INTERACT

SUP: Where Did it Come From?

SUP (or stand up paddle boarding) has increased in popularity throughout the years. An active and fun aquatic adventure, you can enjoy the ocean in a unique way that’s different to anything you have ever experienced before. Here at Paddle Maui, we have a wide range of SUP activities, including SUP lessons and a Whale Watch Stand Up Paddle Board Tour that you can enjoy throughout your holiday on this majestic island. You could also rent a SUP, heading out on your own to explore.
Stand Up Paddle Maui
Anyhow, where did SUP come from? And what is its history? Legend has it that this exciting water sport began here on the island of Maui. However, the history of SUP runs a lot deeper than you might think – it wasn’t just a few Maui surfers exploring Makai or another part of the island. In the early 2000’s the revival of SUP emerged when Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama (two professional surfers) took to the waters. Demonstrating the beauty of the sport during a photoshoot, people began to become fascinated with its history – discovering that stand up paddling actually dates back thousands of years and has connections internationally, not just in the Hawaiian islands. However, there has also been speculation that the first surfers to use this method were Peruvian, using the method over 2,000 years ago. Using a reed watercraft called a Caballito de Totora, they would head out to the ocean to fish. When used to the waves they would stand up on their boards – beginning the tradition. Unfortunately, although there have been records of these Peruvian fisherman, in Hawaii, there aren’t records dating back that far. Therefore, it’s always interesting to speculate the international influences of water sport – even though many believe it was Maui that created it. We also see similar boards in Italy that are used by the gondoliers of Venice. Known for navigating the waterways of the magical city, it showcases how the technique was used throughout the world. Although, of course, the gondola is very different to that of a SUP (it is more like a boat in the sense of transportation), the technique is quite similar and it shows how it was adapted to suit the Italian city.
Stand Up Paddle Maui
There has also been ties to Israel’s ancient history, with some claiming that their equivalent, the ‘Hasake’ was used to paddle out through the waves to fish. Evolving to look like SUP, this Mediterranean counterpart echoes the design of its Hawaiian ancestor.

Can You Surf On A SUP?

To answer this question before getting into more of the SUP’s fascinating backstory, a SUP is technically a surfboard that you use alongside a paddle, therefore, technically, you can use it to surf the waves. In the Hawaiian islands, the practice of standing up on a surfboard whilst using a paddle was used in the 1940’s to teach students to surf in Waikiki – bringing back the tradition of using the boards that was laid out by their ancestors. But even though this technique was popular in the 40’s, the practice began to die out and surfing on the board became far more prevalent. Waikiki surfer Zapotocky and Oahu surfer ‘Pops’ Ah Choy did continue to use a paddle, however throughout the years. The technique of standing on the board began to pick up traction again after the sport was catapulted into the Buffalo Big Board Contest in 2004 within the ‘Beach Boy Surfing’ division. After photos and videos were taken and posted online from the competition, the sport hit the mainstream once again. Becoming one of the fastest evolving and growing water sports in the world, it is beloved by surfers internationally.
Stand Up Paddle Maui

Discover Stand Up Paddle Boarding Today

In Maui, you will see paddle boarders along the shores every day. No matter what the time of day people are out there exploring the water in an extraordinary way. A staple of many visitor’s vacations, it makes for an incredible day out – whether it’s your first time enjoying the water sport or your 50th. So if you are curious about what the water sport entails or perhaps you want to enjoy it for yourself, get in contact with us today and book your SUP tour, lesson or rental! With so many picturesque waters to explore throughout our tropical Hawaiian island, you are guaranteed an unforgettable experience that you will want to enjoy again and again!
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Happy Customers

Road to Hana

It was an epic road trip. We got a camper van. We drove on the road to Hana with no issues, camped in the rain, camped in the wind, by the beach, under streetlights and in the middle of nowhere. We loved exploring the road to Hana at a much slower pace. This was an incredible experience. Thanks, Aloha!

Sea Escape Maui Boat Rental

“Yeah, perfect day, we saw two big humpback whales, thousands of fishes, turtles, the cliffs and much more! We were able to see 150 meters down in the sea. All in all, it was an awesome experience, without any ripple out there. It could not be any better!”

Sea Escape Maui Boat Rental

We went to the south east side. Then we went to Molokini. We saw a 5-feet white shark. Water clarity was amazing. Then we just cruised around. We also caught a couple of fishes. It was a great experience all around! Thanks!”

Sea Escape Maui Boat Rental

“Well! We took the kids to Molokini, we did Snorkeling, and we were lucky to see some whales. The boat was wonderful to drive, this is our third time with your service, and we will try to be back.”

Sea Escape Maui Boat Rental – Captain Steve!

Caroline and Sabastian

Caroline and Sabastian

“Well what can I say about the trip of a lifetime? We got engaged. We spent a magical time at a National Park. Aloha Outdoors was totally cool and showed me everything. We spent less for a home and car than anyone could manage with a hotel and rental car.”

Joel and Tanya

Joel and Tanya

“Being able to rent the camper van for a full 10 days made our Maui experience so much more!! In fact I have sent dozens of people your way already, so expect a few more people from Juneau Alaska! Thank you sooo very much it was the best way to travel! Oh, and keep the extra food and drinks!”

Sally, Sarah, and Suzan

Sally, Sarah, and Suzan

“We rented a camper for my fiancé’s birthday and had a such a great and memorable experience! What a beautiful and unique way to see the island. Our friends rented a second van a we toured the island as a group. It was an opportunity of a lifetime on a minimal budget. Thanks Aloha Outdoors.”

Lonnie S.

Lonnie S.

What a great time on the water, the boat was fantastic and ran flawlessly. They gave us great instructions and recommendations on where to go. We went to Molokini crater and did some snorkeling, fun time and beautiful fish galore. Then on the way to turtle town the Humpback whales put on a show of a lifetime. I just love the whales and dolphins. How incredible to see them breach so close. Nothing better than having your own boat and the freedom to go where you want and when you want. 5 Hours was just the perfect amount of time.

Cory S.

Cory S.

Just got done with the boat rental from a few hours ago. In a word, AWESOME! We started at 6am so we beat the crowds for snorkeling at Molokini, then just cruised around looking for whales. We saw at least 10, with a few of them fairly close. I will recommend this to anyone coming to Maui. The staff was great at setting us up and made it a breeze. The boat was very nice and we only had to spend $31 on gas, although we didn’t go as far as most people might. If you’re thinking about doing it, do it!

Debbie M

Debbie M

We live here and we’re looking for a way to get on the water without buying our own boat. They gave us an awesome orientation, launched the boat, and off we went. So many whales! Went over to Molokini, then over to Wailea to cruise the coast. Found a mooring, went swimming & ate lunch. Coming back, they were right there to take our lines, and take over from there. So nice to just show up, take off, and then leave the clean up to them! Looking forward to doing it again! Highly recommend this avenue to all!”

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