My Journey to Jaws

big wave           jaws big wave

I’ve always loved waves.  I think I started swimming before I could walk.  When I was a little kid I use to climb into my rain gear and my Mom would take me down to the beach on stormy days just so I could stand at the shore and get soaked by the two-f00t waves hitting the beach.  There’s something magical about the ocean for me.

Four years ago my family and I went on a family vacation to Hawaii.  I was allowed to bring a friend, just like when I was a kid!  We had a sweet condo on the beach, started doing all the tourist stuff and started being swept up in the aloha of Hawaii.  Addicted to learning new plants and survival skills I of course took the opportunity to fill the rent-a-car trunk with all sorts of new material, asking my Mom to pull over at any moment to gather palm fronds from tree trimmers and branches from trees to experiment with Hawaiian-style fire-by-friction.  I even had my Mom run over a coconut in the underground parking lot because I didn’t know how to open one with the green husk still on. She nearly lost it after I brought home a colony of ants with some hala leaves I planned to weave a basket with.


Use to my enthusiasm, my family and I were still having a wonderful bonding vacation, that was until my friend said, “Hey Nik, I think I want to take a surf lesson.  Will you go with me?”

Visions of surf photos and crashing waves reeled through my mind and I said, “That sounds like so much fun, you should definitely do it.  I can’t though because I’ll become totally addicted and will have to change my life forever.”   She just looked at me like I was crazy, but knew me well enough to know that something like that could definitely happen.

I always told myself I wouldn’t start surfing till I was 65, that way I’d be a cute little gramma out there in my pink bikini and no one would hassle me, but at the last second I decided to go with her.  After all, the school she chose, Surfer Bear Hawaii, had a price chart of $1 – $1 000 000.  I thought that was so weird I just had to check it out.

I stood up on my first wave.  It hooked me instantly.  From then on I pretty much ruined the family vacation, as I opted out of most activities or was late for those I made it for because of more surf lessons.  To top it off, I cancelled my flight home and stayed an extra two weeks.  My surf instructor has since become my bestest friend in the whole world and it’s like coming home to another family here in Hawaii every winter.  Surfing is our life.

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Since learning to surf I’ve always dreamed of seeing BIG waves while in Hawaii and this year the swell finally came to Maui.  I took a journey to Jaws.  Jaws or Peahi is one of the world’s best big wave surf break and towering 30 – 60 foot faces were thundering in last week.  These surfers have stepped beyond the realm of limitations…





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  1. chris daley says:

    So glad you are fulfilling your dreams. Wish I could be you.

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