Editor’s Note: Close encounters of the nudist kind
Hawaii's gravitation pull is felt by all surfers, even those who reject boardshorts
Shock and awe are feelings I've experienced in Hawaii many times before—usually due to the power of the waves, their proximity to the reef and how swells there are prone to doubling in size if you take your eyes off the horizon for even half a second. But this was a different kind of surprise. This was simply more nudity than I was expecting to see in a public place on a Wednesday morning. It was an otherwise serene setting in the lineup of an obscure Big Island reef. The rain had just stopped and the sun was coming through the clouds in golden columns of heavenly light. The wind had been offshore all morning and a head-high swell offered tapering rights that folded idyllically into thin-lipped barrels. There was also a rainbow, of course.
"This guy…" Hawaiian surfer Cliff Kapono said, signaling a disturbance in the dreamy session. On the beach, a middle-aged, Caucasian male with long, dreadlocked hair and a thick beard attached his leash to his ankle and stood proudly in the sun. He arched his back and stretched his arms wide, attempting to create the broadest surface for the morning rays to land. He smiled, eyes closed, his entire body frozen in bliss. He wasn't wearing any shorts. At first I was very confused, but then I remembered something Kapono had said days before, when we encountered a strange, shirtless guitar player in downtown Hilo. "Spiritual refugees," he called them: people who didn't feel at home where they were, so they came to Hawaii hoping to connect with the energy of the islands—or, at the very least, get rid of their tan lines.Continued…Read full original article…
Original publication APRIL 9, 2019
Posted on NatCorn 12th April 2019