living off the land, or sea. While wintering in Hawaii we pulled the trigger on starting to learn one of our bucket list activities: Spearfishing. We started with an inflatable Pau Hana Surf Supply Endurance Board and 2 Hawaiian Sling Spears and headed off to places we had previously seen people hunt underwater. The first step in the water was target practice. The man at the Dive shop gave us the 101 on how to pull the rubber band at the back of the 5 ft., three-pronged pole with a twist, hold, aim, and let go. We would dive, pick a spot in the sand and see how well we could hit our mark. It quickly became apparent that these tools are only accurate a few feet out so would have to get very close to our prey.
we realized we were missing some essential items to our kit. When we hit a fish, what are we going to do with it? And how do we utilize the SUP so we can easily get out to the better spots and also freely hunt? With a little research we were able to fill in our gear needs. The first was a spearfishing loop stringer which goes through the fish’s gills or eye and through the mouth. We also bought a cheap canvas belt to hold the stringer, a dive knife, some dive lights to hunt at night - specifically for lobster, and Pau Hana’s tour rigging kit to easily secure our gear while paddling out.
Our friend Dan Ryan from Buffalo was in town and joined us at our favorite spot on Maui. We set up our basecamp for the day on a sandy beach with shade from Keawe trees. One of my favorite parts about SUP spearfishing is how cool all the gear comes together. Two sets of snorkel gear and all of our spearfishing kit fits inside one Pau Hana Endurance Air travel bag. We pulled out our gear, pumped up our board, and were on the water within 20 minutes. The three of us took turns snorkeling and spearfishing while one of us watched our 4-month-old son, Ocean, in the shade.
two of us and our gear fit easily on the board and we cruised over to the gardens of coral with ease. We put on our masks and fins. I attached the belt around my waist and linked two surf leases to the board to my belt along with the stringer. Swimming on the surface of the water I could barely feel the board pulling behind and the leashes were never in the way. When I went to dive down I was surprised to go 20 ft. below the surface and not even feel the board attached to my belt.
The end of the spear is sharp and while Pau Hana’s inflatable SUPs are incredibly durable – nothing filled with air would hold up to the sharp end of a Hawaiian sling. While out on the water however it is all just part of the meditation of the sport. Keep the sharp end away from the SUP is a pretty simple rule. If I need to adjust gear or get something from the board I can easily tie the rubber band of the sling to the attachment points on the Endurance Air and have our own personal barge that moves with us. While we were not successful hunting for dinner that day there is so much tranquility that comes with exploring the beautiful underwater world with a mission to try and catch our next meal. Every time we go out we learn a little more and get a little closer. We are training for a SUP Expedition circumnavigating the island of Barbuda with kiteboards, surfboards, spearfishing, and camping gear this May. Stay tuned for when we get to Barbuda and whether or not we make a catch may determine how well we eat that night!
Click here to read more about the Endurance Air paddleboard.
Kevin is a professional stand-up paddle board athlete that rides for Pau Hana Surf Supply, Kialoa, and Kokatat. He specializes in stand-up whitewater paddling, expedition paddling, SUP Surfing, and is an avid rock and ice climber. Kevin is known for sharing his stoke for paddleboarding and inspiring others to get outside and enjoy what mother nature has to offer.
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