SUP Women | Tiffany Paglinawan, a Pipeline Pioneer

Photo: Peter Joli Wilson
Photo: Peter Joli Wilson

SUP Women: Tiffany Paglinawan

Hawaii's Tiffany Paglinawan grew up in the waters of Oahu's west side, where she cultivated a connection to the water that's continuously piqued her interest in ocean sports. Whether swimming, body boarding, paddling outrigger or surfing, Paglinawan's relationship with the ocean has been prominent throughout her life. But it wasn't until 2010, at the age of 23, that Paglinawan decided to paddle out on the North Shore to surf the infamous Banzai Pipeline for the first time. Little did she know, but her first attempt at surfing the legendary break also became the day that she went down in history; as the first female to successfully SUP surf Pipeline. —Shari Coble

SUP: You're an all-around water woman. Tell us about your background as an ocean athlete.
TP: I started swimming when I was really little. I grew up body boarding, I paddled in high school, and then when I was about 20, I taught myself how to surf. A few years later I discovered standup paddling and fell in love. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Photo: Tiffany Panglinawan
Photo: Tiffany Panglinawan

How did growing up in Ewa Beach help foster your love for water sports?
I grew up one house away from the beach, so pretty much every chance I got I was playing in the ocean. Whether swimming, body boarding, sand sliding, fishing, or shell picking, there was always something to do and I think that’s how I grew to love the beach and water sports.

You were the first female to SUP surf pipeline; looking back, how do you feel that experience changed your connection to the sport?
Looking back, I can say that it created a spark in me. It made my connection and love for standup paddling so much stronger than just surfing alone. It made me see and believe that anything is possible with SUP and that the sky is truly the limit. It sounds corny, but it’s so true.

Photo: Peter Joli Wilson
Photo: Peter Joli Wilson

Tell us about your favorite break.
Honestly, it’s hard for me to pick one break that’s my favorite. I surf all over, depending on where the conditions are best and it’s not super crowded. So I guess my favorite break is wherever it’s six-foot, glassy, no wind, and no crowd.

What has SUP brought to your life?
SUP has brought so much to my life. It has challenged me and allowed me to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. It’s my passion. Throughout the years, it has brought me more knowledge and awareness of the ocean, allowed me to explore places I might not have otherwise seen, and [I’ve] gained lots of friends that share the same love for the sport.

Photo: Peter Joli Wilson
Photo: Peter Joli Wilson

Where do you want the sport to take you?
I hope this sport continues to allow me to grow as a surfer. I also hope it takes me to different places in the world and allows me to meet more people that share the same passion that I have.

Photo: Peter Joli Wilson
Photo: Peter Joli Wilson

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