Big Kahuna

by

Brent Cannon

Mike Inouye now calls me the “Big Kahuna.” That’s because while Laura and I celebrated our ten year anniversary in Maui I learned how to surf.

I took about a two hour lesson from Island Style Adventures, and they did a great job. If they can teach a 46-year-old man from Colorado how to catch and ride a wave, they must be doing something right.

They start with about half an hour of instruction on the sand. You learn the best way
to stand up on your board, as well as a few tips about being in the water with waves coming at you.

Then you head out and put what you have learned to practical use. The weird thing is they have you wear a thin wet suit called “rash guard.” It does exactly what the name implies – it protects you from a type of rug burn you get while laying on your board and trying to stand and paddle. I felt like a little fat stuffed sausage. It was like being an over-inflated Michelin man.

Anyway – I paddled out and the instructor in the water helped me line up for an incoming wave. I almost got up, but fell over. However, I got a pretty good sense of how stable the board was, and on my second try, I got up! In fact, I went on to catch 12 out of 14 waves. I quit at an even dozen because I was exhausted. It takes a lot of work to paddle out – surf – and paddle back again. I was very happy. I had simply hoped to get up once – but twelve times – awesome dude!

Keep in mind I’m not a top shredder by any stretch. I can’t really steer. If somebody is in the way, or there is a rock or coral, I’m in trouble. But I can stand and ride a wave in. And the waves I was on must have been all of two feet high. There is no way I rode anything like what the great surfers ride at Mavericks. I am what they call a “newbee.” But I tried something new, and I did it.

Now I can cross another item off my list. Since turning 40, I have come up with several new things I’d like to try. Fly fishing was one. I still do that. Kayaking in the ocean was one. Did that. Snowshoeing was another. I still do that. Now surfing. I may have to incorporate that as a new, regular activity. I still have to “bag a 14er” – which is hike to the top of a 14,000 foot peak. I did that in my 20’s but I want to redo it as an “older gentleman.”

Brent Cannon
NBC11 Anchor

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