Leo R

It's been a while since I have surfed those glassy waves that hit the Hawaiian coast early in the morning, when the wind is not yet blowing and I still remember vividly my very first time there. Probably like most of you, I wasn't really a pro surfer (and I haven't become one either), however, before I took my very first trip to Hawaii I was dreaming of it and I have to say it was nothing short of what my dream looked like. The first thing that caught my attention when I landed on the island of Maui was its size. We all look at the map before we take a plane to go somewhere new and those islands looked very, very small on the map. I didn't quite realise beforehand that they appeared to be so small, just because they are in 1000+ square miles of Pacific Ocean and with so much ocean around them, everything looks small.

In my dream, those islands were much smaller and I could walk everywhere while on the islands; in reality it would take me a solid hour to drive across the island on a motorcycle I rented (a proper BMW motorcycle, not a moped). Before I ventured to the hall-of-fame pro-surfer spots like Jaws, I decided to take some lessons and play it safe for once. There was no shortage of surf instructors in Lahaina harbour and no shortage of cool people to meet so I rented a softy (aka a board that is shaped like a mini malibu and has a soft top) and headed to the water.


The area of Lahaina harbour is great for beginners because it has long waves that come in relatively slow sets, so you have time to paddle out and catch the right wave for your skills. Fortunately, Lahaina is a sandy spot so if you end up under water hitting the bottom, you don't get shredded like parmesan cheese - which is what you risk when the spot you are surfing has plenty of rocks or corals underwater. These waves look small but if you're coming from the Mediterranean as I was, you’ll be surprised how hard they hit your legs when the water is just above your knees.

The surf on the other hand was great and soon I discovered another spot called Hookipa. This spot is on the north side of the island of Maui, not far from Jaws. (...yes, if you are thinking about Jaws the movie, I think they have something in common!) Hookipa became famous as one of the best spots for windsurfing on the planet and it's there that I had the pleasure (and honour, I should say) to assist one of Robbie Naish's windsurfing sessions. Watching Waterman, Robbie Naish windsurfing on those big waves made it [windsurfing] look like anyone could do it nonchalantly sipping a cup of coffee. Not really! Ultimately, Hookipa was a bit of a rough experience for me as a beginner but very rewarding as my skills picked up the pace.

If you want to try bigger waves like I did, but play it safe at the same time, you can opt for a body board rather than a surf board. You'll have a lot more fun and will be sure to catch more waves.

Blog article and images courtesy of Leo Rodriquez, Travel Writer. Image source: I Stock

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the terms available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.