Name: Greg Pavao
Sport: Stand-up paddling
On the escort boat: Two bags of poi, fruit cups and plenty of water
Growing up on the west side of Oahu, Greg Pavao immersed himself in the water and water sports. Surfing and canoe paddling were givens.
It was no surprise, then, that the transition to stand-up paddling was like catching the baby waves at Pokai Bay … that is, when Pavao finally gave in. Initially, he had other thoughts about those stand-up paddlers dropping into his favorite surf spots, some that might have been better suited for his job as a termite exterminator.
Curiosity and competitiveness got the better of him, and so the love affair began. Pavao has found success as a solo and tandem SUP racer, most recently finishing fourth in the team division in last month’s Molokai 2 Oahu World Championships with Nolan Keaulana.
"When training, I try to put in 2 hours every morning and 2 hours in the evening," Pavao said. "I do a little running and some light weights."
Pavao has one regret about the sport.
"I wish I had been doing it in my mid-20s," the 49-year-old said. "The sport is really growing and it’s starting to be dominated by the youngsters.
"They’re the future. At some point, we’ll just be the escort (boat) drivers."