"My dad loves him," says the model of her pro paddle boarder beau Slater Trout

By Raha Lewis
Updated May 29, 2013 05:00 PM
Credit: Brett-Rachpoot/Xposure USA

From the very beginning, IMG model Ireland Basinger Baldwin knew that stand-up paddle boarder Slater Trout was quite the catch.

“I would say he is my best friend,” Baldwin, whose friend introduced the couple via Instagram and Twitter last fall, tells PEOPLE. “We have our moments but that’s rare. We can act stupid in public, private or wherever and we are always laughing.”

Though Trout, 18, is based in Maui and Baldwin, 17, lives in L.A. with her mom, Kim Basinger, the two find time to visit each other at least once a month and go out on adventurous dates in their respective cities.

“We’re outdoorsy people,” says Ireland, who was just spotted visiting Trout this week. “I love walks, hiking, exploring and being on the beach.”

“We don’t do normal stuff. We go paddle boarding with humpback whales in Maui,” adds Trout. “We go on athletic dates. And very romantic ones too. Like we will go to like a bluff and star gaze and go on trail runs and walk the dogs.”

But the real question is: What does Ireland’s dad, Alec, think of his daughter’s boyfriend?

“Dad hasn’t personally face-to-face met him but he has virtually met him and he loves him, thus far,” says Ireland.

“We’ve talked on the phone; he’s an awesome guy,” says Trout of Alec – who is expecting a daughter with wife Hilaria this August. “He said, ‘I’d love to meet you soon. Come to New York, there’s great surf out here.'”

As for Ireland’s mom, “I love Kim,” says Trout. “She’s an amazing woman. We’ve become really close and my parents are good friends with her.”

Just don’t think the young couple is rushing into anything too serious.

“I have never met anyone who is a more incredible person in my life,” says Ireland. But “we both have lives to live and we both have careers and a lot of aspirations and things to do before we think about that.”