Hawaiian style workout
The University of Hawai’i basketball team has discovered a new way to take advantage of the natural playground at Waikiki Beach by adding a new twist to their weekly morning workout sessions – canoe paddling.
“We like to take advantage of the elements here and we have this beautiful ocean and this beach right here,” assistant coach Scott Fisher said.
For the past few weeks, the Warriors have been training in the sand at Waikiki Beach, but those sessions are mostly about building leg strength and quickness. The paddling session was designed to incorporate some of the upper-body muscles.
“That was a good workout for the arms,” redshirt sophomore Negus Webster-Chan said.
Not all of the players were available to participate, so the team was separated into three crews for the paddling session. Experienced paddlers from the Royal Hawaiian Waikiki Beach Boys served as the steersmen, and gave the team a quick lesson in technique.
Once the players got a feel for paddling in the canoe, they participated in half-mile races against each other. The crew of Webster-Chan, Dyrbe Enos, Niko Filipovich and assistant coach Fisher emerged as the top canoe on this day.
“We went hard,” Webster-Chan said. “Picked the shortest guys, strongest guys on the team. Everybody was talking to us, we were the silent assassins.”
Enos is the only Hawai’i-raised player on the UH roster this season, but it was a new experience for him also. He said he has tried stand-up paddling (SUP) previously, but this was his first time in an outrigger canoe. “Fun day, good workout,” he said.
The winning crew prevailed in both of its races thanks to being in the right place at the right time to have waves help push them to shore.
“Let’s be honest, they were on the inside, there were more waves, and that’s why they won, that’s it,” argued senior Christian Standhardinger.
In any case, it was another “only in Hawai’i” moment for the Warriors.
“I don’t imagine Indiana University is out doing something like this, or even Duke,” Fisher said. “But there’s no doubt about it, it’s a great workout and it is a lot of fun. The guys enjoy it and it’s a little bit of cross training.”
Prior to the paddling session, the Warriors received a brief history lesson on Waikiki, canoe paddling and surfing.
“I think it’s important when these guys come out here from different places, whether it be Toronto, Canada, or Munich, Germany, that they learn a little bit about the culture and history here of the island,” Fisher said. “We thought we could combine both some athletic events with the history and, of course, outrigger canoeing is a big part of what we do here in Hawai’i.”