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Danger in surfing lessons

honolulu
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348 posts
4 reviews
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Danger in surfing lessons

starbulletin.com/2005/03/27/news/story2.html

Nine people that the doctors know about have been paralyzed by surfing lessons here in the last five years, and I'm sure there are more tourists who went home to get treated & never connected their injuries to a surfing lesson.

It does sound from the article as though it could be avoided by taking only an hour, but who knows. I would only tell a tourist to take a lesson if it's close enough to shore that they could go in & take a break before an hour's up, and do some stretching and relaxing.

But some of these surf schools, and ironically it's mostly the expensive ones, take tourists to places where they can't paddle into shore easily/where there's no beach for resting, only rocks & reef. Lesson = go to the Waikiki Beachboys or maybe to Hawaiian Fire, who are off-duty firemen who founded their school in response to abuses by so-called expert surfers using their status for money. But Hawaiian Fire takes you out to an awesome beginner spot which involves most of the day, so maybe the Waikiki beachstands are better for many people.

Kailua, Hawaii
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61 posts
3 reviews
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1. Re: Danger in surfing lessons

We do see tourists who think that if an activity is offered, it's fine.

There's more to knowing about a place than reading the tourist guidebook's history section :) but of course it could take a lot of the fun out of a vacation to be aware of everything. But running a risk of being paralyzed is probably something to be aware of...

california
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12 posts
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2. Re: Danger in surfing lessons

"tourists who think that if an activity is offered, it's fine. "

Do you mean safety problems or more injury problems? Or more like local issues with something?

On my last trip, we did just about every activity we could think of - surfing (rented boards), golfing, swimming with the sharks, the banana boat thing. It all seemed like good fun that wouldn't injure you & I didn't see a lot of impact on the enviroment except maybe for some pollution, but I don't live there so would be itnerested in hearing.