Wednesday, June 07, 2006

2-minute Ride at Royal Hawaiian

Stoke 11 at "Royal Hawaiian"
Well, the inside Waikiki is crowded with a bunch of "rental" surfers (that includes me), surf schools, outrigger canoes, catamarans. You name it, you would find it out there. But when I was surfing there I saw this spot way outside, far right from the main Waikiki section. Yesterday, I went to a surf shop and asked them about that, and a response was "You man, Royal Hawaiian. Yeah, do go out there!" So this afternoon, I decided to paddle out. It almost felt like paddling a mile out. It probably took me 10-15 minutes of paddling out to get out there, probably a 1/4 of a mile out, but it was worth it. The breaks were more consistent and vives were not bad either.
Well, as it so happened that there was a set.
The breaks here require quite a bit different timing than I am used to, especially when I have been surfing short boards a lot in beach breaks in Half Moon Bay. The way things happen (at least right now) is much slower than anything I have experienced. I see a set, I start to paddle and continue to paddle inside, look back and check where it is going to build up, I still have time to paddle towards where it is going to break, and then when it is time to take off, I paddle extra long and on to a very smooth and slow take off. But once you are on the wave, the rides are typically long, and sometimes, it can last, yes a 1/4 of a mile that I have paddled out!

And there, I had one of the "ride of a lifetime." I barely caught a wave but it started to build up on the right. I kept my position on the surface of the wave. I looked at the wave. As the wave got steeper, I cut back to the top of the wave and gained more speed. With the speed I have gotten, I was able to get to the next section that was breaking, and I was able to keep doing that, and thus I was able to continue going and going. It was really amazing amount of ride. It was probably equivalent of taking off outside the indicator and be able to make all the way into the sand in Cowells. It was not a speedy ride, but it was really more like a cruising slowly. My rental NSP 9'2 did not perform badly at all. After 4 sessions, I am starting to get used to the board, and I think that there is a lot to be said about getting used to how the board performs.
Another thing I have realized is that stepping moves are really important in long boarding. With a short board, I can easily shift fore-aft weighting but with a long board, I do need to actually walk on the deck back and forth to maintain good speed of the ride.

As the sun started to drop closer to the horizon, all of the hotels started to play one type of Hawaiian music from another and from the outside in the ocean, you can hear just about all the music each of the hotel is playing from this vantage point. I started to wonder how many musicians and dancers are being hired to orchestrate this, and how many of the songs are being played in the entire Hawaiian islands.

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