I’m staying at Waikiki beach – home of the long board – and the surf here is perfect. Rolling waves that just pop up every now and again, and allows you to ride long enough to make you feel like you know what you’re doing, just the kind of chilled-out waves I wish I had to practice on all the time!
Everybody here surfs, and Waikiki beach is the most popular spot. I’ve never seen such a range of ages and abilities all surfing the same place. Old beardy long-boarders cruise past the young short-boarders, while the old school use the classic board and paddle combo, something I’ve never ever seen before. The beach here is a reef break, so the waves break quite far from the shore making the paddle out a completely wave free experience – beginner surfer bliss! Although the beautiful, clear blue, warm water, together with the out of action volcano Diamond Head in the distance, makes it pretty good too.
At 7am the water is fairly busy, but by 9am you’ll have to be good at steering to avoid the crush. I saw quite a few collisions here, however thankfully nobody gets too stressed, mostly due to the relaxed Aloha spirit (which makes a pleasant change from some of the folk you sometimes encounter in the water at home). The only other thing to watch out for are your feet, I scraped my foot a few times on the reef after coming off my board and forgetting it wasn’t sand I was standing on. Luckily I don’t think sharks generally swim in rocky waist-high water even if they can smell blood from miles away? Well that’s what my boyfriend Stevie told me, anyway after that I wasn’t hanging about long enough to find out.
After a few nights in Waikiki we hired a jeep and headed to the North of the island to check out where the pros hang-out. The North shore is much quieter than Waikiki, however the waves are nowhere near the same size, they are bloody MASSIVE. Needless to say I didn’t do any surfing there, which was fine because it meant I got to visit the pineapple plantation instead, where they even sell their hotdogs with pineapple sauce. Weirdoes.
Hawaii has been great fun, really 60s and pretty kitch, although not nearly enough Elvis impersonators for my liking. While here I read that years ago in Hawaii surfing was only a past-time for the Hawaiian royal family – those lucky royals must’ve had a great life – living like a king, surfing every day, hanging out with chicks in grass skirts, eating tonnes of pineapple – well maybe not.