Thursday, September 15, 2011

Surf Report

The waves on the North Shore are beginning to pick up.  The highway is jammed with surf bums and tourists and I have a feeling it is only going to get better over the next few months, or worse, depending on your perspective. 

Early mornings seem to be the best time to get in a few rides without feeling too crowded. Dave and Heath hit the beach early every Saturday morning, a different beach each week. This past week was Turtle Bay and the waves were reportedly the biggest waves they've surfed thus far.  They are practicing dropping in and turning, both lefts and rights. 

Afton and Cora are a doing a phenomenal job honing their surfing skills.  Dave started them out by pushing them into the beach break.  Then they began starting themselves into the beach break. Last week, Monday, Dave took them each out into deeper water off of Malekahana point by Goats Island.  He pushed them into these waves.  Because they weren't surfing into the beach I sat out on a boogie board to "catch" Cora at the end of the ride and help her turn and paddle back.  Afton didn't need the help so I took some pics from the beach. Monday night Afton paddled out again into the deep water at Castles.  She is determined and having so much fun.

Though Kirkham has caught a few waves he generally prefers the beach break and boogie boarding.  That may change once mom shows him up.  He still has some time before that will happen but he better watch out! I have continued to paddle out and sit in the waves.  I haven't tried to stand up yet but have caught a few on my stomach. My goal is to be a decent surfer before the end of December.  Decent means that I can stand up, control where I'm going, and not embarrass my family.

On Wednesday's Dave doesn't go into work until about 1 because he stays in the office meeting with students until 10pm.  He uses these mornings for surfing. So yesterday,Wednesday morning, Dave took me out to Chuns hoping to find some waves I'd feel comfortable standing up on. There were a lot of waves.  Too many.  I had a hard time paddling out.  I got thrown around by a few waves and I hit the bottom a time or two and got washed across a few rocks. I walked out of the water with a few bumps, bruises and scrapes. (Nothing serious mom)  Dave apologized and tried to console me saying that the waves were stronger than he expected.  He made it up to me by taking me into Haleiwa for a Matsumotos shave ice before heading back to Laie for work. The kids thought my minor injuries were cool when they got home from school.


  1. Yes, I am a worrier....and I HAVE to ask this...but why doesn't Afton have a life jacket on? Aren't you worried about her safety? Kids have to have them on to ride in a boat, why is it different for surfing? I hope I haven't overstepped my boundaries, but I worry about it.

  2. Thanks for your concern Andrea. You are right to worry and it is a good thing to bring up. Afton is not wearing a life jacket (and Cora doesn't either) for several reasons. The most important reason is that she needs to be able to dive under big waves. A life jacket would keep her on top of the water where all the motion and tumbling is going on. That jacket would keep her up to have to endure the violence of the surf as it pounds into her. Without a life jacket she can dive under the wave and totally avoid that danger.

    When you begin to worry please remember that she is in salt water in which we are much more buoyant, she is in water no deeper than Dave's shoulders (in this picture it was waist deep to him), and she is always with an adult--usually Dave. The same things are of course true for Cora and Kirkham too.

    It is also important to remember that we all wear surf leashes. A leash is a strip of webbing that velcros around your ankle and is permanently affixed to the surfboard. So if and when you do get knocked off your board and you find yourself tumbling through the surf not knowing which way is up you grab your ankle, find the leash, kick down while your hand slides up the leash, and find the end of the board. At that point you pop up for air, look for oncoming waves, dive down if necessary, and then climb back onto the board. The boards all float.

    All our kids are strong swimmers, all are on the local swim team and are at the beach 3-4 times per week. They only surf with a parent (as mentioned before)which means that the waves aren't big enough for the parent to be out surfing themselves (wink, wink). Heath is an exception to that. I do let him go out and surf in the bigger waves, even with Dave isn't there, but only at beaches that we know well and only when there are other people out surfing. Everyone looks out for each other on the waves. And by bigger waves I am still talking little waves by Hawaii standards. If the surf was truly big Heath would have to have Dave with him (though I'm thinking that Heath may be able to outswim his Dad these days so it's probably more for Dave's safety than Heath's. haha, Dave's not going to like that :)

  3. Oh good......I knew there HAD to be a great explanation as to the missing life jacket. I know you so it just seemed odd. I didn't know that if you wore one, that it would just keep a person bobbing about in the turning waves. Can you tell I have NEVER surfed...LOL Thanks for the explanations. I truly have been thinking about this all day long. I feel much better. I miss you.


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