Three hours, 16 minutes and 23 seconds. That’s how long it took Gary and Matt Wise to cross 26 miles of
And that was just another day at the office.
Gary and Matt Wise are a father and son who live in South Walton and compete professionally in water sports. Their latest venture took them to the islands of
“When the Hawaiians describe the conditions as ‘epic,’ you know you’re in for an exciting and challenging experience,” said
But nothing could prepare them for Mother Nature’s wrath.
“Ten-foot ocean swells that form 20-foot faces and push you along like riding on the front of a freight train,” described
It was the biggest obstacle his son Matt had ever faced.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done before,” Matt told The Sun, adding that crossing the finish line with his father made it all worth it.
As for his take,
“It was a combination of relief, exhaustion and very happy,”
The determination it takes to paddle 26 miles is something that “runs in the family.”
“My dad inspires me,” Matt said. “I’ve learned a lot from him teaching and training me my whole life. I focus on being the best I can be and having fun with it.”
The Wise men soon progressed to SUP paddling, an up and coming competitive water sport that both wanted to be a part of.
And now Gary and Matt are both sponsored SUP racers on YOLO board’s East Coast team and have no plans of slowing down.
“You only live once,” said Matt.