The 2009 Hawaiian winter has been an incredible showcase for woman’s high performance surfing. We witnessed outstanding prone paddle surfing from women at Sunset beach and Honolua Bay in the ASP world title race and the woman of stand up paddling are right by their side in raising the bar to previously unseen levels. These young women are blurring the gender gap with their talent and leading the next generation of woman stand up paddle surfers to a bright exciting future. They don’t just surf “good for a girl”; these young women rip by any standards…..period!
As the first generation of women stand up paddle surfers continue to excel and establish increasingly high bench marks in stand up paddle surfing, a second generation is quickly emerging and following hot on their heels. One such young woman who is drawing attention this winter and making a name for herself is Tiffany Paglinawan from Makakilo.
Tiffany, with her rail set, is in complete control of where she is at and where she wants to be. (Photo: Paddle Surf Hawaii)
Tiffany works in the Paddle Surf Hawaii shop during the day, but most mornings she can be found doing what she loves best, SUP surfing. Tiffany is gaining a reputation for charging some of the most powerful surf in the world on Oahu’s West and North shores. I first became aware of Tiffany when Blane Chambers posted some pictures he and Alan Mozo (surf/sup photographer extraordinaire) took of her dropping in to some solid overhead outer reef waves . When I stopped by the Paddle Surf Hawaii shop a few weeks later, it took me a few minutes to realize this was the same young woman I had seen in those photos. In person Tiffany is small in stature, reserved, sincere and humble. However, her modest demeanor belies the fact that she has the heart of a lion when stand up paddle surfing triple overhead waves.
Like most Hawaiian groms, Tiffany started out body surfing and body boarding waves where she grew up in Ewa beach. After spending her early years gaining knowledge about the ocean, currents and wave judgment, Tiffany had her first surfing experience on her uncle’s 7’ gun. That first session fueled a stoke for surfing and she immediately started saving for her first surfboard, which was a 7’2” fun board from HIC. After a few years of prone surfing Tiffany had her first flat water SUP session. Her stoke was immediate and profound. It was clear that stand up paddling was in her blood and once again this determined, hard working young woman saved her money and bought her first stand up paddle board, a 10’ Infinity.
Controlling her emotions in the face of a 15' Hawaiian-size wave, Tiffany, paddles hard and barely makes it over, ready for the next set. (Photo: Paddle Surf Hawaii)
As Tiffany continued to paddle and hone her skills, her stand up paddle surfing abilities took another step forward when she started working for Paddle Surf Hawaii and riding boards from Blane Chambers. She started off with a 9’2 AA and progressed to one of Blane’s most successful sought after boards, the 9’3 ripper. It was on these boards and under the wing of Blane and the PSH crew that Tiffany’s stand up paddle surfing talents quickly emerged. It was the perfect marriage of natural surfing talent and state of the art Stand up paddle board designs.
As the 09/10 Hawaiian winter approached Tiffany was prepared, focused and set a specific goal to SUP surf legit 10 foot Hawaiian scale surf. She worked her way up from head high to overhead outer reef waves. She continued to SUP surf regularly and soon gained confidence and experience in large surf. Then in early December the day she had been training and waiting for arrived. On the same swell that allowed for the Eddie Aikau contest to run at Waimea bay, Makaha was 10 to 15 feet and Tiffany was ready. Needing a bit more length than normal, she paddled out on a PSH 9’8 ripper and successfully surfed several waves at the birthplace of Hawaiian big wave surfing. Makaha at that size requires skill and heart, on that day Tiffany proved she had plenty of both.
The epitome of stoke in living color! (Photo: Paddle Surf Hawaii)
Tiffany also had a historic moment when she became the first woman to stand up paddle the world famous Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu in solid 4-5 foot (6-8 faces) surf. As every surfer knows, Pipeline is one of the world’s most challenging waves. Although apprehensive when first paddling out, she erased the butterflies after successfully surfing her first wave. After that she settled in and simply had fun. When her session ended one of the lifeguards approached her and said he had never seen a woman SUP surf Pipe at that size. Quite an accomplishment! (It is important to note that only a handful of elite watermen SUP surf Pipeline. Tiffany’s session was a result of a personal invitation from a highly respected Pipeline local who took her out on a specific day and conditions.)
"Tiff" fully committed to an outside, fin releasing, front-side cutback. Impressive to say the least! (Photo: Paddle Surf Hawaii)
So what’s next for this talented young woman? That’s easy. More stoke more fun, more surfing with friends and of course challenging herself in bigger waves! Tiffany’s stoke is genuine, infectious and the epitome of what stand up paddling is all about. The future of our beloved sport of stand up paddle surfing is bright and in good hands with talented young women SUP surfers like Tiffany Paglinawan.
Paddle Surf Hawaii http://www.paddlesurfhawaii.com