Wooden Boat School - Kaholo 14’ Stand-Up Paddleboard

Our Wooden Boat School Director Ron Dierolf and volunteer Mike Vroegop built the 14-foot long wooden Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP), the Kaholo, from Okoume plywood earlier this fall.  The project turned out beautifully and is sure to become a popular project for students. Robin Vroegop documented the construction process for the via her YouTube videos on her Half Shell YouTube site.  Following are the videos from the start of the program:  

Part 1, Ron and Mike introduce the program for the Kaholo

Part 2, "Begins with a childhood experience"

Part 3, "You can never have too many clamps"

Part 4, Developing a model of Health Sustainability

Part 5, Mixing the two part epoxy


Why are Stand-Up Paddleboards all the rage?  Because they're ridiculously fun--like walking on water.  These boards are created with that rare quality of being fast enough to race but stable enough for first-timers.

Tracking is great and a fine bow with kayak-derived shaping lifts the Kaholo 14 up and over waves.  The tail shape and twin fins facilitate surfing on long swells once your skills build up to that.  With their uncanny speed, the Kaholo has found a following among racers.  The 14 design is good for larger paddlers (or those who might carry along dogs or small kids).

Kaholo 14’ Stand-Up Paddleboard

There are no other SUP boards in the world that are easier for a first-time boat builder, or better-looking.   The Kaholo 14 measures 14'0" long, 29" wide, 4-5/8" thick, and comes in around 32 pounds.  The construction materials include premium nonskid deck pads, cut to shape, breather tubes, and custom laminated skegs.  The construction process allows ways to customize the board with fabrics and other stylish tweaks, as seen in the photo gallery.

Designer John C. Harris counted himself among the skeptics before trying out his first SUP in California in 2006.  "It's the most amazing sensation---as close to walking on water as you're going to get.  But a little faster.  You achieve kayak-like speeds, but your visibility is vastly improved because your eyes are so much higher off the water.  You can see more, see further, and in clear water you have a much better view of sea life than you do in a kayak."  It's also a major workout---every muscle in your body is at work as you ride over waves and work the long-handled SUP paddle.  Nature lover?  Paddle quietly through the shallows.  The Kaholos are okoume marine plywood, stitched-and-glued together and sheathed in fiberglass and epoxy, with a grid of bulkheads and stiffeners inside to make the boards stiff and light.  

To find out more about building your own, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Ron Dierolf at 850-653-2500.