Celebrating a Hawaiian Tradition at Duke’s OceanFest
HONOLULU – (August 22, 2007) – Half a century ago, Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku, his many brothers, and a collective group of surfers who became known as the Waikiki Beachboys, gave rise to a sport that has today become a multi-billion dollar international industry. Prestige and money aside, what they really created was a tradition, handed down over the years, that has evolved into a complete waterman’s lifestyle. Today, there isn’t a soul who sets foot on Waikiki Beach who doesn’t snap a shot of the famous waters or venture further to try their own hand at the “sport of kings”. That tradition was celebrated today at Duke’s OceanFest, featuring the C4 Waterman/Honolua Surf Co. Stand-up Paddle Surfing Invitational.
Stand-up Paddle Surfing was invented by the Waikiki Beachboys who married their two favorite sports of canoe paddling and surfing by utilizing a canoe paddle to negotiate their way around the Waikiki breakers while standing on their surfboards. It proved to be an excellent way to keep a watchful eye on the tourists learning to surf, while also earning them an extra dime or two for the photos they could snap while maneuvering around the break – not to mention the fun they had riding waves in this fashion.
Today, the practice of stand-up paddle (SUP) surfing has melded with high-performance surfing to create a new buzz on the waves. Considered to be a perpetuation of the waterman lifestyle rather than simply a new sport, stand-up paddle surfing is spreading around the world like wildfire.
In a celebration of its Beachboy roots, and recognizing a handful of key modern-day practitioners, the C4 Waterman/Honolua Surf Co. Invitational brings together 24 SUP surfers who, over the past three years, have had a major contribution on the rebirth and development of this latest phase in surfing’s evolution. Today’s rounds of competition whittled the field down to six watermen who will contest the final this-coming Saturday.
“C4 Waterman was really happy to put this event on in the spirit of Duke because this was the birthplace of this lifestyle sport that we are all loving so much,” said C4 Waterman founder Todd Bradley, who also competed in today’s event. “In the spirit of Duke and fair competition, it was a get-together for Mainland American and Hawaii watermen who have played a large hand in taking SUP to heights noone ever imagined. An event such as this is an incredible opportunity to enjoy each other’s company in this ocean we love so much.
“With the explosion of SUP, we could easily have had a 72-surfer field in this competition. But what we wanted to do was bring together some key people from the Mainland and Hawaii, who, over the past three years, have contributed a lot of energy and exploration when so many others laughed it off as just a funny thing to do. Today, it’s very much in vogue and taken seriously on all levels.”
Dave Parmenter, a surfboard shaper and former professional surfer is one of those key players. Originally from California, Parmenter has invested the best part of his life in surfing and surfboard development in Hawaii. He was the standout performer of today’s competition. Parmenter, along with Hawaiian Brian Keaulana, has been instrumental in building the first truly high-performance SUP boards. There is no other SUP board shaper out there right now how can surf at his calibre and lay claim to such ingenious designs.
Parmenter will feature in Saturday’s final, along with Kauai’s Kalani Vierra and Titus Kinimaka, Maui’s Noah Shimabukuro, and Oahu pair Alika Willis and Bonga Perkins.
Scott Bass, an invitee from California, was “blown away” by today’s opening festivities for the Duke’s OceanFest, and the level of surfing in the C4 Waterman event.
“It was unreal – super nice,” said Bass. “The day started out with an opening ceremony by Duke’s statue that was really powerful. I was absolutely blown away.
“The big deal with Hawaii is that there’s an established culture of paddle – it’s something that has been in Hawaii for forever and that’s why the locals have really embraced the practice of SUP surfing. When I come over here now to compete, it’s mind blowing, I’m just stoked if I can get out of one heat. Stand-up paddle surfing is really at an unbelievable level.”
The final heat will be held on Saturday, August 25th.
For more information on stand-up paddle surfing, please visit: www.c4waterman.com
C4 Waterman/Honolua Surf Co. Stand-up Paddle Surfing Invitational.
Dave Parmenter (Oahu)
Alika Willis (Oahu)
Noah Shimabukuro (Maui)
Kalani Vierra (Kauai)
Bonga Perkins (Oahu)
Titus Kinimaka (Kauai)
Semi-Final results (top three from each heat to the final):
Heat 1: Dave Parmenter (Oahu); Alika Willis (Oahu); Kalani Vierra (Kauai); Archie Kalepa (Molokai); Cito DeSoto (Oahu); Kamaki Worthington (Oahu)
Heat 2: Bonga Perkins (Oahu); Noah Shimabukuro (Maui); Titus Kinimaka (Kauai); Leleo Kinimaka (Big Island); Ekolu Kalama (Molokai); Mel Puu (Oahu)
Standings after combined rounds 1 & 2 (Top 12 to semi-finals)
1. Dave Parmenter, Oahu – 137 points; 2. Bonga Perkins, Oahu – 97.5; 3. Mel Puu, Oahu – 94; 4. Kalani Vierra, Kauai – 86.5; 5. Alika Willis, Oahu – 86; =6. Leleo Kinimaka, Big Island – 85; =6. Titus Kinimaka, Kauai – 85; 8. Cito Desoto, Oahu – 81; 9. Kamaki Worthington, Oahu – 79.5; =10. Noah Shimabukuro, Maui – 79; =10. Ekolu Kalama, Molokai – 79; 12. Archie Kalepa,Molokai – 77; 13. Duane DeSoto, Oahu – 71.5; =14. Nolan Keaulana, Oahu – 64.5; =14. Todd Bradley, Oahu – 64.5; 16. John Kaleopaa, Oahu – 62.5; 17. Bunky Bakutis, Oahu – 61; 18. Brian Keaulana, Oahu – 60; 19. Scott Bass, California – 55; 20. Sam Pai, Oahu – 49.15; 21. Igor Lumertz, Brazil – 47; 22. Kimo Miranda, Oahu – 44; 23. Tiare Lawrence, Oahu – 43; 24. Rocky McKinnin, CA – 21