De Zwart hopes to complete trek in 5 days
Bart de Zwart, a stand up surfer from Maui, will attempt to cross from the Big Island to Kaua‘i later this week.
This is the first time a Stand Up Paddle crossing from the Big Island to Kaua‘i, a distance of 300 miles, has been attempted and de Zwart is expected to complete the feat in five days, according to a press release from Kanaha Kai Maui, a surf shop on Maui located near Kanaha beach.
“Sometimes it is good to do something difficult in order to appreciate life, people, food and all the things around you which we often take for granted,” de Zwart, originally from Holland, said. “Being close to the ocean is part of the Hawaiian culture.”
De Zwart will be leaving Keokea Beach Park in North Kohala on the Big Island and plans on being on the water continuously until he arrives on Kaua‘i.
He will be drawing on his experience as a waterman, having circumnavigated the globe with his family on their sailboat from 2005 to 2008 as well as paddling solo around the island of Maui in 2009, a distance of about 135 miles.
The Hawaiian Island chain trek is more than twice that distnace and in order to accomplish the feat, de Zwart has equipped his 14-foot Starboard Open Ocean stand up board with a personal satellite beacon, navigation lights, a water maker, a spare paddle and food for seven days.
Preparation for the long distance trip has taken six months with the planned route taking the stand up paddler along the windward coasts of the Islands.
De Zwart is considered to be among the top stand up paddlers in the world and is the owner of Kanaha Kai Maui.
Visit www.kanahakai.com for more information.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.