Ambassador Profile: Meet Watersports Legend Reid Inouye

You’d be hard pressed to find someone better versed in the world of watersports than Reid Inouye. In 1976, the Oahu native launched Surfing Hawaii, a brand that he owned and operated for eight years. By 1984, he was producing surf events while simultaneously starting a series of surf platforms for youth and future professional surfers to gain insight into higher-level surfing and help to bridge the gap into the world tour and get more Hawaiians onto the pro circuit.

By 2004, Inouye had discovered standup surfing and joined the ranks of surf pioneers navigating the lineup with a paddle in hand. In 2006, he launched Paddle Core Fitness as way to offer fitness workouts on the water and then in 2008, he launched Standup Paddle Magazine, which ran as a print magazine until 2018. 

Over the course of Inouye’s decorated career, he worked with a number of professional athletes and served as publisher for Heavywater Magazine and as a producer for a number of film and television productions.

As Inouye grows older, he continues his lifelong search for waves and new and exciting ways to stay active on the water. His most recent discovery: the Tandem Boogie. We caught up with the legend between sessions to learn how he first came across Tandem Boogie and his favorite ways to use his.  

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I grew up on the outskirts of Honolulu. Now, I live in the heart of Honolulu but in the lush green valley where the University of Hawaii sits. Yes, you see rainbows every day from the morning and evening mist. 

What are your favorite ways to stay active on the water currently?

Surfing here on Oahu both on a surfboard and SUP—there is always a good empty wave to be found somewhere on the island.

You’ve had the honor of working with some pretty prominent surfers/paddlers.

I have worked deeply with Sunny Garcia, Andy Irons, Bruce Irons, and Kalani Robb, as well as longboard champions Rusty Keaulana, Bonga Perkins, Dino Miranda, and Duane DeSoto. In regards to standup paddling, Candice Appleby was one of my first Paddle Core Fitness instructors in Hawaii. One day I told her she should race and she hasn’t stopped yet.

How did you discover Tandem Boogie?

I have been teaching my grandgroms (grandkids) how to surf lately and I’ve known John Clark since when I lived in north county San Diego, California running our magazine between 2010 through 2017. I had asked him about Tandem Boogie and over the last couple weeks while teaching my grandgroms to surf in Waikiki he asked if I could get on one and give it a go, so I did.

At the same time my youngest, surf grom had a really bad experience plowing into a piling in Waikiki at Baby Queens so I asked him if he wanted to try and surf the Tandem Boogie. We caught three waves prone and on the fourth and fifth wave he got up and rode standing and laughing the whole time. He was hooked after that and he’s been in the water ever since, either surfing or on the Tandem Boogie.

Who do you think Tandem Boogie’s are best suited for?

With the pandemic going on and with a lot of city and state shutdowns, in Hawaii it’s perfect for families to bond and get both parent and kids or grandkids in the water together. What better way to both teach them and connect with nature together? This is the perfect water vehicle where you can control the situation safely and the kids also feel safe and build confidence. But I think you can also take another adult on it if you know what you’re doing and if you’re really into it, take it out to triple overhead Sunset Beach and feel the rush. 

Do you have any future plans for your Tandem Boogie that you’re excited about? 

The more I get the Tandem Boogie out, the more I see people wanting to get on it. Since my background has always been in media, marketing, and promoting ocean safety and water fun, I say, let’s get the Tandem Boogie out on the water all over the Hawaiian Islands and have a safe and good time on the water while teaching the next generation to ride and respect the ocean.

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