Maybe it’s because I’m a Pisces, but whenever I go to the beach, I need to be in the water, whether to float lazily around or surf Oahu’s legendary breaks. However, when I first learned about standup paddling (SUP), I was skeptical. I held off on trying it because my friends and I thought that real surfers don’t need a paddle. We thought we were soul surfers, even though we never surfed waves bigger than two feet. But one day, during a weekend “staycation” in Waikiki, my husband and I decided that we would try something new.
We were staying at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa and decided to check out the Waikiki Beach Activities kiosk at the resort’s Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon. Since my husband isn’t a strong surfer, he wanted to try SUP in the safety and privacy of the calm lagoon. After a quick lesson on how to balance and turn, we felt like standup paddling pros! I couldn’t believe I had waited so long to experience this new way of playing in the ocean. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to pick up, yet it was strenuous enough to provide a good workout. It felt like riding on a wave that ended when I said so… or when I lost my balance. We were hooked!
Every now and then my husband and I will head down to Fort Derussy Beach Park and rent SUP boards from one of the many beach rental stands. During our sessions, we often spot a few turtles playing along the reef, or schools of fish feeding close to shore ─ a great reminder of how lucky we are to live on Oahu.