Stand Up for Autism

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Periodically, I will post something about Stand Up Paddle Surfing on the Maui Real Estate Blog. This new old sport is a great escape in to the beauty of Maui’s ocean environment. Just in the last week Billy and I have had the opportunity to ride waves by ourselves at secluded breaks, seen spectacular sunsets from the water, watched a giant harvest moon rise over Maui and seen a Manta Ray swim up close and personal. While stand up paddling is both an escape and good exercise, a couple of local watermen are using their considerable stand up paddle skills for a good cause. Today’s Maui News has an article on surf legends Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama’s paddle and peddle through the Hawaiian islands to raise money and awareness for autism. Kalama and Hamilton’s friend and Don King has a son with autism. King and his wife are making a film on the subject entitled “Beautiful Son.” The paddle and peddle expedition which runs from South Point on the Big Island to Hanalei Bay on Kauai will help raise funds to promote the film. This is Hamilton’s second big paddle to promote “Beautiful Son”. This summer he rode his bike from London to Dover and then paddled across the English Channel. He then rode from the French coastline in to Paris.

The expedition from the Big Island to Kauai is a considerable feat. There is a ton of open ocean paddling. Laird and Dave can expect periods on the water between 5 and 10 hours per crossing with favorable conditions. Unfortunately, island weather has been less than ideal for the expedition. Usually channel crossings are aided by tradewinds. The combination of tradewinds and their resulting wind swell allow a stand up paddle surfer to glide and catch waves. A still and sultry atmosphere has robbed Hamilton and Kalama of their tail wind and made them more dependent upon muscle and will to make it across the channels. The warmer than usual temperatures also make the overland bike part of their journey that much harder. As of Saturday, Laird and Dave had made it to Molokai. They were headed to Oahu today. It is uncertain if they will do the Oahu/Kauai crossing unless conditions improve. Regardless, I wish Laird and Dave the best of luck on the rest of their expedition. I hope it continues to draw attention to Don King’s forthcoming film.

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