Although we typically do not encounter wildlife, we do teach guests about the uniqueness and fragility of the environment. We ensure that guests do not step on the reef and know the proper way to "fall", so as not to injure themselves or the reef. We utilize our surf lessons to educate the public about the marine environment.
Before entering the water, we conduct a land-based briefing to give a site overview, educate guests about proper etiquette in the water and review safety measures. We do not provide "reef booties" to guests, as we do not want guests walking on the reef. We actively take steps to protect the marine environment and to ensure that our surfing activities do not negatively impact the surrounding environment. On all of our tours, we promote a message of conservation and appreciation of nature.
We host annual cultural training, hosted by our resident cultural advisor, Iokepa Nae'oli. Each tour teaches basic Hawaiian principles such as malama, kuleana, pono, etc. We also pay for half the costs for guides to attend language classes at UHMC. We provide traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoe surfing as a tour option, and include in-depth cultural information during this tour.
Before each lesson or tour, guides provide an educational talk about the environment, a brief cultural history, a background/overview of surfing and the history of surfing. We also have a land-based construction component where we review the fundamentals of surfing before we enter the water. In water, we assist guests in catching waves.
We provide pre-travel information about surf spots and what to expect during the lesson.
Iopeka Nae'oli (Cultural Advisor for Hawaiian Canoe Club) is our resident cultural advisor. Lauren Bickley (B.S. Marine Science and M.S. Coastal Marine Resource Management) provides natural resource training. Books and training materials are readily available to guides.