I just got back from a pretty insane (for many reasons) trip to Oahu. Flying out there, mainly for work, a few of us chose to cruise out early and enjoy the sights and sounds of Waikiki. Departing on October 27, I had no idea what was in store for the coming few days. We all landed in Honolulu, got to our hotel (Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki) and set out to find some grub. As we were leaving the hotel, sirens started blasting off and we started to overhear conversations of a tsunami. After hunting down some Panda Express (the only food store still open) we cruised back to the room and were told that if any action was necessary, they would let us know. Turning on the TV over a pile of carbs and MSG, we gathered news about a 7.7 earthquake that struck on the Canadian coast near Vancouver and that a tsunami warning was in effect for Hawaii. Almost coincidentally, the hotel loudspeaker came on, telling us to grab a pillow, blanket, and a change of clothes. We were being evacuated to a higher level. Our marketing coordinator, with a knack for being persistent, marched downstairs and found us the last room available on a higher floor. We moved all of our stuff and nothing ever happened.
Just after waking from crisis number 1, I received an email from Hoboken – all ground level apartments were being evacuated due to almost certain flooding…F*&%! I had a ground level apartment. At this point, being an 11 hour flight away, it was a simple cross of the fingers and hope for the best.
That day our local tour guide, Thomas, decided to take us on a hike into the hills and back to a waterfall. The hike was about 45 minutes long up and down through some beautiful foliage, criss-crossing a stream the whole way. Coming to the end of the hike, we landed at a mellow waterfall with a swimming hole and numerous cliffs to jump off. A few of the homies showed off a bit and then it was back down the trail. We ended the day with a quick swim during sunset around Waikiki and a mellow dinner at Rum Fire restaurant.
With the Aloha spirit setting in, we all grabbed breakfast and hit the beach. Starting out on paddleboards we cruised around the inside of the reef, had a quick race, saw some Honu (sea turtles native to the Hawaiian Islands), and got bored. We traded in the paddleboards for longboards and set out for the break. A few of the boys were pretty beat once we reached the outer edge of the reef but still hung out for a bit before paddling in. We spent the rest of the day just hanging out (some took a nap) and ended with another easy dinner. The next day was off to the North Shore.
We woke up Tuesday, packed the car, and took off towards the North Shore of Oahu – first stop – shaved ice. Growing up with summers spent at the Jersey Shore, I am pretty familiar with any type of fair food and Hawaiian shaved ice was definitely on the menu down there. However, it was not on the menu with an ice cream base and that makes a MASSIVE difference. The bottom turns into this creamy, sugary mush that is absolutely delicious. While feeding our sweet tooth, we cruised over to check out the work of Clark Little, a famous wave photographer based on the North Shore. His work is truly beautiful, if you haven’t seen it, check it out. Next up, we were off to Waimea and spent a little bit of time bodysurfing the shore break before cruising up the rest of the shore to Turtle Bay Resort.
Wednesday morning was another early morning, I couldn’t get over the jet lag, so I cruised down the coast to meet up with a friend’s sister who happened to have an extra surfboard lying around. We paddled out at Gas Chambers with slightly overhead and clean conditions. However, the board that I borrowed was quite a trip. It was a twin fin old school fish/rocket that was picked up at a yard sale for $40. It didn’t really matter though, the surf was super fun and some of the best that I scored all year. We had an epic session with only a few others out and then cruised up the street to Ted’s Bakery for some garlic shrimp plate lunch. That afternoon, work started.
For the rest of Wednesday, and all day Thursday and Friday, the crew cranked out an over-the-top successful event, Hackfest, part of the 2012 Oakley Pro-Am series. For more on that, check out http://www.OakleyProAm.com.
Before we knew it, it was Saturday and we were back on the beach. We cruised over to the Oakley North Shore house to spend the day with some of the up and coming surf team, along with Eric Koston, David Wells, Gary Sheffield, the Oakley Hawaii crew, and the FMR team. As expected, the day was done up proper with a DJ Baumer and DJ Dax taking turns on the tables, a Hawaiian BBQ serving up grub all day, coolers full of beverages, and some super fun slightly overhead sets rolling through. In between partying and football, everyone eventually made it down to the water for a swim, including Sheff joining Wells (who happened to be a fish in his own right). Also, it just so happened that the Target House was right next door and Carissa Moore was in the water absolutely slaying it! She never ceases to amaze me with her frontside style. It was putting a bunch of the guys to shame for sure. After a long day, a great sunset, and a star-lit cigar with Sheff and Wells, we called it a day and headed back to the resort. The night ended up getting a bit wild but fun was had all around and everyone said their goodbyes.