Hawaii :: The Source
Obvious, but impossible to miss - for this list and for anyone truly into their surfing. And yet for decades many Australians did exactly that. We knew all about Hawaii but didn't actually go there. Too crowded. Too localised. Too expensive. Too darn big. Indo was always the better option. Cheaper, closer, rawer and with many more islands to get lost in and spread everyone out. In recent years there's been an awakening of sorts. Aussies are flocking to Hawaii in record numbers, with more flights added to accommodate the surge. That said, if you're sucking down ice-shaves at Waikiki or milking the teets of a Honolulu business junket it's unlikely you will have your life jolted. For keen surfers however it's a real possibility. Here's a few suggestions to encourage your Hawaiian awakening. 1. Ride the biggest wave of your life. The numerical size doesn't matter. As long as it scares the bejesus out of you and you overcome the urge to freeze and ride that beast. You'll never forget it and will return home walking a little taller. 2. Embrace Aloha. Yes, it's been reduced to a tourist cliché and a fat man's party shirt but the spirit of aloha – a multi-layered philosophy wrapped up in love and compassion – is so real it overcomes all of that. For some Hawaiians it is a way of life. While the repercussions for being a dick are notoriously harsh on "the rock," the flipside is that Aloha-inclined Hawaiians are warm and gracious by inclination. 3. Know your roots. You get a vivid sense that surfing is much bigger than your local board riders in Hawaii. That you are part of an ancient ocean culture that stretches back hundreds of years. Check out the Bishop Museum. Read Michener's 40-million-year history, Hawaii. Know the Hawaiian story. 4. Solo the outer islands. Oahu's North Shore may get all the limelight but Hawaii's other major islands all have seriously awesome waves. Even more so than on Oahu you will be rewarded by travelling low-key.
THE BANZAI PIPELINE IN THE MOOD TO BE BIG HOLLOW AND BILLOWING. PHOTO: JOLI