Pipeline Mikala Jones

Unfortunately for you, there’s no guide on how to survive this place. Photo: Patrick Ruddy/ruddyphoto.com

The Inertia

We’re a few weeks into the North Shore season, and the air is thick with tension. Culture clashes, unavoidable in a conquered kingdom that relives its anguish every 12 months, have once again turned our idyllic piece of paradise into a resentful whore.

And, while there is some umbrage, even an outsider can fit in. It doesn’t matter if you’re some dude from the mainland, quickly learning that your retro fish ain’t gonna work at overhead Rockies or a spoiled Brazillionaire who hasn’t figured out that his social status back home doesn’t mean shit out here. A couple local tips can mean all the difference when some menacing Polynesian is paddling over the top of you.

1. Speak pidgin. Before you come over, pick up a book on pidgin and learn a few phrases. All the locals speak English, but, as in most countries, attempting to use the local dialect opens all sorts of doors. Work on the accent too, as you don’t want to sound like an idiot.

2. Don’t be afraid to call people off waves. You’ve only got a week or two until your flight home, and you’ve gotta make the most of it. Paddle hard, jockey for position, and if you want a wave, be sure to speak up. Find a spot in the lineup and stake your claim, and if you’ve having a hard time getting a wave, just paddle around the pack. A straightforward declaration of intent will earn you respect, as well as those North Shore accolades we all dream of.

3. Drive fast. A good swell won’t last forever, and when it turns on, you need to hit the water post haste. Hop in your rental and floor it, and if some brown dude in a beater is lollygagging down the road in front of you, don’t be afraid to lay on the horn. He’ll happily pull over for you, and you’ll be ripping it up in no time at all.

4. Leave your bottles at the beach. A lackluster economy and high cost of living mean that more people than ever before are making ends meet by recycling the detritus of visitors. Rather than tossing your rubbish and keeping the beach clean, leave those empties sitting in the sand. You’ll help support local families, and save yourself the effort of walking 50 yards to a trash can.

5. Make lots of eye contact. When you’re out having a few drinks after a long day ripping, be sure and make friends. The easiest way is to make eye contact with a group of young men.  Be sure to stare until they notice you, then firmly ask, “What’s up?” Don’t smile, as that can be interpreted as a come on.  They’ll undoubtedly respond kindly to your openness and self confidence, and will most surely invite you to their next family luau.

6. Smoke weed everyday. The North Shore has some of the best pakalolo in the world. The only problem is finding it. Luckily, for those in the know, there’s an awesome little centralized drug market were you can score whatever you want, fairly priced and at no risk to yourself. Just head on down to the Haleiwa Harbor after sundown. Knock on car windows until you find someone who’s open for business. For a true Hawaiian experience, ask if they’re holding any batu.

I hope this helps make your trip one full of cherished memories. And always remember, aloha also means goodbye.

  • J Hatchett


    Leave your Bottles on the beach?

    Leave your ass on the Mainland!

    • Guest

      “A straightforward declaration of intent will earn you respect, as well as those North Shore accolades we all dream of.”… Didn’t think anyone would read past this and still think he was serious!

  • rozenswag


  • Will

    What A Dick

  • omah

    This article should be re named how to get your ass beat in the north Shore.
    Let’s see, paddle around the pack mmm, not recommended.
    Leave your trash on the beach. Big no no.
    Honk someone driving too slow yeah so you can instigate a road rage incident ha ha


    Aloha 😉

  • Super informative. Thanks!

    I have a question, though, about shaka etiquette. I heard that on the North Shore properly thrown shakas are an integral part in maintaining the delicate balance of Respect/Dishonor.

    So, if someone throws you a shaka, are really supposed to double shaka them back? That’s what I heard: always respond with one extra shaka.

    And what about the looseness of your shaka? High and tight, or low and loose?

    • Rory Parker

      Proper Shaka etiquette:

      Your hand should be held above shoulder height (the higher the more respectful), palm forward. Jab your hand forward, and be sure to enunciate the final syllable. Think, sha- (sound a crow makes).

      Hope that helps.

  • RobertBertowsky

    You forgot “Hit on every girl you see” and “This is paradise – no need to lock your car or condo”

  • Kevin Fernsler

    This is not a good idea to post! Don’t knock on anyone’s window, yo may get shot…this article is 80% useless…

  • Kalai

    Follow these simple tips and you’ll be sure to have a North Shore experience you’ll never forget! Share this post with all your mainland friends!

  • Mike Colacino

    Good stuff, Rory! When I come visit, I’ll know how to act… I was a little worried about this, not any more! WOO! SHAKA, way up high!

  • many rivers

    Wow ,so Rod Cunthorpe’s long lost conjoined twin sister has been found and is writing for The Inertita.
    Glad you made it.

  • Josh

    “They’ll undoubtedly respond kindly to your openness and self confidence”- best line. Hilarious.

  • Jeff Byrnes

    If Parker’s humor doesn’t translate for those reading it here the ghost of Lenny Bruce’s flatulence couldn’t pull it off for you.

    Seriously. If anyone reading this didn’t get the joke right away they must have been raised in a cave on the northern coast of Iceland on a steady diet of crack and lighter fluid. ‘Cause they sure as shit haven’t ever been to Hawaii – or anywhere within a few thousand miles of the place.

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