In the islands where surfing started, the waves on that specific day were a failure—soft, mid-section high, and annoyingly occasional. Still, Hawaiians have never required a lot of a reason to snatch a board and hit the sea, and the departure zone was stuffed. High schoolers on shortboards. Mothers on longboards. Grade-schoolers on bodyboards. A person with a dim pig tail on a stand-up paddleboard. Some had tribal tattoos in the style of Polynesian warriors. Straddling my surfboard in the profound water close to the reef, I overviewed the group with a bunch in my stomach, feeling that I didn’t have a place.

Makaha has for quite some time been known as a shoreline where haoles, a Hawaiian expression for white individuals and different outcasts, wander at their danger. Situated on Oahu’s west drift, a long way from the alluring North Shore hordes of Sunset Beach or Pipeline or the bundle travelers at Waikiki Beach, it has a notoriety for being a firmly isolated group commanded by relatives of the antiquated Polynesian seafarers who settled the islands.