Hawaii waterman’s epic journey propelled by bigger mission

Hawaii waterman's epic journey propelled by bigger mission
Updated: Mar. 30, 2017 at 7:16 PM HST
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(Instagram/Kai Lenny)
(Instagram/Kai Lenny)

With the environment on his mind, big wave surfer Kai Lenny is on an incredible journey from the Big Island to Kauai  and he's doing it all by hydrofoil surfing.

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Lenny flew into Maunalua Bay on Oahu on Thursday, crossing the Kaiwi Channel by hydrofoil surfboard in 3 hours and 26 minutes, beating his own record by nearly 41 minutes.

"Today I was able to take my hydrofoil from Molokai to Oahu, do the exact course that I do for the Molokai-to-Oahu race, and I was able to shatter my previous world record," said Lenny.

On the board, Lenny looks like he's levitating. Even sea birds are puzzled by the seemingly flying object, sometimes flying next to him for miles at a time.

"It's like an underwater airplane, so the wings create lift," said Lenny. "I'm harnessing in order to glide and gain momentum and cross massive distances."

Lenny's voyage from Hawaii Island to Kauai began on Tuesday, with stops planned at each island. It's an amazing, but one that comes with a message.

He and volunteers from Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, as well as other environmental groups, are doing daily clean ups at some of the dirtiest beaches in Hawaii, raising awareness about microplastics in the ocean.

At each clean up, crews have gathered between two and three tons of trash.

"Coming from Molokai, the islands that are affected by the wind and really get funneled in there. The trash was pretty unbelievable," said Lenny. "Out in these deep blue waters, it looks nice out there, but there's trash everywhere. If you look close enough, it's there."

Lenny and his flying hydrofoil are sure to inspire, and he hopes to be part of a larger solution to stop the flow of plastics in the ocean he loves.

Kai Lenny and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii will have a clean up tomorrow at Makapuu Beach from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. and the public is welcomed.

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