Monday, November 9, 2015

Heading into the gentle waves of Waikiki.
(Photo: Big Wave Dave)Beginner
surfing lessons are miserable and anyone who tells you anything different is
lying to you in an effort to seem carefree and adventurous.I believed those
words for a very long time."I"ve taken the beginner surfing lesson on 11
occasions.
Ten out of those times I was miserable.
Why did I keep subjecting
myself to this thing I can"t stand? I did it because each time I thought it
would be better.Each time I hoped I wouldn"t be thrown violently from a wave,
get salt water up my nose, hit my head on the edge of a surf board, cramp up
from all that paddling."I kept trying to learn to surf because I harbored
dreams of being that girl in the movie "Blue Crush" with the fantastic abs and
the adorable little shorts who sits languidly on a surf board gazing out into
the sunset.
There"s a little part in all of us that wants to be that
girl.Don"t they say the 11th time is a charm?Waikiki beach is an ideal place
to learn to surf.
(Photo: Jo Piazza)Over the past decade I"ve attempted long
board surf lessons on Bondi Beach in Australia, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico,
Montauk, the Dominican Republic, New Zealand, South Carolina, Florida and even
Ireland—in October.
Pro-tip—never go surfing in Ireland in
October."But I never actually enjoyed it until I tried to surf in Waikiki, the
popular tourist spot on the South Shore of Oahu.Big Wave Dave"s surf shop sits
just a block from the beach.
It"s so close that you can walk there barefoot
and that is exactly what the owner, "Big Wave" Dave Carvalho does.
Dave is
straight out of central casting for a surf instructor in
Hawaii—leathery mocha skin, dirty blonde hair and a wirey surfer
frame.
He speaks slowly and deliberately."WATCH: That One Time I Learned to
Surf on Oahu"s North ShoreBorn and raised on Oahu, Dave was a beach boy from
the moment he could peddle his bike to the sand and began surfing in 1976, at
the age of 12.
Since then he"s become the go-to guy for main-landers looking
to learn to surf Waikiki beach."Waikiki"s beach, once a playground for
Hawaiian royalty, looks exactly like every picture-perfect postcard you"ve
ever seen.
Delighted tourists lay out underneath yellow umbrellas.
Large
resort hotels with big names like Sheraton and Hilton maintain prime
beachfront real estate.
The waves roll gently to the white sand on the shore
and in the background the green peaks of Diamond Head rise up to pose for an
Instagram photo.More than anything, Dave"s staff wants you to love to
surf."Related: 9 Secret and Awesome Surfing SpotsFour of us walked into Dave"s
Shop, all of us novices.
Of the quartet, I"d gone surfing the most times.
I
announced my trepidation at making number 11 any better than the previous
10.Big Wave Dave just laughed.
"You"ll love it this time.""The writer Jack
London came to Waikiki in 1907.
He"d already published his bestsellers,""Call
of the Wild," and""White Fang." It was here that the adventurer was introduced
to surfing by a crew of Waikiki beach boys which inspired his story,""A Royal
Sport: Surfing in Waikiki."That"s me, one in from the right.
A little
nervous.
(Photo: Big Wave Dave)"Where but the moment before was only the wide
desolation and invincible roar, is now a man, erect, full statured,
not-struggling frantically in that wild movement, not buried and crushed and
buffeted by those mighty monsters, but standing above them all, calm and
superb, poised on the giddy summit…His heels are winged, and in them is
the swiftness of the sea," London wrote."
I"d never felt the joy of having
winged heels."I"ve always found Mark Twain"s account of surfing, also in
Hawaii, about fifty years prior to London, more accurate."I got the board
placed right, and at the right moment, too," Twain wrote in a newspaper
article.
"But missed the connection myself.
The board struck the shore in
three-quarters of a second, without any cargo, and I struck the bottom about
the same time, with a couple of barrels of water in me."
Related: Easy
Surfing Vacations from Costa Rica to CaliforniaSo, why was Waikiki an
excellent place for me to finally learn to surf? Well first of all the water
is as warm as a bath, not a hot bath, but an enjoyable tepid bath.
Half of the
beach is often marked off for surfers so you don"t have to worry about maiming
a swimmer.
The waves break long, sometimes as long as a football field.
If you
catch the right one, you can ride it for a minute or more.
Because the waves
are so gentle, the process of paddling out isn"t as brutal.
Dave"s staff
helped with that too.
Those guys have more strength in their big toe than I
have in my entire upper torso—literally.
They"d paddle ahead of me,
place their big toe on the edge of my long board, with me on it, and then
paddle me out to the next wave.
How"s that for service?It was the perfect
blue-bird day, not a cloud in the sky.
For the first time, I found there could
be true joy in surfing.
I began to understand why men and women devote their
entire lives to the sport, circumnavigating the globe to catch the next
brilliant waves.
When surfing goes right, everything else melts
away—worries about work, about paying your mortgage, about your brand
new marriage.
It all drifts out to sea and you return to the sand feeling a
little bit lighter."If you have a hankering to stay and learn with Dave for
longer than just a few hours, and you don"t have the cash to stay in one of
Waikiki"s pricey hotels take advantage of Dave"s Surf & Stay listed on
Airbnb.
For just $129 a night you can rent a room above the surf shop.
It
comes with a free board and highly discounted surf lessons.
It"s one of the
best deals in town since you aren"t just renting a room, you"re renting access
to a surf family, one that will make your stay one to remember.Let World
traveling club Travel inspire you every day.
Hang out with us
on"Facebook,"Twitter, Instagram, and"Pinterest."Check out our original
adventure travel series A Broad Abroad." Waikiki beach is an ideal place to
learn to surf.
Pro-tip—never go surfing in Ireland in October.  But I never
actually enjoyed it until I tried to surf in Waikiki, the popular tourist spot
on the South Shore of Oahu.
Since then he's become the go-to guy for
main-landers looking to learn to surf Waikiki beach.  Waikiki's beach, once
a playground for Hawaiian royalty, looks exactly like every picture-perfect
postcard you've ever seen.
Big Wave Dave just laughed..It was the perfect
blue-bird day, not a cloud in the sky.
For the first time, I found there could
be true joy in surfing.
I began to understand why men and women devote their
entire lives to the sport, circumnavigating the globe to catch the next
brilliant waves.
When surfing goes right, everything else melts
away—worries about work, about paying your mortgage, about your brand
new marriage.
It all drifts out to sea and you return to the sand feeling a
little bit lighter."If you have a hankering to stay and learn with Dave for
longer than just a few hours, and you don"t have the cash to stay in one of
Waikiki"s pricey hotels take advantage of Dave"s Surf & Stay listed on
Airbnb.
For just $129 a night you can rent a room above the surf shop.
It
comes with a free board and highly discounted surf lessons.
It"s one of the
best deals in town since you aren"t just renting a room, you"re renting access
to a surf family, one that will make your stay one to remember.Let World
traveling club Travel inspire you every day.
Hang out with us
on"Facebook,"Twitter, Instagram, and"Pinterest."Check out our original
adventure travel series A Broad Abroad."Waikiki beach is an ideal place to
learn to surf.
Pro-tip—never go surfing in Ireland in October.  But I never
actually enjoyed it until I tried to surf in Waikiki, the popular tourist spot
on the South Shore of Oahu.
Since then he's become the go-to guy for
main-landers looking to learn to surf Waikiki beach.  Waikiki's beach, once
a playground for Hawaiian royalty, looks exactly like every picture-perfect
postcard you've ever seen.
Big Wave Dave just laughed.

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