July 4th parade will feature surf canoe program for veterans

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Rocky McKinnon tied red, white and blue ribbons to his four-man outrigger canoe as he prepared to take part in the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade.

This year's theme is "A Star-Spangled Salute."

"I'm truly honored," said McKinnon, a professional surfer, surfboard shaper and instructor. "It's so cool to be part of such a longstanding tradition in Huntington Beach."

McKinnon will showcase something he hopes will become a tradition on its own in Huntington Beach - his Bold as Love Outrigger Surf Canoe program, which is a first in Orange County.

Since February. McKinnon has offered people a chance to try paddling and surfing an outrigger canoe with twice-a-month classes. The "Aloha Rides" are free and first-come first-serve.

"It's like taking a little slice of Hawaii or Waikiki and bringing it here to Southern California," McKinnon said.

His 14-year-old son Hendrix explained what it's like to ride in an outrigger canoe.

"It's quite the rush. It's quite the experience - not one you're going to forget," he said.

"Bold as Love is a team. It's team work," said Mike Prestridge, Best Day Foundation OC co-chair. "All four have to be in co-ordination, it's team surfing."

Prestridge will drive the truck that will tow the outrigger canoe down Main Street on July 4.

"It's all about community and Rocky has given a lot to Huntington Beach," Prestridge said.

McKinnon's family and friends will also ride along. He is one of four in the parade for the first time. It's also the first time an outrigger canoe will be part of the parade.

They will join more than 200 others - including marching bands and members of the military.

During the parade, McKinnon will also show off a 15-foot adaptive surfboard that he made to give people with physical disabilities a chance to surf.

"I'm very stoked to share this with everyone," McKinnon said. "I get to share my passion with everybody so I'm really the fortunate one, and now I get to share it with everybody."

To learn more about the Bold as Love Program - look for @BoldasLoveOSC on all social media platforms.

The Adaptive Surfing Program can be accessed on the website: mckinnonsurfandsuplessons.com.
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