A surfing lesson can fast-forward your learning


Duke Paoa Kahanamoku and other legendary Hawaiian beach boys are the original surfing instructors, from whom all modern surfers have benefited, whether they acknowledge it or are even aware of it. Early beach boys not only taught surfing lessons, they taught life lessons as well. Surfing, to a beach boy, was life. In or out of the water. Many a student reported life-transforming experiences after going surfing with a surfing master - a beach boy. These saintly men shared their mana, aloha and surfing knowledge because, first and foremost, of heart. After all, the few bucks the beach boys made teaching has been spent and is long gone, but the love and knowledge the beach boys graciously taught us lives eternally on.

Surfing is a degree of higher education unto itself, so easy to do but so very difficult to master. Everyone, including pro surfers, should attend and benefit from a higher educational surfing school if given the opportunity. Knowledge rules. In surfing, having knowledge promotes performance, increases safety as well as expanding the overall surfing experience. Surfing lessons transpose perfectly into life lessons. A person that learns to be super aware while in the ocean will remain super aware out of the ocean. The person that learns to see waves coming in advance will be able to see many things coming in advance, including life events. With proper surfing instruction, what took a lifetime for a master surfing teacher to learn can be transferred to a student in a relatively short time. One surfing lesson with a master surfing instructor can save a person years and years of struggle, trial and error. Many surfers advance a year or more in their surfing understanding and ability with just one surfing lesson.

Not all surfers agree however that surfing lessons are a good thing. A minority of “hardcore” surfers actually frown on surfing lessons and surfing instructors. These hardcore surfers feel that because they had to learn the hard way, others should too. In addition, these surfers also feel surfing lessons are the reason the waves are becoming more and more crowded. Essentially they view surfing exclusively as theirs, it’s their beach, their waves, their sport. They do not welcome new surfers. Instead, they discourage them. Fortunately, these so-called hardcore surfers are in the minority. In reality they see themselves as hardcore surfers but real hardcore surfers follow the ideology of the original hardcore surfers such as Duke. Duke not only gave us surfing equally, if not more important, he shared the spirit and aloha of surfing.

Surfing harms no one and benefits all. Unfortunately, by denouncing surfing lessons, these hardcore surfers are denouncing their own rightful heritage and responsibility of passing on the knowledge of surfing and aloha. Duke more than likely loved the ocean as much as life. But he did not horde, he shared. Duke passed on the joy and knowledge he had gained from a lifetime of ocean experience. All surfers owe it to Duke and other beach boys to return what was given to them - knowledge of aloha and surfing.

Post-modern beach boys ,the Willis brothers, acknowledge and are greatly thankful to Duke Paoa Kahanamoku and the original beach boys who came before us, showing the way when there was no other map to follow. Duke would be happy to see surfing flourishing all over the world, his future generations learning and fully enjoying the sport of kings of which he selflessly promoted. Share the waves and pass the knowledge. If you do, the world will be a better place. Aloha.

E-mail surfing experts Michael and Milton Willis at