Pilar Cayton

Pilar is a staple on the 100 challenge and every time I her pop up on my Facebook feed, she’s on an OC6, paddling, enjoying a sunset. She inspire us with the joy she brings to and from the water.

What are you paddling?

SIC FX Pro 14×25 plus OC-6 and anything else I can get my hands on

What other watercrafts do you paddle/enjoy?

  • SUP

Pilar Cayton

Where is your favorite place to paddle?

I’ve yet to find a place that wasn’t my favorite! Although, I really want to go back and paddle all of Hawai’i, until then I’ll be paddling more in Newport
Photo of your crew and/or where you paddle

What is your favorite event and why?

I’ve only gone to 3 to date – I’d have to say the Cold Hands Paddle in San Pedro was a good one – my second SUP race! During the last 1/2 mile, the Coast Guard blared Eye of the Tiger, I laughed so hard, I almost fell off my board but it helped me rally, put some pepper in my stroke and hit it hard to the finish line. Met a ton of great people! Can’t wait to see how I do this year!

Pilar Cayton

What is your favorite paddling moment and why?

I’ve been blessed with so many amazing moments (oohs, ahhs, whoo-hoos, and laughing so hard I could barely breathe), I can’t pick one as a “favorite”.
However, I’ll share one of my favorite rides in Rocky McKinnon’s Bold as Love Outrigger Surf Canoe.

In July, during the Call to the Wall Surf Competition in Malibu, I had the privilege to be in the canoe while the beach was shut down for the competition. It was a beautiful day, with perfectly formed fun sized waves. I was in seat 1, a lovely surfer lady in seat 2, Jeannette Darrow in seat 3 and our steersman, Rocky, in seat 4. We’d had a little fun run, paddled back out and were waiting for our next chance. We were chatting and laughing, then Rocky, with a bit of urgency, said those words I love to hear “Go, Go, Go!”. We paddled hard and caught the wave. After we dropped in, I got my arm on the i’aku, hoping it wouldn’t huli. I felt the ama go up just a little, so I stretched my arm further out, then as far as I could. The ride was EPIC, all I could do was hang out on the i’aku with a huge smile on my face.

Nearly back to beach, Rocky steered the canoe back out, as we came over and dropped down the back of the wave I slipped off and under the i’aku. Jeannette grabbed my paddle (which was still firmly in my hand), I popped up next to Rocky with a goofy grin on my face, we all had a great laugh! As I swam back to my seat & got back in the canoe, still giggling, I heard Rocky gleefully exclaim “YEAH!”
I truly love sharing laughs and the stoke of paddling.

Do you have a bucket list event?

Yes, too many to list but the one that’s coming soon is The Buffalo Race! Really any race to or from Catalina in a outrigger, va’a, surf ski or SUP. (I hope to do the race during 9 man season but we’ll see since this will be my novice year).

What are you grateful for?

I’m beyond grateful for each day on the water, every amazing water person I’ve been so lucky to meet, the friendships, sharing the stoke, the beautiful views, paddling with the locals (dolphins, whales, sea life), feeling better, losing over 60 lbs, a very supportive family & hubby, learning new techniques and playing on any vessel I can get my hands on! These last 18 months, I’m living a fantastic dream!

Advice or tips for paddlers?

I’m just getting started in my paddling journey and, so far, I’ve learned patience is key. In the beginning, you’ll need to get the basics down: take lessons and use drills to dial in your stroke, it will pay off. When new techniques are layered in or learning something new, be patient with yourself, it’s a process. There’s no wrong way to paddle (unless your paddle is backwards, LOL), just more efficient.
If you are like me, have an ear to ear smile after paddling (laughing, smiling and giggling are super contagious) and speak passionately about paddling, everyone will want to come along. Be prepared: make sure you know a few good places for them to get out on the water and get started. Share the STOKE and go with them too!

Do you have a favorite charity?

Yes! Best Day Foundation


Special Thanks to Jeannette Darrow, Wade Lawson, Krista Carlson, Corey Hamilton, Chris Blank, Brian Willard, Danny Hough, Will Schmidt, Wendy Trout, Mark Carnahan, Rocky McKinnon, and, of course, Billy Cayton – all of you inspire me to reach further than I ever thought possible and thanks for pushing me outside my comfort zone – all y’all are the Best!


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