Pau Hana Surf Supply

Mikedawsonprofilesml MikeDawson


Tauranga, New Zealand


Favorite Place to Paddle

Wairoa River



Mike Dawson always remembers one mantra before going out to race: “When I race, I try not to think about what I’m doing, I try and trust my body… I’m here because I want to be here I’m here because I want to win.” Mike’s calm composure has gotten him far. He’s a champion racer, extreme kayaker and will compete in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London in the canoe slalom event. But he doesn’t lose sight about why he paddles. “I love a rush. Kayaking is cool because its like a soul sport its like surfing. They call it soul boating. You paddle better when you’re enjoying it. Its just coming from within yourself which is kind of cool,” Mike says.


Mike started stand-up paddle boarding in 2011 and says, “I’m training so much on my kayak, I can’t do it every single day. I find [SUP is] a good way to break up the slalom training. It’s a really unstable environment, a good body workout and where I live is a pretty sick place. I can jump on a SUP board and 15 minutes I’m at these natural hot pools. Its a good time to chill out, its like Pau Hana time.”


His busy travel schedule competing and extreme kayaking around the world has taken him to Africa, across the U.S., Mexico, Europe and throughout New Zealand. When Mike finally makes it back home to Rotorua, NZ he gets the mates together from Okary Falls to make pizza in the wood fire oven they built in the back garden and knock some beers back. “You just eat and drink the night away. Its good times.”


Awards + Accomplishments

  • Teva Mountain Games Champion 2009 & 2011
  • Free Ride World Champion 2010 & 2011
  • ICF World Cup Finalist
  • Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championships 2nd 2009/ 2011
  • European Extreme Kayak Champion 2011
  • ICF Olympic Selection for London 2012
  • 7 times NZ National Champion 2004-2009 & 2010-2011
  • Canoe Slalom World Championships 2011 16th


Pau Hana Time

“I love just kayaking. On the Kaituna River where I paddle a lot, there is a cool Biergarden, its really nice when the suns setting just to shoot out there after a paddling on the river with all the guys and have just a cold German beer and talk about nothing for a few hours.”