waikikiBeach Lessons From My Father

  1. As you’re packing the cooler, remember a little too much is the perfect amount. The coldest drinks are going to be at the bottom. The beer goes in first.
  2. Carry meat tenderizer in your beach bag for jelly fish stings. Pat stings with wet sand; don’t rub. Suck it up and get back in the water.
  3. If you’re caught in a rip current, don’t fight it. Relax. Slowly work your way across the current, usually parallel to the shore until you’re free. Once out, if you continue to swim a little farther parallel, there’s a good chance you’ll hit another current that will take you back to shore. Do not tire yourself out by fighting the current or waving your arms or shouting. I’m busy. You can handle this.
  4. Ice cold water from the beach showers isn’t cold. Suck it up and get back in that water. No way you’re coming near the car like that.
  5. mom_dad_meAfter washing all the sand off, if you walk correctly—high, flat, carefully placed steps, no flicking your slippahs or dragging your towel, you can make it to the car sand-free. Otherwise you have to start all over.
  6. At volleyball, old and treacherous beats young and enthusiastic every time.
  7. Spitting into a swim mask keeps it from fogging, but unless you’re a tourist or spear fishing you don’t need a mask. Just open your eyes. It’s good for you.
  8. If you don’t want someone to pee on your foot, watch out for wana when climbing around the tide pools.
  9. When the sun sets, get out of the water. Sharks come in and feed at dawn, dusk, and through the night, especially near harbors and the mouths of rivers. Better you don’t swim there. Everybody knows sharks prefer white meat, and you look way too haole to chance ‘em.
  10. Run to the big wave, not away.
  11. Nobody ever died from rolling up the beach no matter how much ocean and sand they coughed up. Told you to run to the big wave, not away. Now suck it up and get back in the water.

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