Two Bodyboarders, Three Lifeguards and Fifty Onlookers--10/7/00

Chlorine Drops

It was company picnic time, so our family and coworkers headed out to Kapolei to enjoy the new Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park.

This would be my second time there, and I was looking forward to bodyboarding the wave pool. I found that they hold three 1/2 hour sessions every day just for bodyboarding. All you had to do was rent the board for $5.

After fooling around a bit in some other attractions with the family, I headed for the first wavepool session. Already in the water were over a dozen Japanese tourists all taking their first plunge into wave riding, albeit chlorinated waveriding.

It was pretty funny watching them take instructions on catching waves, but I guess you have to start somewhere. The local guy was very fluent in Japanese--put me to shame big time.

We waited and waited for the machine to start but it soon became apparent that they were having some technical difficulties with the generator. Well, after about a half-hour delay, the tourists were forced to leave, given their rigid lunch schedule.

That left just myself and a local guy teaching his son in the water. After a few more minutes, the waves started. We had it all to ourselves!

Typhoon Lagoon this place was *not*! The waves were generated in four second intervals, with very weak, crumbly energy behind it. Of course, my first reaction was to try and trim, then do some maneuvers--no dice. My fat butt was way too heavy to get me around on a spin or roll, and the lack of swimfins had me wallowing without thrust.

But it was still fun. I got into this routine of catching the wave, then battling back out, doing a jump over one wave, then a duck dive under the next. I had to use my feet to maintain ground as the onslaught of waves kept pelting me back. It was damned tiring.

I took a short break to let my friend Waylen try, but quickly went back in for more.

The kid and I spent over a half-hour in the lineup, while all the other patrons looked on. Whenever they tried jumping in with the innertubes, the crowd was whistled out of the water by the lifeguards. Now I know what blackball feels like at the Wedge!

Finally, they let us catch one more ride before opening the pool up to the throngs of wannabes. I was grateful they finally stopped--my paws were raw and felt like I had played basketball barefoot all day.

Afterwards at the company picnic, I was constantly asked about how I got so lucky to surf in there virtually alone. All I could do was shake my head and smile. Gotta love technology!

Aloha from Paradise,