Kayak and Canoe News

Surf and Paddle | University of West Florida

The UWF Surf and Paddle Club was created to further promote the sport and culture of Surfing and Paddling, both in and outside of the University of West Florida.

The UWF Surf and Paddle club strives to promote the culture and sport of surfing and paddleboarding to our students and the community. Dues are collected and are $20 for the semester.

Surf and Paddle is open to anyone that has a love for water and interested to get out and try new things both recreationally and competitively. Boards are available to any of our members during meet-ups and are included in our dues. The club meets every Saturday at 10 a.m. on Pensacola Beach.

Outrigger Paddling

  • Builds healthy communities and strengthens volunteerism
  • Promotes a healthy life-long active lifestyle
  • Enhances physical and mental health
  • Promotes care of and appreciation for an environment blessed by nature

No sports team is successful without working together to reach a common goal. Teamwork is essential to a good performance from any sports team, professional or not, and is a great way to teach children certain life lessons, such as cooperating well with others and taking responsibility for actions. Such lessons are applicable to life outside of sports and can be applied to work or school, such as focusing without interruption on the school paper that needs to be written or working with a less-than-pleasant colleague on a project.


  • Teamwork in sports promotes cooperation. Both children and adults can learn how to better cooperate with their teammates. Cooperation means putting differences aside for the greater good of the team.


  • Working together as a team encourages socialization, as players become part of a group. The group shares a common interest–a love for a particular sport.


  • Working as part of a club is also a great way to build confidence. Research concerning sports and children/teens has shown that children, especially girls, who play sports are more likely to have a positive self-image than those who do not play sports.


  • Working with a sports team is an excellent way to teach accountability. Accountability within the club carries over into other aspects of daily life.

History of Canoe Surfing

For centuries, people didn’t have many choices in transportation. While most modes like walking, running and swimming got them from A to B, canoes offered the quickest way to transport people, water, communication and food. As life moved on, what once was a vehicle for survival became an excellent excuse for joy riding.

Of course, commoners weren’t always allowed on the waves. In old Hawaii, outrigger canoe surfing was reserved for the Ali’i, or Hawaiian Royalty. Any good king or chief was expected to know how to surf a canoe. It wasn’t until the end of the Hawaiian kapu (taboo) system in 1819 that commoners were allowed to freely participate in the sport. While royalty had a head start on the sport, its said that the strongest paddlers were fishermen. As you can imagine, paddling a fishing canoe out to sea can be physically demanding but paddling back with a canoe full of fish took superhuman strength!

Imagine yourself sitting front row in a slick ocean canoe, dropping into a wave for the ride of your life. The power and force of the ocean pushes the outrigger along like a wickedly fast rollercoaster. And this thrill isn’t yours alone. You are sitting tandem with a team that is riding this adrenaline rush, each of you working every muscle in your body to stay upright. Once you’ve gotten a taste of this daredevil sport, it’s no surprise that this pastime holds a special place in history!

Hawaiians have always had a profound connection with the ocean. For those of us living on the Gulf of Mexico, we should have the ability to experience our beautiful emerald waters in the same way that Pacific Islanders do.

Connect With Us

UWF Surf and Paddle on Facebook

Samantha Burke

Vice President
Lael Littell

Elliot Miller

Rhys Quintin

Competitive Sports Graduate Assistant



Truly a paddler's paradise, Florida has diverse ecosystems and pristine waters that nature lovers can really appreciate. You can spot abundant wildlife in the lush landscapes as you float through miles of pristine beauty in one of Florida's most picturesque places to go kayaking.