Getting Ready To Try The SurfWhile lying on the big, yellow surfboard and paddling hard with my hands, I caught the wave perfectly. I quickly grabbed the sides of the board, pushed up with my arms, slid my feet forward, and stood up on the board. Though I was too straight up and very stiff, I was doing something that, at more than sixty years old, I thought I would never try….riding a beautiful Hawaiian wave all the way to the beach on the island of Oahu!
This all started because a good friend had told me about a group of off-duty, Hawaiian firefighters who had incorporated their love for surfing and water safety into a teaching program that allows normal, not so athletic folks into becoming surfers. Hawaiianfire as a company, however, began from an idea that came from the minds of Garrett Valles and Kevin Miller in early 2000.

In order to provide a place where guests could learn in a secluded area with constant wave action, the firefighters searched all over the island of Oahu. After finding the perfect spot, the best island firefighters were hired as instructors, state-of-the-art safety equipment was employed, and Hawaiianfire Surf School became a reality.

Though every detail of easy and safe surfing has been thoroughly studied and embodied into the school, it is really the instructors and support crews that make Hawaiianfire so unique. Every person I met during my day with Hawaiianfire was extremely upbeat and seemed to have a passion about surfing and sharing their knowledge with each student.

Old Reporter Rides A Wave As Fireman CheersOld Reporter Rides A Wave As Fireman CheersAs with me, many of the students had doubts about their physical skills and were quite skeptical on the successful outcome of this surfing expedition. The instructors, however, wouldn’t hear of failure, kept telling everyone how easy this would be, gave excellent instructions, and as a result, no student left without riding a wave from the standing position. In fact, in ten tries, I rode waves all the way to the beach five times.
After 9/11, we all have a big soft spot in our hearts for firefighters and policemen everywhere, and after learning to surf with these brave men and women, everyone in my group came away with an even greater respect for them. Their overall professionalism, meticulous attention to every aspect of safety, and personal interest in everyone they taught was extremely refreshing. Therefore, I would highly recommend this experience to anyone planning to visit Hawaii. Because of the popularity of this surfing school, however, reservations are required to attend. For more information, contact surf@hawaiianfire.com on the web, or call them toll-free at 888-955-7873.

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