker Caps, the boys were ready.

2012 turned out to be a real tough race, with the normally large seas and big winds dropping right off, meaning the race was paddled in pretty much flat and hot conditions, with the ocean providing little assistance for the paddlers.

The team completed the race well, and were the only New Zealand team in the line up of predominately Hawaiian and Tahitian crews.  We look forward to see how the Dogfish go for the rest of the season.

Thanks to Dan and the Dogfish, we’ve finally got Strongarm on the map in the Waka Ama/Outrigger scene here in Aotearoa!