Aloha Principles

Aloha is a word with many meanings. It can mean Hello, Goodbye, Love and also I Love You!
Below are the traits of each character in the word ALOHA, that express the charm, the warmth, the sincerity, the generosity, and the love of an intangible substance or a spirit known to many in Hawaii Nei as "ALOHA".

     A -akahai:
Which means kindness to be expressed with a feeling of tenderness
     L - lokahi: Which means unity to be expressed with a feeling of harmony
     O - olu`olu: Which means agreeable to be expressed with a feeling of pleasantness
     H - ha`aha`a: Which means humility to be expressed with a feeling of modesty
     A - ahonui: Which means patience to be expressed with a feeling of perseverance

Teaching surfing with the Aloha Principle in mind is at the heart of our philosophy. We feel that teaching surfing in this way will not only enrich the students experience but also shine positively on others.

Safety Tips

1. When in doubt don't go out

  • If you're not familiar with a surf spot and you're alone, you should definitely not go out.
  • If the waves are bigger than you're used to, and you're feeling more fear than butterflies, don't go out.
  • If your not feeling well, not 100%, don't go out.

2. Never turn your back on the ocean.

  • Waves can sneak up on you, so always keep an eye out, especially when you are getting in and out of the water.
  • The ocean is a continually changing, dynamic environment; playful waist high surf can turn life threatening rapidly. In the end it is up to you to be aware of your surrounding's.
  • When in the ocean always keep an eye open for the unexpected; marine life, boat traffic, rip currents, other surfers and water goers, etc.

3. Never overestimate your ability or underestimate the power of the ocean.

  • The ocean can put you in your place even if you are in great shape. So if you haven't been surfing in a long time and are kind of out of shape, pick a spot that has small waves and no current.
  • The ocean is more powerful than any of us; it is up to us to use caution when we are in and around the water.

4. If you get caught in a current it is best to go with it and swim at a 45-degree angle to get out of it.

  • Even the strongest swimmer can tire trying to fight a current. Learning about the different kinds of currents will make you a much safer ocean user.
  • Help others to recognize currents." Surf aloha, live aloha."

5. Learn about the place you are going to surf by sitting on the beach and watching for at least 15 to 20 minutes.

  • There is a lot to learn by sitting on the beach before you go out surfing and it's FREE! Since waves come in sets, you can learn how big the sets are. You can also learn the period of time between sets and that can make your paddle out a lot easier.
  • Take time to observe where and how the waves are breaking.
  • You can also watch the surfers and all their different styles of riding waves.
  • If someone loses their board, you can observe where the waves and currents will take it. That information can make a big difference if you lose your board.

6. Always be aware of others in the water. You may need to help someone out.

  • Part of being a good surfer and water person is being ready to help others. The ocean is for every one and by helping out others, you are truly living Aloha.
  • Take a water safety course and carry a floatation device with you.
  • There are many ways to help a person in distress in the ocean. Sometimes it is best to call 9ll so that professionals can help out. Use your cell phone to make the call and stay to keep an eye on the person in distress and direct the rescuers.

7. Even if you surf with a leash you should learn how to hold on to your board so it doesn't hit other people.

  • Today many people learn to surf with a leash connecting them to their boards. This can speed up the learning curve, but comes with drawbacks. Even with a leash, you must be a competant swimmer. You never know when your leash might break.

8. Have a first aid kit with you; you never know when it may be needed.

  • Many surf spots aren't near help and if you have a first aid kit it can mean a lot to someone in need.

9. Become a strong swimmer and practice holding your breath both in and out of the water.

  • I can't stress this one enough; you can't be a good surfer if you don't know how to swim well.
  • Practice holding your breath in a controlled environment. This will help your body become more accustomed to it when you are in the very uncontrolled environment of the ocean.

10. Take ocean safety courses and learn from the professionals.

  • There are different types of water safety courses that you can take. Find one that suits your needs and comfort level.

Surf Tips

1. When in doubt, don't go out!!!!!!!!!

  • Be honest with yourself, if things aren't feeling right, don't go out!
  • Surfing is a life long journey, so be around for it!
  • Learn to trust your intuition.

2. It is best to use the buddy system and surf with a friend.

  • It is not only nice to have a friend to surf with but also nice to able to look out for each other. Share the stoke and surf with a friend.

3. Knowing surf etiquette and living with aloha will get you a long way in the surfing world and in life.

  • Don't go to the school of hard knocks; learn surf etiquette as you learn to surf.

4. Be a strong swimmer, your leash will break some day and you may have to swim a long way to shore.

  • Along with developing your swimming ability you should also develop your knowledge of wind, waves and currents. This will help you in many ways, including knowing which way to swim when you lose your board.

5. Learn how to relax and be comfortable in the water.

  • There is no better way to get comfortable in the ocean than spending a lot of time there. If you are serious about getting good at surfing, go surfing as much as you can.

6. Give waves to other people, it will put a smile on their faces and yours too. "Surf Aloha, Live Aloha"

  • On of the nice things about surfing is sharing the experience, believe me, it comes back to you ten fold.

7. Keep in mind; what goes around comes around!

  • Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

8. Spice up your surfing by riding different kinds of surfboards and different kinds of waves.

  • There are so many kinds of waves and boards and so many styles in surfing, have fun and experiment.

9. Develop your upper body and legs.

  • One of the best ways to build your upper body for surfing is paddling; some people like to get paddleboards and paddle in rivers, streams and the ocean.
  • There are many ways to build up your leg strength, find ones that suit you.
  • A good surfing body is one that is toned and not overly muscular.

10. Practice paddling a lot.

  • There are many different paddling techniques, try them out and see what works best for you. The main thing is that you become a strong and confident paddler.

11. Develop your swimming ability.

  • Since the water is so cold in Northern California, pool swimming is a great way to get your training in.

12. Watch how others ride waves and learn from it.

  • One of the great things about surfing is watching other surfers ride waves. There are so many different styles, find your own!
  • Watching surf videos is a good way to study people's styles. Pay close attention to how a surfer shifts their weight as they ride a wave.
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Lars is in his third decade of teaching surf lessons in Santa Cruz and Hawaii
Mahalo and Let's Surf
Lars Hansen (831) 247-4989 cell 831.247.4989