The Spirit of Adventure – Formulation


Just another 12 year old coming in from a surf at Sunset Beach.

I recently posted on Facebook about the awful conditions for surfing and an old buddy chimed in that poor conditions never stopped us before. His response made me chuckle as a wave of memories flooded over me.

I am scared of heights. I do not consider myself a daredevil by any stretch. Yet, somehow I find myself in some pretty extreme situations and my reaction is usually nothing more than a slight smile.Getting rattled does not seem to be in my DNA.

As a child, I would certainly agree to a statement saying that I had a lot of unsupervised time. There is a famous story of a 5 year old Steve arming himself with a can of insect killer and a flyswatter and then convincing my cousin to climb a nearby tree with me. Once we reached a decent height, we unleashed our fury on the nest of the local wasps. As they emerged, we began to pummel their nest like starving kids beating at a pinata.

Our well thought plan worked for several minutes. After that glory was over, we were returned back to the reality of being a few goofballs with a swarm of angry bees taking their anger out on us.

Through the years this story made me laugh. When I became a parent myself, I instantly started thinking what most parents would think. How did we get all of these items and slip out of the house and no one saw us? Do not get me wrong, my parents were simply the best. But hovering parents they were not.

Due to this parenting philosophy, as the years passed, our group of friends began amassing a growing list of adventures. Like a modern band of wannabe Huckleberry Finns, we found ourselves faced with one test after the next…and we loved it.


As the drops of rain began to slow as the afternoon thunderstorm began to exhaust itself, an abandoned raft began to shudder and lift on the deserted beach. Then it flipped over to reveal what had been hiding under it…a group of teenage boys. Each armed with a surfboard.

When they left Captains, they had to play by the rules and not anger the older local guys. But at Captains, they were free to do what they pleased. They dodged the tank traps that separated the outside from the inside reef. They rode rafts and those cheap unglassed styrofoam boards that you find in tourist shops in pounding conditions. What ever came to mind was attempted with varying results.


The Lagoon. We often climbed from tree to tree and circled the entire perimeter.

Our gang also roamed Ewa Beach and explored the forest and the old military sites that were long abandoned. We fished and climbed from Mangrove Tree to Mangrove Tree around the local lagoon. And when Ewa was just to boring, we boarded the city bus and found ourselves skating the streets of Pearl City or Honolulu.



Our gathering at Makua. Some building on the property and a pig roast.

My Uncle had a place in Makua and towards the end of my time in Hawaii, we found ourselves hanging out with the friends and relatives in this country paradise. The surf in this stretch is unforgiving. When Pray for Sex starts breaking, it produces a heavy left off the rock. When it is not breaking, your only choice is to take on the ferocious shorepound that was inhabited by bodyboarders…and on occasion; a wiry kid on a beat up red single fin. I think I must have been barreled over a thousand times at Makua and I do not think I made one single barrel. Just wave after wave of getting that view we all love and then getting shut down. And by a minor miracle, I never broke the poor red board.

So in the next installment, I will tell a few tales of a daredevil nature!


About 1stpeaksteve

Welcome to The Side Wedge! The Side Wedge is a product of the journey through life of Steve Zima. Former professional surfer, a writer, surf coach, and hospitality manager. This is a collection of travel tips, motivation, and stories from my past. Finally, I offer surf coaching through The Side Wedge. Please feel free to contact me with questions if you want to improve your performance today! Thanks for reading!
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2 Responses to The Spirit of Adventure – Formulation

  1. You took me back. Although I’m not a surfer and we grew up in two totally different states (I grew up in NYC). I have always been an adventurer at heart and I’ve always loved exploring my surroundings. Fun post!

    • 1stpeaksteve says:

      I never knew you grew up in New York. I imagined you were always from South Florida! Now I know!

      As for my post, it might also be a generational thing as well. Kids these days just do not have the same kind of freedoms that we did. With video games and what not…some are just not up for it even if they had the chance. Kind of a shame…

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