Learning To Surf In Hawaii

I definitely bit off more than I could chew for my first surfing trip... Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.org

I definitely bit off more than I could chew for my first surfing trip… Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.org

When I was 15, my uncle decided for my parents 35th wedding anniversary he was taking all of us to Hawaii (yup, he’s my favorite uncle! J). I was very excited to go and I really wanted to hit the famous waves when we got there.

Growing up in California, I would go body boarding all the time but I never had the desire to try surfing. Well my cousin, who was 20 at the time, decided Hawaii was the place for me to start surfing… BAD IDEA! But being 15 I said, “Let’s do it!”

We rented boards and hit the beach. From the sand the waves looked about 4 feet tall and lots of fun. We paddled out and realized these waves were really far out there, which also meant they were WAY bigger than I thought. When we finally got out there, they were over 10 feet tall… I realized this was going to be a challenge. Another ‘pleasant’ surprise was the giant field of lava rock underneath, which caused the waves to be so large. The lava rock turned out to be another hard lesson…

I went for my first wave ever on a surfboard. Big surprise… I fell. I quickly learned a couple of things about the waves in Hawaii.

  1. When a 10 foot wave takes you down, it holds you down. Whatever breath you thought was sufficient for the experience… it wasn’t.
  2. What made the waves so large was that field of lava rock was only a few feet below the surface… AWESOME!

So now I find myself being held under water for about a minute at a time, all the while being tumbled over and raked across razor sharp lava rock. GOOD TIMES!

I finally made it safely back to shore, bleeding everywhere because I was cut from head to toe. As I sat on the sand with what was left of the surfboard and a nice sized puddle of blood growing around me, I realized I just learned a valuable life lesson… KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS!

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It’s stories like this one that keeps me humble behind the drum kit. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I was in over my head trying to learn some complex fill on the drums before I was even ready to pick up a pair of sticks.

In my opinion, the worst way to progress behind the kit is to bite off more than you can chew. Just take each new lesson one at a time, really get it down so it’s comfortable, then move onto the next thing. Your progression will be steady and much less frustrating… trust me.

Leave A Reply (1 comment so far)


  1. Chris Aragona

    So very true.

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