Stand Up Paddle Boarding and Stand Up Paddle Surfing remain all the rage in Hawaii. It is brought to mind courtesy of Google, which today featured the image of Duke Kahanamoku, to honor the 125th anniversary of his birth. Surfing was immortalized by Olympic swimmer Duke in the 1920s. A statue in his memory is found on Waikiki Beach.
Visitors can take the opportunity to try it during ideal calm conditions. Stand up surfing, also known as supping, has become extremely popular among both locals and visitors. It is highlighted again this week at the Annual Duke’s Oceanfest, a weeklong surfing celebration which takes place at Waikiki Beach, and is sponsored by the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation. The event, going on through August 30, 2015, honors the legacy of Duke.
Supping consists of standing on a modified long (9-11 foot) surfboard and using a canoe paddle as an oar. Boards with a soft surface are easier for learning. But while it may look easy, in reality it is not, requiring good coordination. Therefore, it is most easily learned in calm, wind-free conditions. Obviously it is essential that you have appropriate swimming capabilities for supping.
Surfing has long played a role in Hawaiian culture. Once reserved exclusively for royalty, surfers would often travel from North to South shores to find the best year round conditions. Most all local surf schools are now offering standup (or “sup”) lessons. Just call and ask. Hotels are also taking advantage of the interest in SUP among visitors, with many of them offering lessons and board rentals as well. For more information, check out Stand Up Zone, a blog and forum dedicated to the sport.
This is a great time to try Stand Up Paddle Boarding. The high season crowds have left and the prices have dropped. Check out Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines for late summer and fall prices. Also check out our latest update on The Cheapest Time to Fly to Hawaii.