We didn't get to try surfing when we were in Tofino last May (too cold and rainy), so I wasn't about to let this opportunity go. And Hannah wasn't either. Ellie and Sasha both decided they weren't quite ready to try surfing yet. So for $40 each, Hannah and I got a 1 hour private surf lesson from "Uncle Gil" or "Gunner" as he says his friends call him (he used to be in the Marine Corps). He was such a character that I figured he must be documented online somewhere, and sure enough, if you Google "Uncle Gil Waikiki" you get this video interview of him:
And he was our teacher! Apparently we got the best in Waikiki.
First we got the dry-land lesson for a few minutes.
And then it was into the water . . . after a few posed shots . . .
Uncle Gil would tell us when to start paddling, which was really helpful because the hardest thing about learning to surf is knowing which waves to pick.
Hannah did really, really well. She got up almost right away. On her 2nd attempt I think. It took me many more tries and some helpful tips from Uncel Gil (move back a bit, keep your head up, eyes forward) before I managed to catch a wave properly and stay standing on my board. But once I got the hang of it, I did pretty well if I do say so myself. I had a few really good runs that took me right back to the shore.
Of course, just like every other touristy activity in Waikiki they take pictures of you and charge you an arm and a leg for them. No pictures of me surfing, but I did do it, I swear! I have the raw nipples to prove it (if you ever go surfing, wear a shirt). They wanted $20 per single picture or $40 for all of them. Yikes! I had to buy one of Hannah though. So, here's the money shot . . .
The waves were actually much larger than they look in that photo. It's just the end of her run, after the wave died down. The woman selling us the pictures at the end asked Hannah, "Do you do ballet or something? You looked so graceful out there".
After we were done surfing for the day, the girls all posed in front of the statue of Waikiki legend Duke Kahanamoku.
Posted by: Mike