Maui Surf

Job or Surf? The Maui Workers’ Dilemma

February 15, 2013, 12:36 PM HST
* Updated February 15, 12:39 PM
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Editor’s note: The following column is a viewpoint on Maui’s work vs. surf ethic by surf reporter and instructor Carlos Rock.

By Carlos Rock

Working full time and surfing every day is not something many people are able to accomplish. The monotonous eight hour work day has left most of us surfers craving for some salt water after work, but there is sometimes not enough daylight left to go out and catch a couple.

The view we all want to see at the end of the day. Sunset Ho’okipa. Photo: Carlos Rock.

And the weekend crowds are pretty discouraging to say the least at the most popular spots, so some people are forced to give up surfing every day, or not surfing altogether.

So what can we do to fulfill our saltwater addiction in the midst of making money to survive? Find a way.


Where there is a will there is a way. Surf before work if you don’t have time after, or bring all of your gear with you to work so the second you’re done you are on your way to the beach.


Just don’t show up tired from your 6 a.m. surf session with sand on your feet and hair a mess. Make sure you have a “5 Hour Energy” drink ready for when that 2:30 p.m. feeling hits you.

Find a way to get a surf in, any way possible.

Surfers need this because you are never mad when you do surf, even if you have a junk session. You get irritated when you plan on going and you keep getting held up or it just doesn’t work out.


What better way to wash off the work day than out in the surf watching the sunset?

Basically it’s better to surf than to not, even if that means catching a couple right before dark when you start thinking about how vulnerable you really are out in the water as your feet dangle helplessly, waiting for a wave to go in.

It’s hard being at work when you know there is a good swell or you know that your friends are out there and you’re stuck at work. The new beach cams don’t help either. At times we have all contemplated just walking out of work to go surfing. We can always find another job before our savings completely run dry, because Honolua only breaks during the winter.

One more before dark. Honolua Bay. Photo: Carlos Rock.

But most of us more or less just suck it up and push on through till the end of your shift and drive home slightly richer and really tired. And the only thing to cheer you up besides a cold beer might be getting a few barrels. You debate for a little while before just giving up, start cooking dinner, and think about what the swell is doing while thinking about tomorrow’s work day.

You can always find another job, but that swell only lasts a few days. Choose wisely.

And keep in mind it is a blessing that we can surf in the first place.

The forecast is showing good 10-foot NW swell coming in for the weekend, but the trade winds are supposed to get stronger also.

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