Have you ever been to Hawaii for a visit, or have you recently moved here? You may experience some territorial behavior from its inhabitants, and be called a Haole. This means you are either white, Caucasian, or of some English decent that is ultimately foreign to the natives of Hawaii. Anyway, if you want to be accepted by the locals, you need to do a few key things to gain their friendship.
First of all, it helps to have an extroverted friend that has been living here awhile to help break the ice with the Bras! (Notice I did not say Bro, it is pronounced with an “a” .) When a large group of locals already knows your friend, well that makes it much easier to feel like one of the crowd. So if you know somebody who has been living here awhile, it makes it much easier.
But what if you don’t have this luxury? What if you are a snow-skinned white-boy from the mainland and you are fresh off Hawaiian Airlines flight 234 from Vegas? What then?
It’s pretty simple really! Start off with having a humble attitude. Nothing irritates people more than some jerks that show up in their town, trash the place, talk like idiots, and show general disrespect. You know who you are. Well, this is probably not the best place for that behavior, as you will most likely wind up with a big target on your back when you hit the waves. If you indeed try surfing that is.
Secondly, while embracing a humble and respectful attitude, tend to point out your differences first, instead of letting them pour a spotlight on you. If it is in your nature to make fun of yourself, and even refer to yourself as a “dumb Haole”, they will know you have respect for their territory. This means, if and when you hit the waves, you won’t be dive-bombed by a wall of charging Hawaiians. Don’t disrespect yourself mind you, but if you show them that you respect their wisdom of the islands, you will be a cool dude to them.
Now this all brings up a good point. Know where the surf spots are, and where to boogie board. Generally, you can’t surf in an area of boogie boarders, and you can’t boogie board in an area for surfers. Paddle out with the wrong stick, and you may not have a pleasant experience. However, this rule does not always apply when you are a life-long local.
Also, stay the heck away from the breaks further out! Unless you are very experienced to begin with, this is insulting to the Bras, and again may be subject to some issues. Stay on the breaks closer to shore and out of their way until you start to grow some whiskers.
General surf criteria will always apply, which pretty much means stay out of their way. They have respect for your time on the waves, but you have got to give them the right of away ultimately. Again, once you have been around awhile and have established a good rapport, they will even offer to paddle out to bigger breaks with you. Now that is cool!
Overall, you have got to show them you are different, so they will accept you for being the same. And that is how you become one cool Haole! Does any of this sound familiar?