Surfin’ Waikiki

       When you think about Hawaii, you think about the beach. You think about the waves as they crash onto the shore and wash away the footprints you made four steps before. You think about sitting on the beach in the morning as the sun is rising in the sky, your toes deep in the warm sand and you watch those waves crash. Over and over. Listening to their power and watching their beauty. As you look out onto the horizon, you might see the occasional surfer and mentally add it to your bucket list, possibly thinking that it’ll be “too difficult” or that “it might happen one day.”

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      Taking lessons is definitely a critical point in learning to surf. Sure you could save the money, rent the board, and head out to the open waters…but the extra $40-$50 is definitely worth it for one lesson. Possibly even two if you’re serious about learning–or moving to Hawaii for three years.

     Paddling. Was. Hard. Ron (our surf instructor) took us out to Pop’s for our first lesson. 10 minutes of practicing on land was all we needed to get the basics down. Once we were far enough out, past the swimmers and snorkelers, we sat on the board like you see in the movies. We watched for the “good waves.” However, I had no idea (and still don’t know) which wave was going to be “the wave.” This is why Ron was important. The moment he saw the wave, he had us get ready by having us lay on the 11 foot long board, making sure our feet were one foot from the end. He’d instruct us to “PADDLE! PADDLE! PADDLE! NO! PADDLE HARDER!!”

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He’d push us at the right moment–the perfect moment known only to him. We’d start going, catch the wave and (once he instructed) begin to stand up. I went to my knees, put my left forward, and steadied myself to stand up. Balancing was hard the first time, but it was such an amazing feeling. While it might have looked extremely lame to the sunbathing beachgoers, it felt to me like I was riding a 12 foot high wave. It was exhilarating. I did not think I could get enough…except until my arms felt like they were going to fall off and sink to the bottom of the crystal clear waters.

I knew after the moment I caught my first wave and stood up on my own, it would become my newest hobby (a.k.a obsession). There’s nothing quite like it…except possibly paddle boarding which has yet to be checked off my bucket list.

Don’t leave the Beach Boys to just sing about it. Get out there and DO IT.

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Hawaii Heart - North Carolina Living

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