Ingo Rademacher turns up the heat and gets competitive with a SUP paddle.

Clever and cocky jasper jacks knows all about the pleasurable things in life. For years, he’s basked in the spoils of the business world while savoring the sweet nectar of life’s other excesses: lavish homes, exotic cars, private jets and steamy romances. And yet for all of his Benjamins, possessions and indulgences, Jax, daytime soap opera’s most charismatic corporate raider playboy, has never really felt the kind of sunshine that his real-life alter ego, Ingo Rademacher, swims in regularly.

Yes, life has been somewhat of a scorcher lately for Rademacher, the longtime soap opera star of General Hospital and semi-fiñalist in last season’s Dancing With The Stars. Just look at him: He has a rich glow of contentment that radiates from his body these days. It’s in his Honolulu-blue eyes, in his chiseled physique and in his sun-kissed skin. For Rademacher, home life in Hawai’i has been fruitful, the year-round heat has been priceless, and a particular outdoor diversion-stand up paddle boarding (SUP)-has been out-of-this-world good.

So yes, Jax has his billions and his conquests-but so what? Rademacher has a billion drops of sunshine and a billion grains of sand that wash over his body, boards and surf skis on an almost daily basis. To him, that’s the good life; that’s the kind of bliss even money can’t buy.

And to think that none of this would have happened had General Hospital not given Jax the axe in 2011. (Rademacher, who says he was let go over budgetary cuts, has since returned to reprise his role on a few occasions, most recently this past spring as part of the soap’s 50th anniversary celebration.) Still, he’s glad that fate stepped in immediately after he was dropped from the show, put him on the next wave out of L.A. and didn’t let him o° until he washed ashore here in the islands.

“You know when [General Hospital] let me go, I was surprised. But then I thought this could be the best thing that ever happened to me,” says Rademacher while sitting outside the Starbucks co°eehouse in Waipi’o, sipping on a cup of joe and enjoying the clear skies, noonday sun and 86-degree weather. “I mean look at this weather. It’s absolutely perfect temperature! I get chills just thinking of this, but Hawai’i is a place like no other for detoxing and recharging one’s batteries. Don’t get me wrong, though: I love going on ski vacations. But I need the heat. That’s important to me.”

Maybe just as important is Rademacher’s ability to find contentment in all of his surroundings. His modestly renovated home on the North Shore, for example, sits on a one-acre lot and is not nearly as large as the spacious farms he grew up on in Germany and Australia, but it does bloom with avocado trees and a garden of vegetables. It also features the constant chatter of chickens. These domesticated birds already sport peculiar names as Fuie, Banana and Sprinkled Pancakes, but the actor insists they’re workers, not pampered pets. “Oh, they have to earn their keep,” says Rademacher of his home’s only non-human guests, who are counted on as much for producing eggs as they are for ridding the property of centipedes and field mice.

Of course, this rural lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean Rademacher has developed a distaste for the finer, Jax-like things of the world. He still sports an Armani or Hugo Boss suit on occasion, as he did for this magazine’s photo shoot. He even secretly wishes for a reboot of the Magnum, P.I. series, just so that he could land the leading role and replace the show’s signature car, the targa-topped Ferrari 308 GTS, with the super-swank automobile of his dreams: the Acura NSX convertible. (If you can’t readily picture this sweet ride, think Tony Stark in Iron Man.)

But for the most part, Rademacher is keeping things real simple as of late, splitting time between home life with wife Ehiku and sons Peanut Kai, 5, and Pohaku Zen, 1, and beach life as a SUP competitor and all-around waterman. The outdoor activity, in fact, may yet prove to be the greatest spoil and sweetest nectar of his career.

First introduced to the stand-up paddle boarding scene in the mid-2000s, Rademacher has been obsessed with the sport ever since-so much so that he’ll often block out entire periods of time (like an entire summer) to train exclusively for competitions. Even acting jobs aren’t seriously considered by this former California lifeguard if they interfere with his time in the water, unless, as he says, “the gig is in Hawai’i. Then that would be a different thing.”

It’s understandable why Rademacher would be so focused on SUP. At age 42, he’s feeling a bit “late to the game.” And yet he still believes he’ll not only be competitive in future age group races, but win his fair share as well. Last year, for example, he finished fifth among 40-somethings in the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard Races, completing the 32-mile trek in just over 51/2 hours. This year, unfortunately, his arms cramped up on him shortly after he passed the 21-mile mark, forcing him to withdraw from the race.

Despite the setback, Rademacher’s still determined to keep pushing himself by being “a part of growing the sport.”

“Now’s my chance to kind of make a name for myself as a stand-up paddler,” he says. “Dave Kalama, the grandfather of stand-up paddling, is in his late 40s. At the 2012 Molokai-2-Oahu race, he was neck-and- neck with [world champion] Connor Baxter. I would love to be in that same position one of these years, neck-and-neck with Connor. You know, I raced Connor earlier this year and I was only five minutes behind him over seven miles, so I was pretty stoked about that!”

“If I train hard enough, with the down-wind paddling skills I’ve developed since I was in my teens, I feel I can do well,” he continues. “You know, it’s not about who’s the fittest or the fastest, it’s about who can read the surf and the direction best.”

For now, Rademacher’s life appears to be headed in the right direction. Besides his commitment to SUP, the actor, who launched his career on the Australian soap opera Paradise Beach and played Officer Sacks in the film Alex Cross, remains open to bit parts here and there (“I did an episode for Hawaii Five-0 and I wish they would bring me back in a recurring role.”) and helping his wife run a line of women’s active wear called Mahiku (“They’re two-tone workout pants that dry really fast. You can use it for yoga, for running and even for stand-up paddle boarding!”). Just don’t expect to see him in any more dance competition shows in the future. For as comfortable as Rademacher is in the ocean, he’s like a fish out of water when it comes “to shaking it out on the floor.”

“Dancing is really not my thing,” confesses Rademacher, who teamed up with fellow Australian ballroom dancer and actress Kym Johnson for Dancing With The Stars, 16th season, and surprised many of his admirers by dancing his way into fifth place overall. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done- mentally and physically. I remember telling Kym that I would rather paddle the Moloka’i Channel every day than ever do that again!”

ABOUT THE SETTING

It’s not just the fashions that are epic. Turtle Bay Resort on O’ahu’s Fabled North Shore is putting the ñal touches on a multi-million-dollar renovation, with luxurious enhancements across all guest rooms, the spa and wellness center, restaurants, shopping, and more. Just in time for the winter surf season, all of the resort’s 410 main building guest rooms have been completely redesigned. Other exciting changes include

two restaurants-the North Shore Kula Grille and Pa’akai; lifestyle retail outlets the Watershed and Oakley at Turtle Bay; and the new full-service Nalu Kinetic Spa.

For more, visit www.turtlebayresort.com.

fashion stylist YUSHING TING
hair & make-up by KECIA LITTMAN OF WWW.KECIABELLA.COM
shot on location Turtle Bay Resort