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“The Sport of Kings” — An Ancient Hawaiian Tradition

By 1779, riding waves lying down or standing on long, hardwood surfboards was an integral part of Hawaiian culture. Surfboard riding was as layered into the society, religion and myth of the islands as baseball is to the modern United States. Chiefs demonstrated their mastery by their skill in the surf, and commoners made themselves famous (and infamous) by the way they handled themselves in the ocean. Anthropologists can only guess at the origin and evolution of wave-riding and surfboard construction in Polynesian culture, since there’s no certainty about the timeline and movements of the Polynesians. Around 2000 B.C., the migration of humans out of Asia and into the eastern Pacific began, and Polynesians established themselves within a large triangle, with Aotearoa (New Zealand) at the south point, Tonga and Samoa along the western boundary and Tahiti and the Marquesas to the east. Forced to migrate into the vast region by the push of population and the pull of the horizon, the first Polynesians arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in the fourth century A.D. The Polynesians who made the arduous journey from Tahiti and the Marquesas to Hawai’i were necessarily exceptional watermen and women who brought a deep love and knowledge of the ocean with them. The Polynesians who made it to Hawai’i also brought their customs with them, including playing in the surf on paipo (belly) boards. Although Tahitians are said to have occasionally stood on their boards, the art of surfing upright on long boards was certainly perfected if not invented in Hawaii.

Hungry in Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands are a medley of many of the world’s most fascinating cultures, brought to the region by immigrants of various ethnicities and fused together to create a diverse cultural melting pot. This international influence can be seen in various aspects of Hawaiian society, as well as inHungry in Hawaii its customs, particularly in the islands’ culinary styles.

The cultures that have most influenced the local cuisine include American, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Polynesian and Portuguese. Immigrants from these countries brought with them a variety of plants and animals as well as their own distinct methods of food preparation. Along with the internationally influenced cuisine, Hawaii also features its own native recipes as well.

Creative methods of preparation and innovative techniques are only a small part of what makes up the islands’ cross-cultured cuisine. What really gives Hawaiian food its flare is its fresh ingredients, which are foremost in the regional food preparation. Some of the main ingredients found in local dishes include fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, which is the highlight of Hawaiian food, and various meats, including pork. With so many styles of dining available on the Hawaiian Islands, even the pickiest vacationers are sure to find something to suit their taste buds.

The price of dining in Hawaii will depend on where you choose to eat, but visitors will be able to find anything from upscale dining to less expensive fast food options, as well as meals that are priced right in the middle. Each of Hawaii’s six islands has its own restaurants and eateries but, depending on the style of dining you choose, there isn’t much difference in their prices.

If you choose to dine at one of the islands’ fine dining establishments, the cost of your meal can be around $35(USD) or higher. The moderately priced restaurants have meals that range between $10(USD) and $20(USD), while restaurants with lower meal prices are around $5(USD) to $10(USD). No matter what kind of budget you have planned for your vacation, you should be able to find a restaurant that will fit your finances.

Hawaiian Renaissance

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.

Best Hawaiian Surf Spots

The US State of Hawaii has eight main islands: Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Kauai and Niihau. The most popular Hawaiian surf spots are located in The Big Island (Hawaii), The Valley Isle (Maui), The Garden Isle (Kauai) and in The Gathering Place (Oahu).

Hawaii is the capital of modern surfing. This group of Pacific islands gets swell from all directions, so there are plenty of pristine surf spots for all. Beginners, as well as advanced riders can surf almost all 365 days of the year.

Transparent water, glassy waves, tubular or slower rides, reef or sandy bottoms: you can surf all types of waves in Hawaii, as long as you’ve got a board. Ground swell is the key to the Hawaiian surf breaks.

Adrenaline will be running high when you try one of the Triple Crown of Surfing spots on Oahu’s North Shore. If you can handle the wave, the take-off and the surf line, then this is the ultimate surf destination. Here you will find Banzai Pipeline, Sunset Beach and Haleiwa Beach Park. They are some of the best-known surf spots in the world.

A good alternative is Backdoor, also known for its “rights on the other side of Pipeline.” Oahu’s North Shore is constantly testing your skills. Here you can expect fast drops, tough locals and sharp shallow reef. Learn how to surf – or teach others – at White Plains Beach and Waikiki Beach.

Big waves are also seen in Waimea Bay, one of the most recognized surf sanctuaries in the world of wave riding. Sandy Beach is a superb surf spot, too. Canoes is also great for beginners, but not exactly perfect for relaxed surfing. Despite the long rides, it is always very crowded.