I want to write about my time surfing in Hawaii before it fades from memory. I went out immediately upon arrival - dropped my things in my hotel room and rented a board to paddle out at Waikiki (across the street from where we were staying). It was a really small day, like 1-2', and it was packed. I did some good paddling and went for a couple of waves, but not much was going on. Or I should say, not much was going on for me. Some people have the muscles to do something with 1-2'. I do not.
I felt discouraged immediately because of the crowds, but more than that, the reef. We're blessed with a soft, sandy ocean floor here in Oregon, and the sharp, ubiquitous rocks and reef that surround the island make it hard for a beginner to play around with confidence. Luckily, I have no shame and no ego around my surfing (I think that's what happens when it takes you 9 months to stand up), so right away I decided to book a couple of private lessons. I wanted to really enjoy some water time.
I went with a school that taught at a break right there at Waikiki (although away from the crowds) so I could minimize travel time. I called the school and just said - hey, I'm not a total beginner, but almost, and they set up me up with Ray, 38, from Rockaway Beach, NY. Let me tell you - the surf gods were watching over me that day because Ray was a rock star. And we had a blast.