Women's History Month: The First Paddleboarder

Happy Women's History Month! We would be remiss to not mention that the the first person to paddleboard was a woman!

In "Surfing: A History of the Ancient Hawaiian Sport" written by Ben Marcus, an overview of the history of surfing mentions Lizzie Armistead as the first person to stand on a surfboard and use a paddle to move through the water. 

Elizabeth "Lizzie" Armistead was born in 1885 in Honolulu, Hawaii, and grew up on the island of Maui. In the early 1900s, surfing was already a popular sport in Hawaii, but paddleboarding had not yet been invented. According to legend, Lizzie was the first person to stand on a surfboard and use a paddle to move through the water. This fact has also been covered in 

The story goes that Lizzie was a strong swimmer and would often swim out to meet surfers in the water. One day, she decided to try standing on a surfboard and using a canoe paddle to propel herself through the water. The technique worked, and soon Lizzie was paddling around the waves like a pro.

Lizzie's innovation was soon adopted by other surfers and water enthusiasts in Hawaii. Paddleboarding became a popular pastime, especially for lifeguards who used the boards to patrol the beaches and keep swimmers safe. Today, paddleboarding has become a global sport, with millions of people enjoying the activity all over the world.

Lizzie Armistead's contributions to paddleboarding have largely been forgotten over time, and she remains relatively unknown outside of Hawaii. However, her legacy lives on, and she is remembered as a pioneer in the sport of paddleboarding.

As we continue to embrace new sports and activities, it's important to remember the pioneers who came before us and paved the way for the activities we enjoy today. So, the next time you hit the water on a stand-up paddleboard (we can help!), take a moment to remember Lizzie Armistead and the legacy she left behind.

While there is limited information available about Lizzie Armistead and her contributions to paddleboarding, there are several sources that mention Lizzie Armistead's contributions to paddleboarding, including "Paddleboard: How to Surf Like a Pro" by Sam Bleakley, The Surfer's Journal and The Waterman's Library.

Thank you, Lizzie!