above: Hui O He'e Nalu 4th of July Paddleboard Race at Waimea Bay
About The Author
Aloha my name is Gabriel Mizunaka. I am 16 years old and I live in Oahu Hawaii. I like to surf, slam poetry, rap, and dance hula and hip hop. I also have 2 triplet brothers that also surf and dance hula. I just started Stand up paddling and I love it.
Other Talk Story articles by Gabriel:
The Original Kings of Waikiki
History of a Hawaiian Path Carver
THE OCEAN IS NOT AN OCTAGON
By Gabriel Mizunaka
There have always been rivalries no matter where you go. Tyson and Holyfield. Coca-cola and Pepsi. Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. Heck, you could have a rivalry with someone yourself. But what’s bothered me lately is the so-called rivalry of stand-up paddling and surfing.
Ok, I admit surfers and SUPers don’t always see eye-to-eye. When a SUP guy paddles out, usually the surfers aren’t too happy. Why? Because SUPers tend to paddle out farther, and catch the waves earlier and easier. And when you’re paddling super hard to catch a nice wave only to be called off by a guy with a longboard and a paddle, it can be pretty frustrating. SUP guys on the other hand, can also have a hard time with surfers. Sometimes surfers drop in or paddle around SUPers to catch the wave, and cut them off. Some surfers get mad at them, and that’s how fights can be started.
“A lot of them don’t know what they’re doing,” says Bobby Judd, also known as my dad. “ They have to control a big heavy long board while standing up and holding a paddle, and a lot of them don’t know how to do that” “SUPers like that are dangerous.”
SUPers on the other hand, think that surfers sometimes overreact. Some of them say that they get yelled at just from paddling by. “A lot of surfers think we’re in the way” quotes one anonymous SUPer “ but a lot of them get in OUR way.”
But while there’s a lot of sword clashing and board crashing, many people still think that
surfers vs. SUPers isn’t that big of a deal. “ We actually do get along,” says Gerard Chee. “Yeah of course there’s conflict, but there will always be conflict.”
Okay, maybe that doesn’t sound like a satisfying answer. But I think he’s right. The will always be someone in the way, and there will always be someone angry. But we can keep that to a minimum if we look past each other’s differences. After all, both surfers and SUPers just want to catch a couple waves and have fun, right? Some people I know even do both. Why? Because they don’t see it as taking sides. They don’t see the ocean as an Octagon. They just see it all as a way to enjoy the ocean and love life, whether on a 6 foot board, or a 16 foot board.