above: Hui O He'e Nalu 4th of July Paddleboard Race at Waimea Bay
By Blake McElheny
We are so fortunate to be able to enjoy exploring the ocean and beaches along the coastline from Kahuku to Kaena. Stand up paddling with Everpaddle is a great way to view the whole length of the North Shore's coastline from a perspective you would normally only get from a sail boat or a jet-ski. Downwind coast runs or taking time to surf at a couple of different breaks along the "Seven-Mile Miracle" is an awesome way to get a feel for the North Shore and to appreciate our special natural and natural environment.
You can really check the pulse on the health of the water, the community, and the environment when you are standing up and looking down through the water towards the reef or back toward the neighborhoods and hillsides. For us, stand up paddling is one way to feel closely connected to the ocean and the natural environment. The perspective from standing up also helps us see lots of our ocean friends such as turtles, rays, and even whales!
We are also learning that looking back at the community from the ocean is an important framework to understand how natural systems work. You can see clearly how what we do in the mountains affects the beaches and oceans. Moreover, we see how it is important to have protected areas like Waimea Valley, Pupukea Paumalu, and the Pupukea Waimea Marine Life Conservation District.
In addition to our own personal enjoyment and the benefits to our health, it is inspiring to see a whole new group of ocean explorers going up and down the coast and into the different bays and coves. We're sure that everyone that paddles along this coast will be stoked on their fresh look at the North Shore. We believe stand up paddling will breed a growing number of conservationists that see the connection between the ocean and the land and who will be committed to a wide variety of conservation issues.
We're grateful for the opportunities and experiences that stand up paddling provides and we're stoked on how awesome the North Shore looks from the ocean! Keep paddling!