When I was a kid, family holidays were all about finding paradise. That seemed the one criteria for my parents when selecting holiday destinations; there had to be sun, heat, beaches, ocean and palm trees!
One of my favourite places to travel to with my parents was Hawaii. One of my favourite things to do became surfing. While it may seem strange not to learn to surf at home in Australia – learning to surf on Waikiki Beach on Oahu was definitely an unforgettable experience!
My instructor’s name was Aki. A thickset Hawaiian with a family of his own, he taught surfing for a living. We caught up with Aki in later return visits to Hawaii, and he eventually got me off the long board and onto a little red thruster. He nicknamed me ‘Termite’. This was because when I wasn’t having lessons, I would surf out next to the guys giving lessons to groups of tourists. When the surf got crowded they would call at me if a wayward learner was headed my direction. I was always quick to get out of the way – like a termite, so they thought.
Learning to surf is hard when you’re trying to stay on the wave long enough for a photo!
Tandem surfing with my instructor Aki – just like Gidget!