Hui Wa'a Kaukahi

Nui a lehulehu na mokupuni, 'a'ole lawa ka manawa

So many islands, so little time!

Kayaker entering the shorebreak

Crash & Burn Surf Clinic 2024

Story by Paul Tibbetts

March 3, 2024

The launching and landing clinic went well enough. The beach at Sherwood Forest in Waimanalo is a good venue for this practice since the entry is shallow enough without rocks to be safe and easy when your boat flips.

That day was a bit challenging with a slightly bigger shorebreak, but there were lulls, so it was all about timing. And that is the point of the exercise isn’t it, that and being comfortable out on your boat in the surf.

Almost all of our normal launching and landing sites for our regular paddles on Oahu are not that challenging in terms of surf conditions. But some of the outer island trips go to places where the break can be more difficult and where timing is most important.

Stan, Bill, and I gave the introduction. Stan did all the demos on and in the water, with Bill’s and Sandy’s assistance on the beach. Marva did well, both launching and landing, with the occasional huli. She had a lot of paddling experience before joining the club. Three couples joined the clinic from the Meetup group and came without boats. Stan was happy to allow them to try the exercise using his boat. Two of the guys were successful in launching and landing through the shorebreak. Only one of the women tried but was unsuccessful getting over the shorebreak. None had much paddling experience, which makes a big difference. Just being comfortable with the stability and behavior of the boat under normal paddling conditions, helps when faced with some rougher conditions.

Video by Sandy Johnson edited by Terry Shimabukuro