By: Pohaku Kekaualua
The adventures of CAN. at the Waco Surf Wave Pool. A man made wave pool created by “Perfect Swell”. This wave pool has 200+ different wave selections, a perfect place for the whole family, from beginners to experts. Even a spot for the babies to hang out on the sand or in cabanas to watch the waves roll in. If you haven’t been here, as a surfer id suggest making it a point to get there at least once.
Aurai!!! Lets get into it!!!
The trip started bright and early at 7:30 am Oct 5th with 2 plane rides, Kauai to Oahu (40 mins) and straight shot from Oahu to Austin Texas (7hrs 42mins). Let me tell you, long plane rides can take a toll on the body and mind for sure.
We finally arrived in Austin Texas at 9:30 pm, waited for an hour or so for our bags, 20 mins for the truck rental, and then a 2hr 15min drive to our airbnb. We got to the house about 1am, and we had to be up and packed for the pool by 4:45am to get to the pool by 5:30am and start our first session at 6am sharp. Lemme tell you i was dead when we got there.
Dark, cold and sleep deprived we were in our suits for the first session of the trip. Water was surprisingly warm but the air was brisk. So, Jacob, Ben and I waded into the water and paddled out for our first session.
I had the honor of taking the first wave of the trip. The wave selection was called “The Double Barrel”. A long speedy wave with a punch section that surprises you at the end. That end section is hard to see, especially when the water is glassy, and its dark out with the pool lights on. The pool operator announced that the first wave was coming and that gave me some anxiety. Hearing the engine spooling up behind the wall, and the sinking of the water before the first push of the wave had me excited. Before you know it i was kicking into my first wave. Glassy and no resistance on the wave i was able to complete a pretty perfect backflip, even though i couldn’t even see the lip. Boom!!! The real adventure had begun. Next was Ben, then jacob, and we went in that order for the next 20-30 mins until the next group of us was up, Ryan, Travis and Hekili.
Ryan, Ben and I have been to this wave pool before and it was awesome to be able to show the others how to manage the wave, as it isnt as easy to ride like a normal wave. It took everyone else a few tries to get to the punch section at the end, as you need to draw a perfect speed line to get there or you get stuck behind the wave.
Our sessions are about 2 hrs each. 1 session in the morning and 1 session at night. During these sessions we are allowed to switch to any wave selections we want. From “The Double Barrel” to “The Freak Peak” or “The Wedge” or even “The Lower Trestles” settings. But, after the first 2 hrs were finished we were ready for some breakfast, so we all decided to head over to a Denny’s for some good ol’ eggs breaky. After that we went back to the house where everyone took advantage of that time to catch up on some MUCH needed sleep (i know i needed it).
I woke up just in time for a ham n cheese bagel and out the door for the 2nd session. This time I put myself in the second group. We had the pool from 8-10pm and this time we had some surfer friends from Kauai that joined us. So now it was 2 groups of 4 riders, 3 boogies and a surfer. Also, because the difference in the wave selections for surfing are way different then that of bodyboarding. So we did a few boogie waves and then we went with “The Lower Trestles” setting for about 30-40 mins of the 2 hrs. It was the first time i rode that wave selection and i had a blast. I was able to practice a few turns and barrels Dropknee. It was perfect because DropKnee is similar to how surfers ride a wave. After the session we hung out in the jacuzzi for a bit before headed to watahburgah for some late dinner and back home for sleep. We had to be back at the pool for a 7-9 session the next morning.
Waking up again early morning after falling asleep super late was not so fun. At this point everyone was putting dibs on the second group because they didnt want to get into the water right away. But after a little meeting a few riders decided they wanted to do “The Freak Peak” so they ended up going first. Just a quick heads up, this wave selection is most definitely not for surfers. Jayden aka “little man” was the surfer in the group and he ended up getting hit by his board mid air and popped his ear lobe wide open. I felt bad because he couldnt surf anymore and he had to sit and watch, #endofsession. Then just like the end of every other session we were on the search for food. After a few different places we ended up at this little burger joint where we cranked food so fast we started to dose off, kanakattack “surf, eat, sleep, repeat” #thelife. When we got back to the house it was like we got a second wind, and we gathered in the living room to go over all the footage we got from the sessions so far. I ended up falling asleep before anyone else, they dont call me “The Nap King” for no reason.
About 5-6 hrs later it was time to head back to the pool for our final session. 8-10 pm was our last time slot for the trip, and let me tell you we were as beat up as it gets. With all the air attempts, and airs into the flats and wave after wave we caught, it definitely takes a huge toll on your body. But, We did a few settings and ended the session with “The Double Barrel” and i was able to land a pretty heavy reverse air and a lofty invert, both into the flats. I attempted these tricks earlier but was scared to land them, and it was my goal to finally pull them off before the trip was over… and i did. Super stoked!!!
The next day i woke up feeling really sick. so i took it easy for the day. I laid in the truck while the rest of the group went to the cable park. They got to do some wakeboarding action with the other crew from Hawaii. The Makapuu bodyboard club from Oahu with braddah Shane Lono, where at the park same time as us and always ended up following our time slots for the pool. It was great to see more guys from Hawaii hit the pool and the cable park for a good time. After the cable park it was time to head home, pack up and rest until it was time to catch the plane back home. Again one long flight while sick with a stomach flu is not fun or comfortable but thanks to my wahine she took care of me and made it easier to manage the flights back home.
As i lay in bed recovering from the sickness, i cant help but reminisce about the trip and all the fun we had. Mahalo nui to Nathan Wood for filming pretty much every wave for us and putting together folders so we could go home and watch all the waves we caught. Mahalo nui to Ryan Heins for putting this trip together for us, and mahalo nui to Olivia Gegen for being my backbone and helping me thru the sickness and for sharing my stoke for the boogie!!! It was a great trip and i would most definitely do this all over again, minus the stomach flu part hahah.
But until next time guys, ill leave you with a quote. “Life is what you make of it, so make the proper sacrifices, to make your dreams come true.” Braddah Hatu