I remember reading an article in StandUp Journal back in 2014 about SUP Whitewater and knew I had to try it! With no whitewater experience and a little surf background my husband Kevin and I met up with a local whitewater club who took us down a river for our first time and we were hooked! SUP Whitewater instantly became our go to activity together and we started traveling and entering SUP Whitewater contests. We travelled up to the Ottawa River that summer and competed in the first Ultimate SUP Challenge where there was a small community of hard core paddlers. The water rose 9 feet over night and my husband and I really wanted to run the river. We finally found a group of kayakers to follow. They tried to convince us not to run it, but after traveling so far we needed to see this river! It was one of the most intense experiences of our life and we both vividly remember almost every rapid on that river! The biggest of all was the Coliseum. Paddling through these monstrous wave trains that had to be 10-12 feet high I remember seeing a weirdly shaped angled wave called the Big Kahuna pulsing and as soon as I got under it I was swallowed hole and had my first taste of down time. As the light grew darker I had a slight thought will I ever come up? Luckily I was spit back out and came up smiling relieved. The next day the competition was on and after what we lived through the day before the section where the race was held seemed very approachable. I watched the men compete first and saw Todd the owner of Pau Hana Surf Supply clean the rapid, he was one of the only people to be able to do so. Finally it was the women’s time to compete and I was up against some incredible paddlers one olympic paddler and professional whitewater athletes and StandUp paddlers. I was only three months into this new sport but was determined to do a solid performance. I ended up having a great run and shockingly came in first place! They didn’t even know how to announce my name right over the announcement and I think everyone was like “who is this girl?” That night my husband and I hit it off with Todd Coranto Owner of Pau Hana and he offered us our first sponsorship! We received some boards later that month to bring to Costa Rica for an incredible trip exploring and looking for fun SUP Whitewater runs. We have been with Pau Hana Surf Supply ever since and love the brand, innovation and lifestyle.