Surf-riding is the Hawaiian national sport.
It requires skillful handling of an “onini,” surf-board, or
a canoe with starboard outrigger.
The onini is about the shape of your ironing-board, perhaps
two or three feet longer.
Face downward on his surf-board, the native paddles well out
beyond the breakers and awaits the larger waves.
As a huge roller approaches he turns and paddles shoreward
with hands and feet, until the mighty impulse of the wave
overtakes him; then with almost incredible dexterity and
agility he keeps his board airily balanced on the crest of
the rushing waters, and
speeds shoreward at the rate of forty miles an hour.
If not expert in this nice manipulation, he may slip and
slide from his skittish steed, and be ignominiously engulfed
by the inevitable deluge.
Some of these surf-riders, highly intrepid and proﬁcient in
this exhilarating sport, come shoreward on their foaming
standing upright on the surf-boards- board and man one
darkly silhouetted ﬁgure of exquisite equilibrium speeding
with startling swiftness in an ecstasy of power and pride.
The transient tourist may be well content to tempt the great
breakers very modestly in a conventional bathing suit, and
be glad if they hurl him upon the comfortable warm sands
without dragging him back in the undertow.
At any rate, a dip in the beauteous, vigorous surf of
Waikiki will render him delightfully appreciative of his
evening dinner at the splendid Moana Hotel.
Here, on broad verandas, the ungraceful process of eating
We have found a new joy in life.
The charm of human voices, the music of rippling laughter,
the soft strains of plaintive Hawaiian melodies, the
ceaseless boom of the surf along the rounded shore, with
over all the silvery shimmer of the moonlight, in all this
we have a hint of that longed for world which humanity in
all ages has ever sought - the world of Paradise, Elysium,
Valhalla, or Heaven.