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Travel Blog #175 - Learning to Surf with Big Kahuna Adventures
As we were driving to the Big Kahuna Adventures surf lesson I noticed how perfectly glassy the ocean conditions were, I had a suspicion that today was going to be a great day for our lesson. Once we arrived at “The Cove” in Kihei and I looked out at the ocean my suspicions about the weather conditions were confirmed. The wind was non-existent and the surface of the water was a calm as a lake. We saw a large van that was filled with different sized long boards and surfing equipment. The van was marked “Big Kahuna Adventures” so we made our way over to it to check in. As we checked in we were handed reef shoes and a rash guard that had the Big Kahuna Adventures logo printed on it. As we waited for all the rest of the surfers to arrive we talked to the instructors about how they thought the waves were going to be today. He said that there wasn’t a giant swell right now but there would be large enough waves for the students and in his opinion the conditions for the day would be ideal for the lesson.
The group who partook in the surf lesson consisted of a couple on their Honeymoon, one other single lady, and myself. I personally thought it was great to have a smaller group because it gave a chance for more hands on learning between the students and our instructor. The Big Kahuna Surf School believes that by spending a bit more time going over the basics in the talking phase of the lesson makes it easier to get better results in the water segment of the lesson. We spent about 20 minutes going over the proper form of standing up as well as what to do once you begin riding the waves. While they told us how, the surf instructors would simultaneously demonstrate what they were talking about on top of their boards. After their demonstrations we tried copying what they did on our boards until we all felt reasonably comfortable. Our instructor’s adjustments and encouragements made us feel very confident about our form before we got in the water. Once we were done with the “on land” segment of our instruction we were told to partner up to help transport the 8 and 9 foot long surfboard from the park down to the ocean.
Once we reached the water’s edge and the excitement really began to kick in. Once the warm crystal clear water hit my legs and I knew it was time to surf! We hopped on our boards and paddled out in a group out towards the surf. Our instructor guided us right to the middle of the line up. Once we got into position I looked around and observed all of the surfers. I noticed that all of the participants in the lesson were wearing a large smile that stretched all the way across their faces, almost from one ear to the other. I began to get the feeling that we were all about to have some real fun! Only a couple minutes went by before the sets started rolling through. One of the other members of the group and I paddled for one of the first waves that came through. As the board caught the wave I could hear the instructors yelling,” Stand up!” I stood up just as the instructor had showed us. As I got to my feet I could feel the energy of the wave propelling the surfboard towards the shore. I rode the wave as far as I could before eventually falling off near the beach. A couple of the other surfers that had shared the wave with me all the way in from the outside and when we got to the end of the ride we all paused for a moment and smiled at each other before quickly turning our boards around and paddling back out to the line up. As I was paddling back out I saw all of the other surfers from my lesson each catch a wave and ride it out of the lineup area. Most of them did not stop until they were way on the inside (almost to the shore). I remember thinking to myself that the instructor was right when he said at the beginning of the lesson that “We would all be surfers within a few hours”. I don’t think more then an hour had passed and we were definitely all surfing now!
Once we all began to catch waves the vibe in the lineup became was very pleasant. There were plenty of waves that came in, and luckily for us most of them were smaller sized waves that were ideal for everybody to learn on. Once our session was coming to an end our surf instructor called us over to group up near the center of the line up. He explained that since the lesson was almost over, we were all going to learn one “surf trick” before we called it a day. He then asked one of the surfers to turn around backwards on the long board. He positioned her right where she needed to be to catch a wave and told her that once the wave came she should try to stand up backwards. Once a wave came in he pushed the surfboard and told her to stand up, and surely enough she popped up and was surfing the wave backwards! Everyone else caught one more wave and most of the group attempted to ride it in backwards. After we had all rode waves to the inside we grouped back up to help each other get out of the water.
Once back on land we returned all of the equipment to the van where we had picked it up initially. It seemed very apparent from the looks on everyone’s faces that the whole group was stoked on the surf sessions we just had. As we were getting back into the car to leave I reflected a bit on the days experience I realized that it actually was pretty amazing that the instructors at Big Kahuna were actually able to get everyone up and riding the waves in such a short time, it was really a cool thing to have had the opportunity to be a part of the days excitement.
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