Why SUP and Paddling Matters: Mother Ocean’s Youngest Ones

Kialoa has sponsored a “Live Like You Paddle” scholarship for about 8 years now.  One of this year’s winners was Gabriel Chun Fook age 14.  He explains what values he has gained through participation in outrigger canoe paddling. It is meaningful that the company that sponsors this thoughtful young man has built their company on traditions that are ageless and seamlessly tied to the ocean and waters.

While this blog seeks stories from ElDER SUPers, our inspiration and energy is geared to provide young people, like the high school paddlers pictured here, with a community connected by awareness and activism toward healthy waters. What better way to inspire than than to support teamwork and sports solidly tied to tradition and the water.

The Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge, presented by Turtle Bay Resort, is a stand up paddle contest for the youth, 16 years and younger that is hosted by the Waterman League.

Na Kama Kai’s mission is to empower youth by creating, conducting and supporting ocean-based programs, specifically targeting ocean awareness & safety in order to increase the capacity of youth in the community through cultural & environmental education.

Duane DeSoto the founder & president was born and raised on the west side of Oahu. His love for the ocean and appreciation of the waterman lifestyle has nurtured his dream of giving back to his community. This dream came to fruition with the establishment of Nā Kama Kai. Duaneʻs passion for the ocean continues to sustain his lifestyle and allows him to engage in nurturing the community through Nā Kama Kaiʻs youth programs.

We invite Elder SUPers involved in the work of the Waterman League and Na Kama Kai to share their stories and ideas with us. Who knows, those stories might become part of our indie film project.


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