When it comes to Hawaii, the West Side of Oahu is unmatched. From the moment you hit Nanakuli you feel the energy. Its a place full of ohana, friendly faces, misunderstood natives and MANA. The West Side normally gets a bad reputation for being “mean” or “unwelcoming” but I think its because the people are UN-APOLOGETICALLY HAWAIIAN AS F@&#. One place that personifies the spirit of the WEST SIDE is MAKAHA BEACH. The West Side is one of the last palces in Hawaii that you can really be Hawaiian. The fishing -the surfing -the history- the land is still pretty untouched by Haoles. It is one of the great wonders of the world.
Makaha is home to one of the MOST IMPORTANT contests in the world, The BUFFALO BIG BOARD SURFING CLASSIC. It is more than just a surf contest, its a celebration of wave riding. Its the only contest that showcases all the different ways to ride waves. Canoe-SUP-LongBoard- Bullyboard-Paipo Board – SupSquatch and Bodysurfing are some of the events you can find. But its not traditional points and judges. Its about showing style and grace while doing maneuvers only a waterman(or women) would attempt. The energy is up the whole weekend and every event is so full of laughter/ excitement/ love and tradition. People come from around the word to experience this place. It truly shows you that “WE ARE ALL CONNECTED BY WATER not divided by land”- Brian Keaulana.
When you watch the contestants out in the water you can see the level of skill and connection they have with the water. It starts with the kids and can be seen in the oldest of competitors, its a sense of kinship and respect for the water that you can see in their performance. Some of the best surfers and wave riders you will ever see come to MAKAHA for this weekend of He’e Nalu. The ocean to the westsiders is more then just a fun time…its their church..school..safe place..home..the place that brings them peace.
When you visit here it is clear that their is a pecking order and its that structure that the surf communities in CA etc. are missing. Its also clear that respect must be earned and it doesnt matter what you ride but HOW YOU RIDE. When you surf in California or other places you get a lot of attitudes and disrespect just for being on a certain board.
In the water of Makaha there is a structure and a sort of inclusion that is sorely lacking here in the states. One of the best lessons I learned from Makaha surfers was “SHUT UP and SURF…Let your ACTIONS speak for you”
If you ever get the chance to visit consider coming for the BBBSC !