I arrived in paradise and was met by one of the sponsors of this project. His Aloha spirit was shinning bright as he zipped me over to the north shore of the island. Soon after arrival my buddy and another of the sponsors took me over to a party. It wasn’t an ordinary party but a progressive one where different parts of the meals were served at various peoples homes. I made it in time to visit two homes and enjoy the company of everyone involved feeling the Aloha even more. As the full moon scratched it’s way through the passing clouds under a dark and starry night I was eager to get some rest for my first day in the water.
With a five hour time difference from my beloved Florida I was anxiously up and ready to go at 5:00am as it would’ve been 10:00am back home. A quick check of the buoys showed a big swell was not smacking itself onto the shore so I did what any surfer would do - I went surfing. My friend in Hawaii's neighbor who is also another sponsor which provided his van for the production joined us for the dawn patrol. The morning was surprisingly chilly, the scenery breath taking and the waves were looking small but fun at shoulder to head high with a light off shore wind. Since I wanted to get the place wired I stuck with a familiar wave riding vehicle, a 9’10” Hansen log. My friend on the other hand brought a quiver for us both and chose his 10’ SUP as his tool of choice.
For several hours the three of us surfed, hooted and chatted it up. My friend looked solid on his board and got some long rides showing good style wearing a big grin from ear to ear as he made his way down each line. Several other SUP guys came out to the reef we were sitting on and got some decent rides. As I looked around you could see stand up surfers at the different spots waiting on or catching waves. SUP is strong here. The different shapes and sizes of the boards clearly shows the rapid progression in this new extension of surfing. As the wind picked up we headed in to scout filming angles then watch several surf films at my friend's neighbors house.
After several hours of eye ball stoke I couldn’t wait to get back in the water. This time I grabbed a 12’ Softop SUP along with a Laird Carbon Fiber paddle and made my way to the break we surfed earlier in the morning. The small swell dropped to the occasional chest high set and provided me with a good starting point to give SUP in the islands a go. As the days light made it’s way behind the mountains I scored several fun rides with no one out. As the light switch was finally flicked off I quickly made my way towards the beach to call it a day. The ride back to my friends allowed time to get in touch with Kalani Vierra and set up a rough schedule to film his SUP mastery when the swell hopefully hits sometime this week around Tuesday and Wednesday.