Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lawn Surfing at Kauai's Hanalei

Well, not exactly. These boards of all sizes are only taking a break on the green stuff before finding a new owner and heading onto the wet blue stuff, only a few blocks away at Hanalei Bay on the north shore of Hawaii.

The surfboard swap meet happens on the occasional Saturday, at the Hanalei School Shopping Center in the middle of town. Some boards are new, handmade by locals, but most are used, whose owners are looking to trade up, or just find a new ride. Prices are right.

Hanalei has one of the best beginner surfing breaks in Hawaii, at Black Pot Beach, which is home to the photogenic Hanalei Pier. Farther out, the bay also has the big-boy break called Queens (and others), offshore the Hanalei River. In the middle of the bay is the rough-and-tumble, many-tiered shore break at Pinetrees—home surf spot to former world pro champ, the late Andy Irons, and his brother, Bruce, who continues a tradition of excellence. Many of the surfers at the board swap will know the Irons brothers—Andy's death in 2010 hit the Kauai surfing family hard.