I’ve surfed once before, in Portugal. After several hours, I had a total of about 30 seconds standing/kneeling on the board. Surfing is tough!
After a few beers yesterday evening with surfing mates I met in the hostel, I decided to try surfing again in Waikiki today (May 20th).
So… I slathered my body with SPF50, rented a longboard for $20 (6 hours), and headed out with Dan. The first break was very crowded with people, and I was constantly in the way. But I did get a couple of rides and stood up in a mid-crouch for at least one of them.
After lunch (takoyaki) I went back for a second round, with more SPF50 on my back. We paddled to a far-away break where there weren’t so many people. But the break was quite narrow, so in the end it was just as crowded as the morning’s break, as everyone converged on the same spot. I got about three rides, and headed in when my arms felt like they were about to give out from paddling.
In the evening we checked out a free Hula show on the beach. I didn’t know that the primary dancers are the men, not the women (though in this show they were equally featured).
My heart is officially melting from the wonderful Aloha…
And I caught a few good sunset shots.
Viele Grüße to the Germans I met in the hostel! I hope we can meet again at Oktoberfest, when I have more time and am less sunburned.
Dave’s Surfing Tips
I’m no expert, but please, learn from my experiences (and mistakes)!
- You have to see where the good (big & steep) waves are breaking, and go there. Probably others will be there as well.
- Check with locals (or the surf shop) to find out the currents, dangerous/rocky areas, etc. before going out.
- If you’re waiting for a wave, and someone’s already on it when it comes to you, get out of their way and don’t try to catch the wave as well. You’d be stealing their space, and you might get run over.
- In case someone wipes out on a wave coming toward you (e.g. when you’re trying to paddle back out), duck under the wave and cover your head with your arms just in case the person or their board hits you.
- Paddle, paddle, paddle with the wave you want to catch. If you’re not fast enough, the wave will pass you. If it’s not close enough to breaking (not steep enough yet), the wave will pass you. If you are lazy and don’t give 100% paddling, the wave will laugh at you as it passes. I swear I heard this a few times toward the end.
- I don’t recommend paddling out to really far breaks unless you have seriously toned arms. I did make it back, but a lot of people might have a challenging time if they paddle out too far from shore.
- Last, and most important: Non-tanned white people cannot surf in full sun without a wetsuit for 4 hours. Even with SPF50, reapplied halfway through, the melanin-challenged will be miserable lobsters the next day. It’s easier to list parts of me that are NOT burned: face, belly, palms, and the front of my legs. One of my ankles is so bad it’s even a wee bit swollen.
I’ll leave you with this beautiful silhouette. I’m sure she surfs way better than I do – hah.