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Proper Suncare, is proper Skincare, and to take proper care of your skin, you have to take the enitre process seriously. When we Started Vertra Elemental Resistance in 2004, we vowed to do just that, to make a serious push and bring skincare awareness to the forefront of our market because until now, it has basically been a category that has been mostly taken for granted. Our Athletes that participate in the paddlesports industry are amongst the most prolific candidates to suffer from sunburn, skin damage, photo-aging and unfortunately in many cases, skin cancer. SIMPLY PUT, quality suncare products for people like us are not an accessory, but a necessity!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Kanesa Duncan Seraphin: Molokai Paddleboard Champion

There is much to be said about those who compete at an elite athlete level, and still manage to keep a successful career. For Kanesa Duncan, the choice is clear, and academics and athletics will coexist together in a “love-love” relationship. As anticipation for the 2010 season gets underway, lets see what Kanesa Duncan has to say about her training.


What is your Weekly mileage?

Ummm… I don’t have a GPS…. I paddle between 6 and 10 hours a week during Molokai prep.

How do you mentally prepare for a race?

I check out the course. Check out my equipment. Eat well, train, rest and focus on my plan – which is pretty much to do the best I can by putting forth my best effort and enjoying the race as much as possible.

What do you eat the night before a race?

Well I used to eat those Costco spinach raviolis every night before a big race, but they stopped making them so I’ve moved on to any kind of yummy pasta thing with flat kind of noodles.

Do you use supplements?

Do bananas count? What about vegetables? How about Wahoo’s tacos? I eat all three all the time… Seriously, I do eat a lot of fruit and protein powder shakes. I have a vita-mix, and I make a fruit smoothie pretty much every day. I take vitamins sometimes and am big on emergen-C and Echinacea when I’m not feeling 100%.

Do you weight train, and if so, how do you design your program?

Well Eric Abbott writes my program, and I’d be way stronger and faster if I had time to do it… “Excuses, haha, your doing an awesome job Kanesa!”-EA

What's your favorite cross training or favorite other sport?

Oh gosh. Well my favorite is surfing. I also like to run, do yoga and boogie board…. Surf ski and canoe paddle also.


How many years have you been paddling?

This is my 10th year.

How many times have you crossed the Molokai Channel?

This will be my 10th crossing, 10 years in a row, on my paddleboard. I’m inspired by George Ramos and Matt Sack who’ve done the race every year, solo, since the inception. I’ve also done the kayak solo, the one-man relay and the 6-man outrigger.

What websites do you visit or magazines do you read regularly? What would you recommend?

I read the NOAA surf forecast put out by Pat Caldwell. Check it out: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/pages/SRF.php. Also Joe Bark blog at www.joebark.com. And www.windfinder.com

How do you keep abreast of the latest news, trends and information in the sport?

Well, I’m part of the Bark team and we talk about boards and shapes all the time. We test each other’s equipment and talk about things so much that ideas get passed around. I think the other guys check the online blogs a lot more than I do. They keep me posted!

What keep you motivated to train and paddle at an elite level year in and year out?

I love being out in the water…. Definitely the “thing” that has me coming back every year is a combination of the great people that I get to paddle with, the awesome conditions we have in Hawaii and the amazing events (MOLOKAI) that we get to do!

What type of Equipment do you race with?

I’m paddling a bark, downwind special, 15’ double-concave unlimited board with a rudder. I wear Pualani swimsuits, XCEL wetsuits and jerseys (also paddling pants!), and Maui Jim’s sunglasses. To protect my skin, I’m a Vertra fanatic…. Oh, yeah and my water bottle and my iPOD.

Do you have any sponsors who help out your paddling career?

My sponsor’s rock. They support me and they give me the best product ever. I’m not making a living at this sport, so I only go with sponsors whose product I really want (it’s not like I’m going to get 100k to wear something I don’t like). The bottom line is that my sponsors represent a group of products that really work made by people who are really nice and who work with me to get things right. I’m also super stoked on my newest sponsor Surftech.

Shaper: Joe Bark

Sunglasses: Maui Jim

Sunscreen: Vertra

Swimsuits: Pualani Hawaii

Wetsuits/ Jerseys: XCEL

Food: Wahoo’s Tacos

Surfboards: Surftech


What do you do for a "real job" (if the sport isn't their real job)?

Well, in my other life I am a professor at the University of Hawaii. I teach science education for graduate students and K-12 teachers at the university’s Curriculum Research & Development Group. I am also the director of our newly established UH Sea Grant Center for Marine Science Education. My background is in ecology and population biology. I got my PhD studying hammerhead sharks here in Hawaii, and I’ve had the good fortune to have traveled to a lot of amazing places doing research (Antarctica, Palau, and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands).

What would change for you if money were no object?

I would hire someone to do all my paperwork for me so that I could spend about 50% of the time I do now at work but still be able to do the things I’m trying to do. That person would also do all of my email and filing… oh, and they would cook me good, healthy food too! Then, I would do lots of marine science education and research, but there would also be plenty of time to paddle and surf.

How do you make sure to find time to train/compete?

I make it a priority. My whole life has always involved a balance between athletics and academics. They are both a part of me and I don’t really know how to leave one behind. I am constantly plotting how to squeeze in my training. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to a meeting without showering (I wonder who is reading this…) or how many talks I’ve “practiced” out on the water rather than in front of my computer.

What sacrifices do you make in your personal life to be an elite athlete?

Ummm… I have a lot of disgruntled friends and very few friends who don’t spend a lot of time in the water. I have also made career and personal sacrifices, but looking back I’m not sure they were sacrifices. Just choices. I’m happy with my choices.

Kanesa is truly an amazing waterwomen, and I wish her the best of luck in the upcoming paddleboard season and the 2010 Molokai to Hawaii paddleboard race. It takes extreme dedication and commitment to put in the hours of training on the water as well as the countless hours instructing as a professor at the University of Hawaii. Good luck Kanesa and paddle hard!

Eric Abbott


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