Monday, June 05, 2006

Waikiki Day 2

Sunday, June 4th
Day 2: Waikiki Surfing

We are staying at a major beach front hotel in Waikiki on this trip. This is the summer and so I have figured that we should stay on South exposed location. Besides, surfing on big waves on the north shore at any time of the year is really not an option for me anyway.

Waikiki = Tourist, and that's quite true. But I must say that it holds true out of the water. Once in the water though there is a lot of fun waves. The condition for today and yesterday was about hip high on standard sets, perhaps chest level on the biggest sets. But Waikiki waves are different from the Jetty or Montara waves. I think this is really a fine beginner section. The only other place that is comparable that I know of to this is Cowells in Santa Cruz.

This morning, I just rented a hotel rental, which was a 9'0 NSP Epoxy board. It was $15 for the first hour and $7 additional hour. I quickly figured that it would not be economical to keep surfing like this. At this hotel (probably others) I have found an outside long board locker, and when I asked the front desk, it was free to the guest, so I immediately signed up for the slot. Now I have to find a weekly rental.

Luckily using the Internet technology I quickly found an outfit called Hawaii Surfboard Rentals ( and I called them up. They not only dropped off the board at the hotel but also will be picking the board on the day of departure at 6:00 AM. Perfect! I can do a DP before taking off back for SFO for the noon flight! So I got 9'2 NSP board. Now with a locker setup, I can go surf in Waikiki break anytime I want and as often as I want! This is very great.

The waves in Waikiki is really mellow like those of Cowells and even when they size up, they are not really threateningly fast closing like those at the Jetty or even Linda Mar. The NSP board is easy to surf and I am surfing good on it. Trimming and turning are relatively easy, and rides can be really long. I wished that I have had even bigger and wider board to help practice riding on front of the board, but with these long smooth rides I am getting here, I think I can really practice working on these techniques just in time for this summer classic competition. It looks to me really a long-board only break in the past two days, and the break have some thickness to it, that trimming, and cutting back up and down on the wave can be done really at relaxed pace, hence at much slower speed than, say, being on a verge of being closed out and need to work with a lot of speed. These are the qualities that I think really help me learn a lot more.

One of the things I am not used to as much is that the paddle out is really long. The part that break well are way way outside from my standards. Perhaps 300 - 700 yards out from the shore. Typically in Half Moon Bay area, the outside can be reached in 100-300 yards from the shore (I have not really measured it though). It is kind of equivalent of getting in the water at the 38th and then paddling all the way to the Pleasure Point Peaks. Like the 38th, there are inside breaks too.
Vives, so far, has been good and even really good people are giving a lot of chance for others to surf. So far I have found people surfing here are not totally a beginner nor really super experts, except that I have found a few of them very seasoned as well as aged well under the Hawaiian sun.

A few summers ago, I surfed Lahania Breakwater in Maui. I must say that Lahaina Breakwater is significantly more challenging. It was much more similar to catching an overhead break at the Pleasure Point Peak. Much more power concentration in smaller spot (but less crowd).

I will go and check out other south facing spots in the next few days.

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