Mel Ross has spent most of his life in and around the ocean – for work and for play. He started surfing in California in the 50s while designing and making surfboards, working for Hobie Catamaran, Hobie Surfboards and other surf shops until he had a chance to start his own surfboard and surfboard fin companies. His fin company enjoyed such success it eventually went international.
He started making trips to Hawaii in the 60s, each one becoming longer than the last, and was soon living most of the year in Hawaii. Mel started outrigger canoe paddling about eight years ago and is now canoe captain for Maui Canoe Club. He paddles three times a week and still surfs, dives and has fun kayak fishing.
Woodworking has always been a hobby for Mel, designing and building custom furniture, decorative pieces, surfboards and boats. He was drawn to the beauty of laminated woods used in modern-day canoe paddles and now makes smaller versions out of four beautiful hardwoods: koa, purpleheart, maple and ebony. Mel uses the Hawaiian name for these miniature paddles. Menehune (mythical little people) Hoe (paddle).