Stand-up paddlers take to the waves

Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones
Kainoa McGee
Kainoa McGee

By Roger Mari - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL ) - It's a sport increasing in popularity. Stand-Up paddlers in the ocean are graduating to being Stand-Up surfers.

This is affecting traditional surfers and body boarders.

On flat water, stand-up paddling offers a great workout. Now, some are leaving the calm waters and heading out to the breakers for a little more excitement.

"Eventually when I get better, I'll try to go out and surf," said Stand-Up Paddler Fortunata Pecpec.

But paddling in calm water is a lot more different than riding waves. Making the transition can be rough if you're not an experienced surfer.

"The wave usually knocks them off of the board, the board goes flying, paddle goes flying everybody is like, wow, take cover," said Hawaiian Waterman Kainoa McGee.

This influx of standup surfers has some traditional surfers concerned. Stand-Up surfers have an advantage. They are able to go out further and have the power of a long paddle.

"There is friction at times because they're crowding and already crowded lineup," said Traditional Surfer Andrew Jones.

Sometimes it's not the crowd that causes friction, it's the surf spot. Kainoa McGee is an accomplished traditional and stand-up surfer and agrees the ocean is for everybody, but he feels certain places are not appropriate for beginning stand-up surfers.

"If you don't surf that place on a regular basis on a short board, body board, long board or any other wave riding vehicle, don't show up with your stand up board and think it's' going to be all good because the regulars are going to be pissed." Said McGee.

Kainoa isn't discouraging people to experience stand-up surfing, but warns that it can be addicting.

"Try it. Just respect others like you want to be respected yourself and make sure you know what you're doing," said McGee.

The best times to try stand-up surfing for the first time is in the early morning when the crowds are minimal, and when the waves aren't too big.