Oahu was the island of my birth and where I grew up. I was there during a wonderful time in the history of the Sport of Kings that, for obvious reasons, also became my chosen lifestyle. Of all the islands of Hawaii, I’ve always thought Oahu was the best one for the waves. I started surfing in Waikiki and to this day, am still able to easily find the magic that made it such a special place in spite of all the changes and development that’s occurred since I was 10 years old. All my schooling and early years were in Honolulu and the memories of growing older alongside the growth of this bustling and lively place as it went from a sleepy town to a colorful city, are splendid.
As my surfing skills improved, during the winter season, I would spend my time on North or West shores for the big waves found there. There were times when we would drive around the entire island several times in a day looking for surf but that was when gas cost $.25/ per gallon and between Kaneohe and Haleiwa, one might see less than a handful of cars coming the other way. In surfing, I found a life I wouldn’t trade for any other and I also found a livelihood that sustained me through today.
I like to think the saying came out of that first adventure.
The profound simplicity of the expression has helped me many times over the years in situations other than just surfing. Somehow we all discover that surfing lessons often have a lot more to do with life than they do with surfing. When your're wondering about that step your're about to take but haven't yet, remember...
"When in doubt, paddle out."
Who can say when it all began?
It's hard to remember anything from that long ago. Backtracking through the haze of memories is like looking for footprints in a swamp. Surfing was an easy hookup, even before I got my own surfboard. It was undeniable. Just watching it, I could see surfers were having a great time.