Whether you’re a ten-year-old inspired by Lilo & Stitch or a boomer who came of age to a Beach Boys soundtrack, catching a wave off a Hawaiian beach fulfils many a fantasy.
Think you can’t? Nancy Emerson, a former world champion surfer with 35 years of teaching experience, insists that if her dog can surf, so can you. If you can swim, accredited instructors of Nancy’s unique “Learn to Surf in One Lesson” program can teach you ocean awareness and the basics of form and technique in a holistic approach that dovetails ability, safety, fun and the aloha spirit.
Clinics are offered on the Hawaiian island of Oahu at all skill levels, with getaways for guys and girlfriends of all ages and family groups being popular options. Private lessons are also available.
When is a good time to go? Thundering thirty-foot waves at famed North Shore surf spots like Waimea and Pipeline attract professional and other elite surfers–and their fans–during the winter months. Waikiki’s slower “combers” are perfect for beginners to train on, though wave action gets heavier on the south shore during the summer.
With over 50 beaches on Oahu, Nancy’s instructors can always find a training ground suited to your skill level but it’s best to call the Surf Clinics first at 1 808 294-5544 to discuss your experience and possible lesson dates before booking a flight.
Now available, too, is Stand-up Paddling (SUP – also called stand-up paddle boarding or surfing). Hawaiian C4 stand-up paddle boarding uses a stand-up board and paddle to incorporate coastal exploration on flat water with a super core workout. C4 stands for Balance, Endurance, Strength and Tradition. The sport has been around for decades as a way of riding the ocean swells and going fishing but today is one of the world’s fastest-growing recreational water sports. C4 SUP equipment can be ordered through Nancy Emerson’s Oahu surf school. Being done on flat water, SUP is a skill and sport that–once learned–is easily transferred and enjoyed back home. Call 1 808 294-5544 to reserve private or semi-private classes, or sign up for an SUP adventure tour and see turtles and other sea life along Oahu’s coastline from a unique vantage point.
For lots more on surf and SUP lessons and Nancy Emerson’s interesting career, check out the Nancy Emerson School of Surfing website. Check out Nancy’s blog, too, for an inside look at surfing culture as well as fascinating notes on the sport’s history and cultural aspects.
For more information on travel to Hawaii and the Hawaiian islands, visit the state’s official tourism website. Click on “photos and videos” to see gorgeous footage of Waikiki and find out why it’s the ideal place to make your surfing dreams come true.
If you go: Air Canada flies daily to Honolulu from Toronto’s Pearson airport. Flight Centre often offers excellent-value flight/hotel packages in Waikiki, too.
For more impressions and links for Oahu, see my blog.