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Sandy Beach is just down the road from Hanauma Bay. It has an excellent tubular break just offshore, making it a popular beach for bodysurfing, paipo boarding and now body boarding. In high school and college, I used to spend much of my free time (i.e., study time) here at Sandy Beach.

Between Hanauma Bay and Sandy Beach is the Halona Blowhole, a much smaller version of Hanauma Bay's Toilet Bowl but operating on the same principle: water being forced into a small opening.



It is also usually very windy here.


Back to Sandy Beach. The kids got a big kick out of watching the body surfers and boarders. Here, Cal is imitating the action of a body surfer.  

There were a lot more of these body boards than there used to be at Sandy. In fact, there were more of body boarders than body surfers. I guess the advantage is that the board moves you faster across the wave. But it doesn't have the same at-one-with-the-wave purity that you get as a body surfer. So says an old body surfer. (Me).  

Nope, that's not a surfboard. It's a paipo board, a thin, flat board that used to be home-made out of a piece of plywood but is now more likely to be made of fiberglass and other high-tech materials.

You stand above the waterline with the board in your hands, when the shorebreak runs up the beach, you run down to it, toss your board down on the water, then jump aboard. Your running speed plus the speed of the water as it moves back out gets you going at a pretty good clip. The returning water then hits another incoming shorebreak, and, just like a surfer, you execute a hard turn, throwing up a big roostertail in the process, and ride the break back towards shore as far as you can. This guy was pretty good.


The infamous Gas Chambers. Gas Chambers gets its name from the spray that fills the big hollow tube and spits out the fast-closing end. It's a wicked fast break with an unbelievably thick and heavy lip. (How heavy? Pick up a bucket of water. Now multiply that by a factor of several hundred.) And when that lip lands on you (all those buckets of water being thrown at you), it drives you straight into the sandy bottom and churns you around like the inside of a giant washing machine. Great fun.

This is a fairly normal size break for Sandy. I've seen it much, much bigger. This place used to kill a couple of people a year, generally inexperienced tourists or military people who didn't understand the power of that fast, fat break.


The ultimate goal of every ride in Gas Chambers...to have the wave break up and over you as you scoot along inside the tube.

Look how much water this guy has above his head. Fairly soon now, he's going to jam the nose of his body board into the bottom part of the wave and try to escape out the back. If he fails, he will get pulled up and over the TOP of this wave and get pile-driven into the bottom. Ouch. It's happened to me more times than I can count.


Another popular sport at Sandy is 'run-from-the-shorebreak'. Here, B gets caught.  
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