Pau Hana Surf Supply

LouiseIrwinprofilesq LouiseUrwin


Okere Falls, New Zealand


Favorite Place to Paddle

“Okere Falls in New Zealand, its a bit of a paradise there. We have lakes, rivers, we’re 20 minutes from beautiful sandy beaches. Its a pretty great place to call home.”



Whitewater kayaking has taken Louise all around the globe to Canada, Quebec, Ontario, throughout the U.S., Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Thailand, Australia and across New Zealand. She says her occupation varies from place to place. Between races at high level competitions, (such as the Whitewater Prix in which she was the women’s champion in 2011) she also works as a kayaking instructor. In New Zealand, Louise spends tons of time outdoors mountain biking through the forests, surfing and enjoying music from NZ bands like The Black Seeds.

When she first tried stand-up paddle boarding in California, she was skeptical about riding down the river. “I wasn’t sure how I feel about it first coming from kayaking,” Louise says. It didn’t take long to convert her. “It was a lot of fun. When we got back to New Zealand we went out to the surf beach and a friend of mine had stand-up boards so we took it out of the beach and gave it a go… When the waves die down, we’ve been pulling out the stand-up boards and getting in it.”

At the end of the day, she’ll be at the Okere Falls Store having a lamb and mint pie and beer in the beer garden. Louise heeds warning about the strong beer, “they say once you have three, you’re going to have a tough time walking home!”

Awards & Accomplishments

  • 2011 Whitewater Prix Women’s Grand Champion in Quebec, Canada
  • Runner-Up overall Female Kayaker of the Year 2011 at The International Rider of the Year Awards at Kanumesse, Europe  paddlesports tradeshow.
  • Third best drop by a female for 2011 at The International Rider of the Year Awards at Kanumesse, Europe  paddlesports tradeshow.


Pau Hana Time

“Pau Hana time, I like to just do activites with my friends whether its kayaking, surfing, just going for a swim, just playing around and every now and then just enjoying a beer with friends at the end of the day.”