Hundreds and hundreds of our Kaholo stand-up paddleboard kits have been built by do-it-yourselfers over the years. Here's why. 

CLC Kaholo Stand-Up Paddleboard SUP

1) Brilliant, proven performance:

No compromises were made in performance to make the Kaholo easier to build. We made the Kaholo 12-6 and 14 easy to build AND top-notch on the water. Because...why would you spend the time building your own paddleboard in exchange for mediocre handling out in the real world? We spent several years refining both designs, building more than a dozen prototypes 

Both the 12-6 and 14 share that rare quality of being fast enough to race but stable enough for first-timers.  Tracking is great and a fine bow with kayak-derived shaping lifts up and over waves.  The tail shape and twin fins facilitate surfing on long swells once your skills build up to that.

With their uncanny speed, the Kaholo 12-6 and Kaholo 14 have found a following among racers.  The 14 is better for larger paddlers (or those who might carry along dogs or small kids).  The 12-6 is more compact, better for smaller-statured paddlers, and it fits in several increasingly popular racing classes.

Come for the easy construction. Stay for the great handling on the water. 

2) It's a quick build:

Move fast with a simple finish and 40 hours is a realistic construction time. Lavish your board with an artful finish, and it could stretch to 70 or 80 hours. In any case, the plywood Kaholos qualify as a "quick build." If you opt for the strip-planked deck—the "hybrid" option—that can add a few more hours.

3) A great transition project:

Interested in moving on from stitch-and-glue to strip-planked construction? A "hybrid" Kaholo is a perfect training subject. The stitched-and-glued plywood hull goes together as quick as ever, while the flat deck can be stripped on a bench top. Perfect for exercising your edge-tool work before jumping into a strip-planked kayak or larger project. Keep the pattern simple and straightforward, or add your own personal spin!


4) A great creative project:

In its most basic form, even an unadorned Kaholo is a head-turner with great lines and curb appeal. Build the "hybrid" and incorporate your unique strip-planked pattern for the deck. 

Add fun fabric panels. Wood inlays and onlays work well here, too. Or a custom paint job. 

What about some epoxy art?

Want some inspiration? Browse the gallery of builders' boats on the main Kaholo page!

5) Go on adventures:

If you feel the urge for something more than enjoying the waterfront atop your Kaholo SUP, chart a distant course. CLC Sales Manager Nicky Stimpson made history with her Kaholo 14 when she paddled the full 220-mile length of the Chesapeake Bay in the summer of 2021, covering as many as 40 miles in a single day. Read about her record-setting adventure here.

Nicky's not the only adventurer to take on an epic quest with a Kaholo. In 2013, Chicagoan Scott Mestrezat built a Kaholo 14 with the goal of paddling about 2,400 miles down the entire length of the Missouri River from southwestern Montana to St. Louis, earning a nomination for "Expedition of the Year" from

Whether you dream of paddling a major waterway or the lake nearby, it's a pleasure on a beautiful wooden stand up paddleboard you built yourself.

Interested in building a Kaholo in a class? The Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle has a session on its schedule, July 15-21, 2024. 

Meanwhile, in response to your requests, we're working on scheduling a class or two this year here in Annapolis. Let us know your preferences!