I surf on Wednesday and Sunday mornings... a little surf break in Waikiki. It's a real melting pot of tourists, locals, amateurs and longtime surfers (they stay on the far outside break where the waves actually qualify as waves). I surf with my friend E___ who is a religion professor at a local college. He is really great and mind splittingly funny. Last Sunday we did our usual...he picked me up at 8 with his truck and we ambled into Waikiki, no breakfast, one cup of coffee each. E__usually eats something he regrets, like an omelette. Not a good plan if you're going to be laying on your stomach.
As we walked our longboards to the place where we get in the water (the beach) there were a bunch of "county-fair-like" tents set up with tables underneath. Oh No...Surf contest! There was a guy with a microphone up in a tower telling bad jokes and giving the results of the last heat. I then noticed the prayer area, the "Surf for Sri Lanka" pamphlets, the guys setting up with their acoustic guitars....and a guy with crosses on his surfboard. And a lady with WWJD on her board and a ginormous picture of a red rose. And another board with a cross on it. Holy Crap, they were surfing for Jesus! Suddenly crosses were everywhere.
E___ and I were paranoid about where we could surf; we didn't want to paddle out into the middle of the contest. So I asked a guy getting ready to go into the water. "Hey man can we still surf today?" " Not over there you can't." Yipes...so snarky! But maybe that is his game/race attitude. Some people get really pumped. Ok though. Still ready for some wave action (it was between one and 2 feet) we paddled out to our usual spot.
I guess I'll explain what it is like to wait for waves..it's like waiting for a train. There is a group of people and you see their faces and they see you and sometimes one of you will catch a wave and then you paddle back to the same place or maybe not. So the waiting part is the same but there are no newspapers or ipods to prevent interaction. Sometimes people will exchange niceties, talk about the conditions, or just smile, it's pretty cool...everyone has a little bit different style. And man, the peace is great. Anyway, the vibe was strange. There was a super aggro guy (crosses on the bottom of his board) who was cutting off people and really trying to carve up these little tiny faces (the face of the wave) and people weren't looking at us or being friendly at ALL. It was so strange. I caught one wave then paddled back to E___. After a bit we agreed that we weren't having any fun so we caught some little waves back to shore. By that time the uprising was in full force and there was a man caught up in what I guess was a personal conversation with god. I went to the shower with my board and this amping like on crack guy came up after me (cross tattoos) with no board and was treating me like I should just get out of the way so he could shower. Does Jesus say that girls with yellow boards should go last? I bet that's in the good book....the one written about my imaginary friend Jesus.
E___ and I practically sprinted back to the truck dodging spirited revelers and Japanese tourists here for Golden Week. Then we went for coffee and apple cake. Thank God.