BEYOND THE BOARD: KEVIN CULLEN

BEYOND THE BOARD: KEVIN CULLEN

March 15, 2021

BEYOND THE BOARD: AN INTERVIEW WITH KEVIN CULLEN

Kevin Cullen is a climber, passionate waterman, and a very well seasoned traveler. Kevin has paddle-boarded in places many of us can only dream of and along with his wife, Christian, recently brought a catamaran which they now live on with their son Ocean, fully embracing the nomadic lifestyle. We are proud to have Kevin as an ambassador for Pau Hana and to be a part of the ohana for the last seven years. We caught up with Kevin to find out what motivates him to get out on the water and live every day to its fullest.

Kevin Cullen professional SUP paddle board athlete

Kevin Cullen has been with Pau Hana for 7 years

LOCATION:

Buffalo, NY (Summer) Florida Keys or Maui (Winter)

TELL US HOW YOU DISCOVERED SUP...

In my twenties, I was a dedicated climbing bum working summers on a trail crew in CO and living out of my truck in the winter usually around Joshua Tree or Bishop, CA. I moved home to the shores of Lake Erie in 2012, met my wife Christian Edie ice climbing, and we both slowly transitioned from climbing being our primary activity to watersports. In 2014 Christian won the first Ultimate SUP Challenge in Ottawa, a whitewater and flatwater combined event. We met Todd Caranto, the owner and designer of Pau Hana there and we have been riding for Pau Hana ever since.

stand up paddle boarding across bright blue waters in Barduda on an inflatable paddle board

Paddling through the bright blue waters of Barbuda.

YOUR FAVORITE SUP STYLE?

Wow, honestly can’t pick just one. Whitewater SUP and SUP surfing are probably tied for first place but I love everything that can be done on a SUP. Downriver, touring, or a mellow paddle with the family.

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN 3 WORDS OR LESS:

Super duper positive

stand up paddle boarding at sunset in Florida on an inflatable paddle board

Sunset in Florida, one of Kevins home bases.

GREATEST LIFE ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?

Marrying my wife and awesome SUP athlete Christian Edie. Stand-up paddling the Lower Gauley with her is runner up though!

WHAT IS IT THAT YOU ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT PADDLE BOARDING?

The diversity of what can be done. A SUP can be used in almost any conditions the water can throw at you. Even after almost a decade of whitewater SUP I’m still amazed at the sport. It is pretty amazing seeing people navigate serious rapids while standing on a big surfboard!

Stand up paddle boarding on big waves in Hawaii

Catching monsters on the North Shore of Oahu.

WHO ARE YOUR SPORTING HEROS ON OR OFF THE WATER?

Garrett McNamara for sure. He is just a great guy and has an all-time stoke level. SUP surfing with him, Todd Caranto, and Carlos Macias on the North Shore of Oahu was amazing. Also, Kai Lenny for pushing the limits and doing everything imaginable on the water. We can really relate to Kai’s diversity because conditions change constantly and rapidly at our home spot on Lake Erie so you always have to adapt.

FAVORITE PLACE YOU'VE PADDLED AND WHY?

The Upper Kaituna in Rotorua New Zealand was one of the coolest SUP paddles we did. Mostly fun class III whitewater through a New Zealand jungle but there are a few drops on that run including a 20 ft. waterfall. I didn’t even come close to landing that drop but it sure was fun. Also, the West End of Negril Jamaica. There we do “Jamaican Downwinders” where a gentle breeze pushes you past miles of limestone sea cliffs, caves, and reefs. The whole day we deep water solo climb the rock, cliff jump, explore the caves and snorkel the reef.

Man holding a child wearing a PAu Hana T-shirt

With son Ocean.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS TIME?

In 10 years-time our son Ocean will be 12 and our soon to be born 2nd child, Lake, will be 8. I see our family all SUP surfing, kiting, or running whitewater together. We bought a sailing catamaran this past year and are absolutely in love with living on the water and sailing so think in 10 years you may find us voyaging.

QUICK FIRE ROUND

FAVORITE FOOD: Jamaican 

FAVORITE DRINK: Espresso

FAVORITE MUSIC: Outlaw Country 

FAVORITE PADDLE BOARD: Pau Hana Solo SUP™ Backcountry! 

Lounging on the deck of a catamaran next to the Solo SUP inflatable paddle board

Relaxing on the catamaran

Written by Jennifer Chrimes

CHECK OUT OUR GALLERY

paddleboarding in barbuda over blue seas
catching waves on a paddleboard in hawaii
paddleboarding over clear waters in barbuda
paddleboarding on lake rotoiti in new zealand
paddling through mangroves in barbuda
tropical waters of hawaii are great for paddleboarding

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