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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Photo Blog: Hawaii Day 5 - Surfing with Hawaiian Fire

This was the day of our vacation that I had anticipated for some time. Today, I was going to learn how to surf.

Growing up in central California I had frequented the beaches of Pismo Beach, Avila, and others mainly taking to Body (Boogie) Boarding. In fact, this continued during college while I lived in Malibu, CA -- resisting any notion of surfing because in fact, I was a body boarder.

However, at this point it has been a couple of years since I have really "gone out" to go body boarding and many of the friends and people I know surf. I had decided that on my next trip to Hawaii I would learn how to surf.

And that is what Ashley and I did today. We signed up with Hawaiian Fire, a company ran by local Honolulu, Oahu based Firefighters. They say that they are Hawaii's best surf lesson and I have to agree -- our experience was awesome. The break they picked had plentiful smaller waves for starters, no crowds, and the six instructors in our group lesson made for a great and productive time. Even though it was a "soft" 10 foot surfboard -- both Ashley and I were able to stand easily -- and in the hour and a half in the water, I was able to ride 25-30 waves.

To top it off, I asked some general questions about how I would get started back when I was on the mainland and got some great pointers and tips in terms of the type of board and breaks I would look for early on. Without a doubt, both Ashley and I highly recommend Hawaiian Fire for surf lessons if you are thinking about it while on the island of Oahu.

On a side note, they also have a photographer come out who had a great Canon 40D and 100-400mm L lens that took some great photos. For only $40, we received the whole CD of about $150 pictures. Not bad since it was split between three of us...myself and Ashley, and our friend Evan who was in Hawaii for her medical residency.

Here are a few photos from the day...

We met a local at the break. Irma is a Hawaiian Monk Seal, and endangered earless seal of which there are only about 1200 left in the world. Thanks to the wonder of a zoom lens, we could get a good photo without getting too close. Apparently this is his beach.


Our group for surf lessons with Evan, Ashley and I just to the right of the surfboard.


Ashley standing up on her first wave. Good for her!


Riding one of the small waves on and getting a feel for the board.


Time to get off the wave as flatly as possible.


Ashley and I for a quick pose after our surfing lesson.


A shot of all the rash guards drying in the morning sun and wind.


The Hawaiian Fire team picks you up at your hotel with these fancy vans. :-) They give you transport to and from your hotel to the surf lesson, it runs about 4 hours in all.


The rest of the day we just hung out and relaxed. Here is a shot near sunset from our lanai at the room, catching the reflection of the palm trees in the lagoon. The cloudy weather has made for less than spectacular sunsets so far.

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