Proud and humble Nānākuli resident and Wai’anae High School gr aduate, George Kalilikane says his life’s mission is to be a blessing to others. He does that one paddleboard lesson at a time.
Just 5 short year s ago, George (49 year s old at the time) weighed over 300 pounds, was border line diabetic and scored a whopping 150+ on the blood pressure scale. He’d been inactive for most of his adult life, having put away the surfboard of his youth to devote his life to raising his children. Shortly after losing his father-in-law to diabetes, and most of his adult children leaving home, George made his health his number one priority. His answer came when a fellow Nanaikapono Protestant church member, Frank Taua brought a couple of paddle boards to the beach. George wanted to get on, but his size prevented him from trying. He watched until he could watch no longer. Once he got on, he was hooked. The clarity and peace he experienced while on the ocean was so overwhelming he needed to share that experience with others.
George spent 4 months paddleboarding when he decided he was ready to share. Equipped with just 2 paddleboards, he pitched a tent at Poka’i bay and waited for people to come. The first few weeks George spent days at the bay with not one inquiry. George chuckles as he explains, “If someone so much as looked at my boards funny, I’d talk them into a lesson.” George laughs as he asserts, “I did a few things wrong ; I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing; people couldn’t find the bay anyway; and if they could, they were told to stay out of Wai’anae.”
George didn’t let those lonely days at the bay stop him. He
asked God to send people to him. He knew he needed to bless others with the gif t he’d been given. George told God that if he’d send people to George, he’d pray for each and ever y one. God did just that. To date, George has taught more than 6,700 people how to paddleboard. George says, “What amazes me is that when people come out of the water they have this desire to share their life story.”
George realized people needed more. They needed prayers. On ever y drive home, George prayed for ever y person to whom he gave a paddleboard lesson. George also started a prayer group on Facebook for just that— people who need prayers. Today there are 157 members from around the world praying for one another.
George says that he focused on helping others, but when his mother was in a coma due to lung failure, given only 2 days to live, those 157 members prayed for her. His mom walked out of the hospital after her doctors prepared George’s family for her death. George says, “Because I decided to give some random person a paddleboard lesson on a beach at Poka’i bay in a little town called Wai’anae, my mom is here today. George says, “I might not be equipped with a Bible, but with my paddleboards, I share God’s Word. I am blessed abundantly.”
Today George tows a large trailer, filled with 35 paddle – boards—blessings from others who believe in his mission. George says, “find your passion, allow yourself to be led, and you’ll be exactly where you need to be.” You’ll find him many mornings at Poka’i bay where he calls the Bay of Dreams. That ’s also the name of his Facebook page. By the way, diabetes is not in George’s future. His blood pressure is normal and he’s as healthy as a horse. George Kalilikane is an inspiration, a role model, and definitely a man on a mission.