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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, May 28, 2005

Bodyboarding O'ahu

 •  Reptiles rock at Bishop Museum
 •  Head to Honoka'a for horse culture
 •  Hay rides, games fun on the farm
 •  Woo hooo! Catch Da' FlowRider opening at water park
 •  'Shark' alert tonight at Waikiki's Sunset on the Beach

Advertiser Staff

OK, so spongers don't get much respect.

Two bodyboarders catch a wave at Walls in Waikiki. Its soft, rolling waves and easy access make Walls a prime bodyboarding spot.

Deborah Booker • The Honolulu Advertiser

But globally, bodyboarders — not their standing counterparts — rule the ocean in terms of sheer numbers. We're talking 7 million of them worldwide.

In Hawai'i, they're at every surf break on every island, clutching their spongy bodyboards, kicking and screaming down the face of waves.

And to spongers, there's no better way to experience the power of the ocean.

"You can get deeper on a wave, take off later and get into more critical waves than surfers," said Corey Correa, director of the International Bodyboarding Association of Hawai'i, the local tour for pro and amateur spongers. "Bodyboarders can do 10 times more maneuvers than surfers because of the versatility of riding on your belly. Some of the most exciting things you see at Pipe are done by bodyboarders."

Some popular bodyboarding spots on O'ahu:

Rebecca Breyer• The Honolulu Advertiser
Walls: Off the Kapahulu groin in Waikiki, Walls is the quintessential bodyboard spot. Its soft, rolling waves and easy access make it the perfect spot for beginners. Even during big summer south swells, this spot is relatively tame as it's protected by the outer reefs.

Sherwoods: This popular Waimanalo break is ideal for novices because of its soft waves and sandy bottom. Like Walls, Sherwoods is protected by an outer reef.

Makapu'u: This can be a tricky break, as the ocean conditions here change sporadically. And its shorebreak can be powerful and unforgiving. During a swell, the current is very strong. Beginners should use caution before paddling out and check with lifeguards about conditions.

Pounders: This break, between Hau'ula and La'ie, catches either a north or east swell. While its easy access and light current make it safe for beginners, large swells can turn Pounders into a challenging break better suited for more advanced spongers.

Sandy's: Dubbed one of the most treacherous shorebreaks in the nation, the break at Sandy Beach can be extremely dangerous even when it's small. The wave is hollow, the current strong. In fact, as lifeguards will attest, there are more neck injuries suffered at Sandy's than at any other surf break in the United States.

Pipeline: Considered the heaviest wave in the world, Pipeline, on O'ahu's famed North Shore, is one of the most difficult spots to bodyboard. And not just because of the wave's hollowness or the shallow (and jagged) reef below. The competition for waves, especially in the winter, can be fierce. And bodyboarders often find themselves near the bottom of that food chain.

Off the wall: Probably the best spot in Hawai'i for advanced spongers. This North Shore break boasts a high-performance wave featured in bodyboard mags around the world.

Reach Catherine E. Toth at 535-8103 or ctoth@honoluluadvertiser.com.

— Catherine E. Toth
Advertiser Staff Writer

• • •

What you need:

• Bodyboard between 39 and 42 inches long with a slick bottom.

• Fins, open-heeled type. Neoprene foot socks to protect your feet are optional.

• Leashes for your bodyboard and fins.

• Wax to slip-proof your bodyboard.

• Waterproof sunscreen.

Be sure you:

• Know how to swim.

• Talk to the lifeguard about the day's ocean conditions.

• Wear sunscreen, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

• Are aware of safety hazards, including strong currents and jellyfish.

Reptiles rock at Bishop Museum

"Reptiles: Real and Robotic," with larger-than-life exhibits, inhabits Bishop Museum's Castle Hall.

Bishop Museum

Looking for a not-so-expensive event that's an educational treat for the whole family? Look no further than tomorrow's Family Sunday event, presented by Kraft Foods, at the Bishop Museum. It's celebrating the grand opening of an exhibit titled "Reptiles: Real and Robotic," which looks at the critters through history with larger-than-life robotic models and interactive displays.

Attractions include food, rides, games and entertainment. The exhibit continues in Castle Hall through Sept. 11.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3 for kama'aina and military; free for museum members and kids under 3. Youngsters 4-12 can get in free if they bring in a wrapper from Kraft cheese or an Oscar Mayer product. 847-3511.

Head to Honoka'a for horse culture

On the Big Island, it's time to round up the family and head for Honoka'a, where Western Weekend continues to celebrate the culture of the horse and ranch. There's a farmer's market from 6 a.m. to noon today, and a rodeo ($7 at the gate) tomorrow and Monday at the Honoka'a Arena. (808) 775-8800, ext. 225.

Hay rides, games fun on the farm

Find your way through the corn maze at Aloun Farms in Kapolei, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and tomorrow. Enjoy hay rides, pony rides, carnival games, food, music, and free keiki ID (until 2 p.m). A scavenger hunt with GPS technology happens today only.

Admission is $8 general, $5 for kids 6-12, free for keiki 5 and younger. Aloun Farms is at 91-1440 Farrington Highway. 677-9516, www.alounfarms.com.

Woo hooo! Catch Da' FlowRider opening at water park

Professional longboarder Bonga Perkins drops in on Da' FlowRider, a new million-dollar wave machine opening today at Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park. Da' FlowRider challenges surfers with 40 feet of consistent wave action yet is safe for novices and pros alike.

Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park

Wet and wild times are in store this weekend at Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park in Kapolei, which is welcoming a new surf ride, Da' FlowRider, in a special Midnight Mele tomorrow (the ceremonial grand opening of Da' FlowRider, at 10:30 a.m. today, includes a Hawaiian blessing by kahu Kordell Kekoa and a lion dance).

The mele, from 7 p.m. tomorrow to 3 a.m. Monday, features two stages of entertainment by Kapena, B.E.T., Koa'uka, Kutmaster Spaz,

G-Spot, SovernT and others, prizes and local food. And, of course, surf competitions on Da' FlowRider by Ezekiel pros including Ross Williams, Charlie Carroll and Pete Labrador.

Admission to the mele is $15 at the door, $10 advance (available at the park, Blue Hawaii stores, Hungry Ear and Jelly's), (877) 714-7668 www.groovetickets.com.

For those 18 and older.

'Shark' alert tonight at Waikiki's Sunset on the Beach

Buena Vista Pictures A little fish named Oscar and a big shark named Lenny become unlikely best friends in "Shark Tale," at Sunset on the Beach tonight.

DreamWorks Animation

Billy Bob Thornton and Jason Patric in "The Alamo."

Buena Vista Pictures

Sunset on the Beach is back for Memorial Day weekend, with food booths, entertainment and films on that 30-foot screen at Queen's Surf Beach in Waikiki.

Tonight's featured film is the animated, family-friendly "Shark Tale," with the voices of Will Smith and Robert De Niro. Tomorrow's movie is the historical drama "The Alamo," starring Billy Bob Thornton as Davy Crockett.

Sunset events begin at 4 p.m.; the films hit the screen after the sun goes down. Admission is free. 923-1094.