The sport of Standup Paddling or what we call "Beachboy Surfing" is happening again at Makaha and Waikiki. It is a great core workout and fun to do. As a past Canoe Champion and Surfer I am very involved in the sport myself, both for exercise and fun; and have been working with the guys involved here in Hawaii to further this great new paddle sport.

A little history:

Back in the 60's Beachboys in Waikiki like Duke and Leroy AhChoy started paddling and surfing on big surfboards and at times would take a cameras with them and take pictures of tourist. It caught on with the other beachboys and kids as myself growing up in Waikiki. The sport later died out with the introduction of the shorter lighter boards for surfing, except all but Leroy was still out as long as his age was able to let him.

The sport received regeneration with the whole Retro thing and the Maui guys like Laird, Dave Kalama and the Makaha Beachboys (Brian Keaulana, Bruce DeSoto & Mel Puu) began doing it again for exercise as it gave them an advantage to catch waves early with their speed, and train their core & legs for tow-in surfing. They also found when surfing you could utilize the paddle to help you carve into turns which really helped the maneuverability of the long boards they used.

Big board and a long single paddle.

BK at big Makaha.


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Archie Kalepa grinding it out.

  With its popularity at Makaha beach Brian Keaulana decided to add "Beachboy Surfing" in 2004, as an event in the World recognized "Buffalo Big Board Contest". The response was overwhelming with over 49 participants entering the division, which included many of the Hawaii's elite waterman and past world champion surfers, using Pohaku Beachboy paddles.

Another great accomplishment in this sport was done my good friend Archie Kalepa who during the 2004 Quicksilver Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard race was the first to cross the Molokai Channel solo on a Standup paddleboard. (time: 6hrs; UGG!)

This has lead us to start doing more "down wind " runs and the Hennessey World Championship Paddleboard race on Oahu (Hawaii Kai to Waikiki , 10miles). It offered a Standup division with Prize $$$. Then again in July of 2005 a Division in Team Standup crossing in the Quicksilver Molokai to Oahu race. This race brought together a field of 9 paddles and was won by the team of Myself and Brian Keaulana, finishing 10 overall in the Paddleboard field and with a time of 5:18 mins. 2nd place was the team of Archie Kalepa & Dave Parmenter less then 3 mins behind.


A Special Place in Beachboy Surfing History

John Zapotocky came to Hawaii in 1940 , John fell in love with the ocean and made his life there from that day on. John first started Beachboy surfing in 40's after seeing Duke and other Beachboys surf like this, and has been doing it with a paddle ever since. John was a regular athlete and competitor in many of the water sports happening in Hawaii in those days, including swimming, diving paddleboard and canoe racing. The the Beachboys of Old gave this new Waikiki charger the nickname of "Pearl Diver".

John is the Oldest BBS surfer in the world and the oldest regular surfer in Waikiki. John still goes out BBS in Waikiki a few times a week and is a well known icon to the Beachboys on the beach. John has his Board in one of the racks right there in Waikiki and has for 60yrs. With the help of the many younger Beachboys, his board gets to the water and then he is right at home as he has been for the last 60 yrs.

John is amazing as he does this sport of Kings regardless of his two artificial knees and bones, and his age. John Credits his good health to the ocean and the sport of Standup Beachboy Surfing. John is Married to Ann who is an avid ocean swimmer still today and a great athlete in her own right. John and Ann will soon be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. More Vintage Videos and pics of John coming soon, for now See him in action by clicking the play button on the video clip below (may take a few minutes to load the first time, Quicktime plug-in required).




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