Tip: The stone prison called Hale Pa`ahao that was created to hold rowdy sailors.

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Surfing on the Big Island

Legends about surfing are found in the earliest stories of ancient Hawaii. In about 400 A.D., a form of belly boarding on small wooden planks was introduced. Later, Tahitian explorers brought their tradition of riding waves with canoes. The ingenious Hawaiians merged the two techniques to create the sport of

surfing.

Today the fascination with the sport of kings is as alive as ever. The Big Island of Hawaii with its array of beaches, warm, clear waters and year-round surf attracts an endless stream of surfers. For centuries, the blue waters of the Pacific have drawn surfers and wannabes to try their skill at the sport. If wave riding is one of your dreams, you might want to consider taking private lessons.

Learning how to surf is a rewarding adventure. There are lessons, camps, and clinics available for those who want to try. Students generally begin their training riding soft long boards and are introduced to the necessary surfing fundamentals, safety, and ocean-awareness in a land lesson before entering the small surf to give it a try. Lessons are fully supervised and most schools offer beginner, intermediate and advanced lessons.

Kahalu'u Beach Park in Kona, where you can expect low surf, is a safe spot for beginners. The beach is guarded and there are plenty of surfers. Generally the northern and western shores of the Big Island catch the north swells during the winter months, while the southern and eastern shores get the south swells in the summertime.

One of the most popular and consistent surf spots on the east side of the island is Honoli'i Point, right outside of Hilo. This is a great place to watch surfers and body-boarders catch the three good breaks at the mouth of the river.

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