Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Stand Up Paddle

The Stand Up Paddle

     My name is Yann, i’m the new trainee of the Kanaha Kai wind surf shop.
I’ll post an article every week about the Maui culture for the next two months.

I’ll begin with stand up paddling, which is increasingly popular in the world and specially Hawaii.

     Hawaiian beach boys of Waikiki reintroduced the stand up paddle in the early 1960s. At the beginning, There were stand on their longboard to take pictures of tourists who’s were learning to surf in Hawaii.
In the early 2000s Hawaiian surfers such as Dave Kalama, Brian Keaulana, Rick Thomas, Archie Kalepa and Laird Hamilton started SUP as an alternative way to train while the surf was down
It’s why, nowadays, more and more people do SUP.

Bart de Zwart is part of these people.
I had ask some questions to Bart, to try to understand why people like SUP.

When and why did you start stand up paddling?   

I started paddling in 2007 when I was sailing around the world. I had a lot of water toys on board  but I would choose a stand up paddle board if I could only bring one.

What kind of feeling do you seek in SUP which are different from other water sports?

Freedom to go where ever you want to go in what ever conditions. 
You don’t need perfect waves or wind you can go in any conditions.

You are well known in this sport to have crossed Big Ireland to Kauai,
How did you get such idea?

I wanted to try to beat, sleep navigate on a board for a longer period of time and see how your body reacts to that.  The 300 miles between Big island and Kauai seemed like a good challenge

What are your preparations before such a travel ? (physicals, mental, materials)

Apart from being physically fit you need to be very well prepared with you equipment, safety gear and food. The mental part is something you need to have in you, by being prepared you will be mentally stronger. But the mental part is the hardest part of a crossing like this.

What kind of problem did you encounter ?

Mostly small problems because to are wet the whole time for 5 days and 5 nights. Your body is not made for that so you get rashes and infections after a couple of days. Another thing was the waves during the night which rolled me over for several times the first 2 nights while I was trying to sleep.

For this travel did you hesitate to give up?

No never. If there is the slightest change that you think you have to give up, you shouldn’t go and do a crossing like this. Only life threatening situations would  let me give up.

You spent more than 5 days in the water, where did you sleep ?

I made an inflatable bed with high walls I pumped up every night so I wouldn’t  be getting waves and water over me the whole night. This worked pretty good.

What kind of food did you eat ?

Nuts, dry fruit, endurance racing powders (biking), sport bars and dry freeze meals

You just  crossed the north sea between England and the Netherland,
What’s your next challenge ?

I have a few in ideas but I will keep it a secret. There are so many challenges still in this world.

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