We took the 15' Oahu Nui inflatable paddle board to New Zealand to explore the country with friends and family. We took this board surfing, touring, on the river, over a waterfall and to many picnics with the kids. The Oahu Nui is all about bringing people together and having fun!
we headed straight for a small town called Okere Falls located a stones throw from Rotorua. This would be our base for the next few months and is the source of the Kaituna River, and unbelievably exciting and fun river to kayak and raft. Okere Falls is a small community ideally located just 20 mins from the east coast where we were greeted by perfect mellow waves and crisp white sand.
This was an exciting day as we had brought the Oahu Nui to the beach to see if we could catch a few waves! Our efforts were rewarded by many laughs, wipe-outs and finally surfing some waves! Every time the east coast received swell after this time, we made sure to pack the Oahu Nui and take it to the beach. Not only did it provide the goods on the water but also was a handy sunbathing deck on the sand!
we had arranged to meet friends for a BBQ on the lakefront at lake Rotorua. Once again we rolled out the Nui and gave it some air before letting the kids use it as an inflatable bouncy platform. We also took off on the lake and explored, which was awesome to have everyone on the same craft working together as a team, far more social that SUP paddling alone.
the stretch of river that connects lake Rotorua to lake Rotoiti. It is such a beautiful stretch of river that I had only ever personally experienced by paddling a kayak or solo paddleboard down. It was nice to have everyone together on the same board and share the experience, pointing out native plants and watching the wildlife.
we had hatched a plan to take the Oahu Nui down the Kaituna River and in particular over the 22 foot waterfall. We managed to get three people to agree to come for the ride, and what a wild one it was going to be! All of us being kayakers knew the river well and had paddled the river on a variety of crafts, but never a giant SUP. We put on our safety gear and launched in. We arrived at the bottom of the river after conquering the wild rapids and waterfall. I’d like to say that we greased all the rapids and didn’t fall in, but really, where’s the fun in that?!
We have so much more of New Zealand’s water to explore, we will be back for sure!
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Jen Chrimes is a marketing and design professional that has worked with the outdoor industry for over 9 years. She is also a professional kayaker and avid outdoor enthusiast who loves sharing her knowledge and passion through her work. You can find more about Jen and her work at jenchrimesdesign.com.
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