January 22, 2005
A parent’s dream come true. Some entrepreneurial Honolulu firefighters started Hawaiianfire to take small groups out and teach them about surfing.
Lessons run at 7:00am or a 9:30am pick-up. A Hawaiianfire van picks you up at your hotel and takes you to a secluded beach. You have 45 minutes of on the beach training and another hour and 15 minutes in the water.
Patrick was so excited that he woke up at 3:30am in the morning, asking if it was time for his surf lessons. The van arrived right at 7am to our hotel. Our driver was full of personality and quickly sensed the excitement and tad bit of nervousness. His demeanor quickly soothed any jitters anyone had.
It was drizzling when we left Waikiki, but pouring by the time we got to the beach. A huddle of firefighters was called and they gave us an option. We could do the class in the rain, or they would be happy to work with us and reschedule another time. We all agreed, you will get wet surfing anyway - let's just do it.
Ryan taught the first part of the class under a tent. He taught the basics and good surfmanship. He was fun and casual, but you could sense he was serious about the rules and making sure everyone was getting down the correct methods. As you would expect from firefighters, safety was a strong message.
Then the kids put on their rash guards and were introduced to their instructors - then it was time to hit the water. As is typical in Hawaii, the rain had now turned back into a light and even pleasant drizzle.
Breana had a prince of a teacher - Tyrone. He carried her into the water and rode with her. When she got uncomfortable and cold, he brought her in and shared his personal hot chocolate with her. It's safe to say, she left with a bit of a school girl crush on him!
Patrick's instructor - Kenny and he hit it off right way. Kenny a dad himself, knew just how to work with a 9 year old. Patrick got up right away, and on each turn, got a new tip or two, and with each run, showed more control and technique. Everyone not only showed a passion for the sport, but a love of sharing it.
The groups were made up of all ages. Regular lessons are a 3-to-1 ratio. All children under 11 must take a private lesson. The main lesson is $120, and the private for kids is $170. The cost includes transportation, foam surfboards, a leash, reef shoes, rash guards, a shade tent (or rain tent), chairs, and lessons.
From journal Mele Kalikimaka from Honolulu