We'll stay on the river," he says. The Hanalei River, which feeds into the bay, is perfect for learning this sport because its water is so fl at. A form of stand-up paddling may have been used in old Hawaii for fi shing, but its roots as a sport began in the 1950s when Waikiki surf instructors grabbed canoe paddles so they could head out to the surf standing up. That way, the cameras strapped around their necks stayed dry, and they could take close-up pictures of their students. Stand-up paddling didn't take off, though, until the past few years, thanks in part to how easy it is to learn compared to regular surfi ng
supposedly. Standing on my board as it fl oats on the placid river, I take a couple tentative strokes. Titus tells me to plant my paddle's entire blade in the water, so I reach forward, bending at the waist -- big mistake -- and immerse my paddle. Immediately, the board slips out from under me, and I'm treading water in a cold river. Hovering over me like a king atop his surfboard, Titus smiles. "I was trying to keep you dry," he says.