It was a clear day in Kihei when guests of the 2013 SAP Winners’ Circle joined Maui’s Hawaiian Style Surf this February for their first day of surfing lessons. SAP executives, including Co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe and SAP Americas president Rodolpho Cardenuto, and sales associates in the Winners’ Circle, along with their families, converged on Kalama Park Beach for three days of fun-filled Kihei surf lessons.
While not even mid-morning yet, the sun started to rise in the sky and heat up the Maui shoreline. Since it was clear, the peak of the Haleakala towers in the distance made a perfect Hawaiian backdrop for a morning of surfing.
Hawaiian Style Surf owner Rick Leong and his instructor team first gathered the groups into circles on the beach. Guests were asked if they had surfed before or participated in other sports and were taught a few surfing basics about stance and posture, rules of engagement, how to carry their boards, how to get up-ground and find their “sweet spot.”
As surfers were divided into groups of 6 per instructor, they walked their boards out a ways and then paddled out in search of the perfect Maui wave. The ocean was flat for a while, and everyone sat on their boards….waiting. Suddenly a larger wave started to roll in – big enough to hold a dozen surfers. They started to paddle into it. One-by-one they started to stand up, a little shaky at first. The wave lifted their boards, and up they went! Some fell, but many more make it all the way up and glided toward shore with another half dozen on the wave behind them.
As their confidence grew, the rides got longer…gliding gently toward the shore. But even the wipe outs here were not that bad. The shallow water and soft sand bottom made for an easy fall with no big waves washing over them for the surfers to contend with. Rick went out in the water with a GoPro camera to capture all the excitement and moments of glory up close.
Hawaiian Style instructor Cameo Ka’ahanui assisted the young surfers and helped them find the confidence they needed by letting out whoops of praise when they caught a wave. The smaller waves on this beach were perfect for beginning surfers.
Clapping and shouts echoed out from a line that went all the way up to the shore where a crowd of onlookers had gathered to watch the morning surfing lessons. The water was even shallow enough for some to wade out for a front row seat of the action.
All and all, it was a perfect day in Maui. The horizon looked endless with only Molokini and Lanai in the background. Palm trees lined the coast up the beach – it doesn’t get any more Hawaiian than that!
As shouts of laughter drifted back to the beach, it was clear that people who didn’t know each other very well this morning had become fast friends – cheering each other on and laughing at the best wipeouts. This made the fifth year that SAP executives and employees have enjoyed learning to surf with Hawaiian Style. And once again, this three-day corporate event allowed the SAP group to have fun as families and really enjoy the sport you can just tell they love. SAP is a multinational software corporation that creates enterprise application software. They are headquartered in Germany, with regional offices around the world.
Hawaiian Style Surf specializes in providing fun and engaging surfing and stand-up paddleboard (SUP) lessons for large and small corporate events as well as private and group surfing lessons in Maui. In addition to surfing lessons in Kihei, HSS also offers Lahaina surfing lessons.