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Topic Title: A Florida surfer goes to Hawaii at 50
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Created On: 11/02/2023 07:55 AM
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 A Florida surfer goes to Hawaii at 50   - jdbman - 11/02/2023 07:55 AM  
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 11/02/2023 07:55 AM
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Joined Forum: 07/28/2003

Recap of Hawaii Trip

It was my 50 Th year on the planet. Very hard to fathom. I came from the generation that proclaimed that when you turned 30 you were sent to a concentration camp where you were put on a permanent LSD trip.

Also very hard to consider was that, through all life's changes and no matter where I was at, I somehow kept surfing.

Now coming up on Fifty, my beautiful wife, (who also turned 50 ) starting saying that this was a special birthday and what did I want to do. I told her the same thing I have told her for every birthday I have ever had..." I just want to go surfing" so the day came: Jan 2. There was a small clean swell at Oclub...I spent the day in bliss catching Patrick's finest.

When I got home my wife asked me if I had fun. Of course it was great. Now my wife knows that as a surfer, it is mandatory to go to Hawaii. I have all ways told her that if I don't make it there before I catch the big one, to take my ashes to Hawaii.

So she tells me that we are only 50 once and we must go to Hawaii.

I am just stunned with JOY !!!!

I immediately start planning this all out. My son-in-law, , is in the Army in Med school. I had asked him if he would get a rotation to Hawaii. He had put in for it and low and behold he got it in May!! Cha Chcching !

My first peak at the airfare and logistics is concerning. Around 12 big ones and 16 hours to get there...Ouch. Everyday I ram on Expedia and bingo, I find $540, 11 hours, one stop on Delta, I rack that quick.... I called Delta and asked about transporting the wave riding vehicles ( WRV ). What a big problem, longboards: no, may arrive when I do: no, Will not cost too much: NO.

So I start searching the web and find Blue Planet. This is confirmed on a web chat site for surfers called "2nd Light.com". A guy on there is from Fla and lives in Hawaii and says this is a good place to rent a WRV. ($90 a week for a Bruce Jones surftech, 9'6" 2 + 1) worked for me.

Then, son in law gets us into the Hale Koa hotel; this is a great resort hotel right on the beach. (The breaks out front are #3 s and Ala mo, not too far from Pops, Canoes and Queens) You must stay with military personnel. My daughter, is also going out with us. The Hale Koa is primo location at $140 per night.

All is set and THE DAY comes, on the bird and in Hawaii. First day I go down to Blue Planet and get the WRV. Son in law is working; Wife and dauther are out shopping and exploring...I can surf all day!!!!

Waves in the AM appear to be clean and small. With no knowledge of the bottom or wave conditions, I decide to paddle out at Canoes. I figure that, with all those people out there, I might learn something. First thing I learn is: compared to beach breaks in Fla it's a long paddle out, even to Canoe's. Once I get out, (its Sunday) it is crowded. The surf is waist to chest with some sets larger. Really, no I mean REALLY, clean. Mostly left but plenty of rights. I paddle around and try to gauge the pecking order. Lots of girls, lots of tourists, some large Hawaiians, many beginners with instructors. So now I am feeling it. My first wave is a right, around chest high, that hits the reef with power... I go straight down the line for around 70 yards. No turns all trim. The board feels good. I got it to myself and did not have to avoid anyone paddling out. (The reef out here is around 3 feet under the water.) I catch a few more, mostly with some one else on the wave. I start catching the lefts, which are better, but there are more people on the wave. People in the water, in general are very friendly. People ask me where I am from. I tell them Florida and this gets some conversation going. I was wearing a Go Surf rash guard the first day. So I am feeling pretty good. Seems like its OK to take off in front of people...WRONG.... A really nice set shows itself and I (and every one else) start stroking out. I let a few go by and start paddling for a really nice one. I get up and crank the bottom turn and trim out to the shoulder with a few people in front of me. Suddenly the large Hawaiian man (like 5' 8', 300 plus) on the large board (like 10'6" and at least 4" thick) comes from behind shouting " Hoey, Hoey". WTF!!! I kick out. He goes down the line a little further. He then paddles up next to me and in a plain, calm voice says, " Hey bra, u dem gonna et urt ." I smile and say, " thank you sir for not killing me now" He can paddle twice as fast as I can. So he is back in the line up twice as fast as me. I am trying to sort this out. So I paddle to the west away from Canoes, and kind of rest for a while. 2 dudes, who had asked me where I was from, come paddling by me. They say they are going to Pops and ask if I want to go. So I start paddling behind them. Pops is around 700 yard farther out than Canoes. It's a long a$$ way. When I finally get out to near Pops I am dog bone spaghetti armed. I also notice the size of the wave here is more than Canoes and pitching somewhat on the reef. This seems more than I could handle. I kind of sit in the channel and just observe for around 20 minutes. (The water, the sky, the clouds and the view of Diamond Head are spectacular!!!) I kind of drift into the shoulder take off zone; it's crowded out here but not near like Canoes. Mostly right, I catch a somewhat depleted shoulder for around 30 yards. Feels good. So for the next hour or so I inch my way toward the take off zone. Bottom line is I got around 3 waves. One I ate it. Scared the S out of me. That reef is around 3 feet deep also. By now it's around noon and I had been out since around 830. It's a long paddle in!!! But it all felt so good.

The next several days were the weekdays. Not near as crowded but still plenty of people in the water. From our balcony at the HALE Koa I could easily see the line up at Ala Moana. I would wake up at around 445. It would be starting to get light. With the binoculars I could see people out, even at very first light everyday. I repeated my pattern of day one, everyday. The waves seldom varied for the whole week. I wish I could do this everyday for the rest of my life.

I only did one surf session each day. Got up and was in the water by 530 and out around noon. There are plenty of other very cool things to do.

Highlights include:

North shore tour, there was surf, (this was around Memorial Day, locals remember that it was very good for this time of year.) Went to all the famous spots: Waimai, Sunset, Pipe, Chun's, Haleiwa ) Went to Waimai Falls Park, ate dinner at Jameson's and watched the sunset.
Don Ho show, very cool old time stuff, saw the Maitre D out in the water the next day
Duke's Restaurant, great d├ęcor, great view, good food
Went to the beaches on the east coast swam in the cove with a blow hole
Climbed up Diamond Head
Just drove all over and saw all the sights
Paradise Cove Luau (I learned what "Hoey" means)

I want to go again. But for now my life has some sense of being complete.

So if you are a surfer I wish you the prosperity that allows you more time to pursue the salt water dream, and the true happiness that comes from warm water, clean waves and the companionship of your fellow surfers. If you are an internet troll just spewing bs then f off.

Edited: 11/02/2023 at 07:57 AM by jdbman
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