When Jeff Chang and Karen Lar Rieu—the brother-sister team behind Wet Feet Hawaii—aren't scrawling on the ocean's waves with their paddles, they're usually in their shop chatting with customers about their experiences. Behind their counter, they sell and rent gear, and orchestrate a team of paddleboard racers, an ocean conservationist, and water enthusiasts as they lead lessons and tours.
During the eco tour, a conservationist—who was the first woman to cross the Molokai Channel on a standup paddleboard—teaches the basics while leading tour members to conservation areas to expound on the problem of plastics in the ocean. On the downwind tours, some of Hawaii’s top standup-paddleboard racers guide and coach guests to tackle the infamous downwind runs of Oahu. With four different levels to suit all experiences and 5- to 12-mile runs, tour members can challenge themselves without challenging every dolphin they see to a race. In recognition of their service to the sport and the community, Honolulu magazine named Wet Feet Hawaii Best Standup Paddle Shop in Honolulu for 2010.
Equipment: vault boxes, precision jumping trainers, mats, bars
Students should bring: covered shoes, loose-fitting clothing, water
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of staff: one to five
Class location: indoors only
Registration required: yes
Good for beginners: yes
Guests allowed: yes
Parking: parking lot