Early Beginnings

Wai Nani Surf & Paddle was created out of the passion, enjoyment and escape that one can experience on a Stand Up Paddleboard.

During the winter of 2009, in Florida, Co-Founder Stachia Fey organized a paddle with eleven members of her family (ages 3 to 70) to explore the Banana River near Coco Beach. The memorable experience lasted 2 1/2 hours. Young manatee swam right under the boards, stingrays glided through the water and the splendor of Mother Nature was alive and pulsating. Stachia’s 3 year old son fell asleep while she paddled sitting down, lunch was brought in a cooler and eaten next to the mangroves. It was like no other experience.

She was convinced her close Minnesota friends had to buy boards so they could play together on the abundance of beautiful waters our Midwest region has to offer. Holly Evans and Christine Thompson, both avid Lake Minnetonka sailors and passionate water enthusiasts, researched the sport and in a few weeks, we all had stand up paddle boards and paddles of our own.

At our inaugural board party celebration in April 2010, Wai Nani Surf & Paddle was created. The group loved the idea of beautiful water and wanted to pay tribute to paddleboarding’s Polynesian origin. Wai Nani, pronounced why-na-nee, means “beautiful water” in Hawaiian.

Our vision is to bring like minded people together to experience the stoke of SUP.

Photo: Stachia and Christine unwrapping Wai Nani’s very first shipment of stand up paddleboards in 2010.

Holly EvansCo-Founder, Wai Nani Surf & Paddle
Water Baby, Modern Mom, Adventure Seeking Extrovert

While immersed in a professional career in Corporate Marketing and Advertising Sales, Holly was first introduced to Stand Up Paddleboarding in 2009. As an avid watersport and recreation enthusiast, she found an immediate connection to SUP and could not wait to share her newfound passion with others.

She is most passionate about creating opportunities for others, young and old, to be active and engaged with the beautiful outdoors especially how it relates to “Community.”

Holly is also a WPA (World Paddle Association) Certified Instructor. The WPA Certification provides world-class water safety and stand up paddle instruction designed to educate and help teach paddlers at every level how to have a fun and safe experience on the water.

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