The Ladies surfed in style at this year’s Duke Kahanamoku Ocean Fest. The Stand-Up Paddle Surfing was held August 22nd and 23rd at Queens surf spot in Waikiki. C4 Waterman, Honolua Surf and Blue Planet hosted the Stand-Up events for the men, children (juniors) and women.
The sport has grown leaps and bounds. This year’s event had 80 SUP surfers.
“I’m not surprised at all, to be honest” said Todd Bradley, one of the founders of the C4 Waterman company. “From the start, everybody we turned on to the sport got hooked. So to see all these kids and women and new-comers to the sport … I think its just the beginning.”
In 2007 C4 Waterman’s first year hosting an open SUP event and only one women who surfed along side the men was Maui’s Tiare Lawrence. Ms. Lawrence was of the first female to try SUP surfing. Ms. Lawrence as a outrigger canoe paddler and short boarder, and Tiare was hand picked as the first top acrobatic performer in the Hawaiian version of Cirque de Soleil at the Ulalena Theatre. When I first saw her surf her C4 SUP surfing in big waves at Makaha, I was like whoa! I had ridden big waves for years, but this was a new angle of riding waves and Tiare was charging full on with a classic style in big waves with the boys.
Ms. Lawrence said “The fitness aspect is so rewarding.” When you go surfing you are lying down most of the time, so you work two times more muscles than surfing when you are doing SUP.”
This year Tiare and ten other women performed in all-female SUP heats. They were so graceful with Hawaiian style with the best technique I had ever seen to date.
Jennifer Koki of Honolulu grew up on the south shore of Oahu long-boarding. Ms. Koki is a real stylish surfer to begin with and now on a SUP she really shines. Ms. Kohi said “The first time I tried it, I stopped because it was so hard” “But I tried again and now I love it, you can paddle for long distances, and it’s a super workout.”
Also from the family of champions the Moniz’s, there is their daughter teenager Kelia Moniz. A Roxy sponosored surfer girl and her four brothers with Mum Tammy and Dad Professional surfer Tony Moniz who all now do SUP and they surf the SUP with style.
Kelia is only 15 years old and is the most stylish new breed of surfer girls to come out of Hawaii on a long-board. Kelia can shred with grace, she kept on doing some tip riding back side, but the off shore winds kept on blowing her off, but finally she held on and got a great score and the crowd on the beach was all in a roar over how hot her ride was. Kelia rips on a short board as well. Kelia’s nose riding out topped all the girls in the event. If she would have caught some of the set waves she would have won hands down, but came in second place.
Then 23 year old UH Uni student Candice Appleby took first place for that day and took home $2,000. Other women in the finals were Waikiki’s Pinoi Makalena 3rd Place, Geodee Clark 4th Place, Maui, Hawaii’s Tiare Lawrence 5th place and Honolulu’s Heather Jeppesen 6th Place. And Crystal Dzigas won for Style and won $3,000 dollars.
My class mate Tom Holbrook, an executive VP for Quiksilver came over from California with his wife to enter the SUP event.
“I equate this to the early years of snowboarding,” said Holbrook. When it first came out, it was sort of this curiosity, and then it kept growing and growing. I see the same potential for (SUP).” “You can have as much fun paddling out as you can catching waves.” Holbrook said.
If you are thinking of getting into SUP know a SUP equipment, board and paddle can cost between $1,300 and $2,800 dollars depending which boards and paddles you pick.
Its a lot more expensive ocean sport than short or long-boarding, but the best CORE exercise you can do for any sport, that enhances any sport one loves to play.
In fact Lance Armstrong professional bicycle road racing seven Tour de France titles from 1999-to 2005 is putting his legacy on the line with a comeback with a return to racing in the Tour de France to raise cancer awareness. Lance has been training with SUP to support his physical and mental direction to give the Tour de France a great op to win.
Mike Fox, Hawaii’s famous all around waterman and stuntman Brian Keaulana and Bradley founded the C4 Waterman company in 2006. At that time it was only company focused on high end quality sport of equipment of SUP.
At first when you give it a go it’s a bit new to get the balance on a SUP board for a beginner, not already a surfer, but as long as you RELAX and keep your hips loose & eyes up looking forward, your performance moves forward fast, as long as you practice. You have to get use to it. And doing that, one has to put some time into it. It is very different than surfing. Not in the way you surf, but rather in the way you catch waves. Some of the key elements in learning is to relax and keep your heads and eyes up and looking forward. Once you get it, its really fun, and keep’s you in great shape for when you do go surfing.
One thing is very important that without really knowing how to surf it can be very dangerous. You don’t want to have people who may know nothing about surfing in the waves. Its important they learn to surf first from a professional non McDonald surf company, that gives the total surfing foundation and who teaches etiquette and respect for the ocean and other surfers in the line up.
Here are some excellent companies to choose from if you want to learn SUP: