Living in such a small area as the island of Oahu in Hawaii (it’s just under 600 square miles!) you would think one would eventually run out of things to do. No matter how many times we circle around the island, though, there is just always something new to discover. Living here I’ve truly seen that the potential for exploring is tremendous, whether its a discovering new waterfalls, a hidden beach or a wandering trail — or even something more commercial, like hanging out at Disney’s Aulani. I find that there is always some sort of family-friendly activity happening, or a fun place to discover. And did I mention how fun it is to dress for the endless summer? I couldn’t help including some of my island getaway faves for littles in this post. With warm weather all year round, the sun and salty air of Oahu make it a great place to escape — it truly is the endless summer!
Most of us have probably dreamt of a jetting off to Hawaii at some point, right? Thanks to our newest contributor Dixie Rose, I have a feeling we’ll all be daydreaming of those sunny shores a lot more frequently! Beginning with today’s surfing adventure at Waikiki Beach, Dixie’s Travelkins column will chronicle her favorite kid-friendly spots around Hawaii. Now, who’s excited?!
Aloha! My name is Dixie and I call Hawaii home. My son is two and his name is Phoenix but we call him Phe Phe (we should probably stop doing pretty soon now that I think about it). My husband Mason is a photographer/filmmaker so there sure is no shortage of entertainment in our family.
Mason and I both grew up in the water and we would not want Phe to grow up any other way…surfing, hiking, and dancing together as a family is our ultimate favorite past time. We try to do everything together, and I want to be involved in Phe’s life and do as much as I can with him until he will let me. Being a mother has brought the world to me. I am now more inspired to be the best I could possibly be.
I’m a free spirit at heart, love a good laugh, a good latte, and telling outrageous stories of things that have happened to me. I’ve lived a crazy life, but like most moms, I feel that with having Phe, I am finally right where I need to be. I am so stoked to share with you all, everything this beautiful island has to offer, from culture to untouched beaches, and of course, super cute keikis (kids in Hawaiian).
For my first post, I thought it was only right that we take you down to Waikiki Beach. Most people will stay here, at least once in their lives, and no doubt it is a happening spot. There is no where like Waikiki, and all of us locals all learn to surf here. There is no better waves to learn to surf on than Waikiki. The waves are little “roly poly waves” as Phe calls them. They literally rolls you off and sends you off down the best slide. Today was 1-2 ft as it most of the time is, and perfect conditions for us to go out. Surfing is truly nature’s roller coaster ride.
Last month, we finally took Phe surfing for the first time. In Hawaii, we say kids surf before they swim, but we really wanted him to trust us, and know what he was doing before we actually got him out there. He went through a phase where he was scared of the water, and recently came back around. At two and a half, he now confident with the waves, and LOVES surfing.
Today, we went out at 8 am in the morning, perfect glassy not too crowded conditions in Waikiki. We caught waves together and snapped a few shots with our Go Pro. We caught a few waves together as a family, and there is really no better feeling in the world than to be on a party wave with the ones you love.
Tips on Surfing with your Little Grom in Waikiki
1. Take a surf lesson. Our surf instructors here know the waves more than anyone. It is a pretty intensive process to get an instructors license and they don’t just give it to just anyone, so you really know you are in good hands, and they really have a way of getting your kids up!
2. Invest in a Puddle Jumper. Trust me, we have gone through so many floating devices and have been looking everywhere for YEARRRS. Puddle Jumpers are Coast Guard certified and work wonders. Costco has them on sale right now for $13! Walmart and Target also carry them.
3. Go early when it’s not too crowded so you can get more waves and awesome photos. The surf lessons usually always come with a surf photographer and you will have the option to buy them.
4. Encourage your keiki in surfing by making it all fun. This is especially true if they have been scared of the ocean before. It helps using words like “sliding” instead of surfing, which might intimidate them. It really is like going down a big slide except you’re standing (and let’s face it don’t all kids try to stand on slides?) When we paddle out, we try to look for turtles…there’s a lot of em! Sometimes Phe will say “Let’s go paddle and look for turtles…and then surf.” that really gets him going.
Happy Aloha Friday!