fall 2016 cover of standup journal

Celebrating 10 Years A Sport

THE INTERVIEWS: Then, Now, Future with Gerry Lopez • Candice Appleby • Laird Hamilton • Kai Lenny

One of the highlights of my surfing, windsurfing, paddling and publishing life was the time I was honored to speak with John Zapotocky, in 2009. The then 92-year-old Waikiki waterman had taken up standup paddling with makeshift paddles and boards back in the late 1940s, after serving in the US Navy during WWII. Joyce and I had just mailed him two copies of our magazine, which he had in front of him as we spoke.

I will never forget JZap’s first words to me that day. John was nearly shouting through the phone line: “What took you guys so long?” Like a savvy high school kid impatient for we kindergartners to catch up to the waiting school bus, John wished he’d had the kind of fellowship and camaraderie on the water that we enjoy today. “All those days I surfed my [sup] board alone and now everybody’s doing it,” he went on, “and on the rivers, I can’t believe they’re running rivers.” Rest in peace, JZap—one of our original sup pioneers…

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