KIALOA's introduction to the world of Stand Up Paddles began in 2003 with a phone call to Dave Chun from Laird Hamilton. Laird explained that he wanted Dave to build him a 7 foot long paddle so he could propel himself into gigantic waves while standing on his surf board. He had gotten Dave's name from their mutual friend and surfing icon, Gerry Lopez. The long shafts on Laird’s paddles kept breaking and Gerry thought with Dave's background in paddle building that KIALOA might be able to help. The quick solution to Laird’s problem was to graft one of KIALOA's small steering blades onto a piece of long aluminum tubing that was lying around the KIALOA shop. It wasn’t elegant but it didn’t break. And so a new paddling craze began.
Since 2003 the growth of the stand up paddling sport has been phenomenal. It is a fair guess that in a short time stand up paddling has surpassed Outrigger in popularity as a paddle sport. There are now numerous print magazines, blogs, websites and forums that are devoted to stand up paddles, boards and paddling. Despite the slow economy, stand up paddles continue forward with competitive events all summer long across the country as well as a popular recreational family activity. This is just the beginning. As the sport continues to grow so will its potential. We have already seen it emerge as a whitewater sport and a means for expedition paddling, it has given paddlers in the midwest an entirely new way to appreciate surfing and across the world it may be the fastest growing sport. The possibilites are endless.
As the sport of paddleboarding grows, more forms of the sport emerge. Some of the most popular forms of paddleboarding include racing, surfing, whitewater, expedition paddling, fitness paddling, SUP yoga, and family recreation to name a few. Having the correct stand up paddle for whichever type of paddling you decide to do will help you maximize your performance and enjoyment. Discover which SUP forms you enjoy most, find a paddle that suits you, and get out on the water. To learn which is the correct paddle for your specific style click here.