February 23, 2017, Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii – Kai Lenny wins the 2017 Sunset Beach Pro with Naish teammate Bernd Roediger taking second at the inaugural stop of the APP World Tour at Sunset Beach, Oahu. This is the fifth time in eight years that Lenny has won the title.
In its first event under the newly branded APP World Tour, contest directors were very selective on which days to run the competition during the event window with challenging conditions often on hand. While opening rounds were held in very large and challenging surf, the finals day ran in more favorable swell and wind.
Lenny, who had a semi-final finish at the WSL Sunset QS event last month, was absolutely ripping on his Hokua Carbon Pro on finals day, leaving his competition in both the quarter-final and final heats combo-ed. Using existing break knowledge and recent experience, Lenny was able to put together a solid contest strategy. “From the event that I did for the QS at Sunset, I ran with my set plan that I did in that event. I knew it was going to be the most reliable way to make it to the finals and possibly win,” said Lenny.
With such a dominating performance, it was obvious Lenny was out for redemption after an early exit and eventual title loss in 2016. “When I lost so early last year and most of all when the world title was given out for one event which was at Sunset Beach, I was especially fired up. The entire year subconsciously I was looking forward to going back to this event and winning it. As a competitor I had everything I needed: solid equipment, knowledge of the break, and confidence in myself,” stated Lenny.
Naish was also well represented by Roediger, who was looking very comfortable on his Hokua Carbon Pro, methodically worked his way through the contest to finish the contest in second, alongside Lenny on the podium. His casual, yet precise style has certainly turned heads as he continues to build a reputation in the stand up paddle world.
It was an awesome event to kick off the 2017 APP World Tour, which now heads to neighboring Hawaiian island Maui, for the Maui Pro-Am, March 10-12. “It’s going to be nice to come back for a while to train and compete at my home field. Confidence is the most important thing to winning any event and that stems from being so comfortable in the venue of the battle. I can’t even imagine how many times I have been able to ride on this race course, I’m so excited!” exclaimed Lenny, who has spent much of the winter traveling the globe chasing extra large waves. Be surf to catch the action from the Maui Pro-Am live at www.appworldtour.com, as Lenny and Roediger will be joined on their home island by Naish’s favorite Viking, Casper Steinfath and other Naish team riders, as racing action kicks off for the tour.
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© Brian Bielman Photography – APP World Tour