Last August, Carissa tasked me with coaching six girls from her mentorship program, aptly named the C-stars (C for Carissa), for the 2018 Surfing America championships at Lower Trestles. Since most of the girls hadn’t surfed in cold water before, I wanted to take them to California to prepare and I sent an email about getting the girls into the Lemoore pool, a far-fetched plot and a long shot a best. I was pleasantly surprised to get invited for two hours there, but I quickly realized that we might be in over our heads. The wave was fast, my girls are small, and none of them had proper barrel riding experience! With about ten days to departure, we spent the next week looking for little Kaiser Bowls.
The girls excitedly took to practicing and preparing. They made lei and practiced a Hawaiian chant to give thanks at the pool. When it was time to surf, four girls went in the pool at a time splitting waves, with priority and dropping in allowed at certain points. The girls all followed instructions and ripped! No wave went to waste and by the end of our session, they departed with the biggest smiles on their faces and a stoke to last the summer. Probably longer.
Being at the wave pool was such an honor for me. When the trip got announced to me I was so excited, I never thought I would have that opportunity! I was trying to process in my mind how cool this was. It was always my dream of mine. When I walked into the Surf Ranch, my mind was blown, it felt like I was dreaming. When it was my turn to go out, I was so excited. I got towed out to my pole, and in my mind I was picturing how I was going to surf this perfect wave. I was waiting for the wave to come and I heard “30 seconds” on the loudspeaker. I saw the train start coming towards me and I just started paddling. Riding that wave is just amazing. There is no real way to describe how unbelievable it was. The wave was perfect forever. The wave just kept going, and all I could think about about was pulling in- and when I did, I just wanted to stay in there forever. It was the best experience of my life!!
I was on the plane, heading to the Surf Ranch, and I felt like I was dreaming! Just the thought of going to the Surf Ranch is mind blowing. It is ultimately the best wave ever! Seeing the first wave come through the pool unridden was simply magical. Magical is the key word at the wave pool, or NO WAY, this is NOT HAPPENING! Me and the Sea Stars just kept saying “NO WAY” the whole day! When it was my first time to take off on a wave, it was so nerve racking! The tower announced, “ 30 seconds!” I started to count down in a soft voice to myself. I was squealing with excitement and jumping up and down on my board and asking Uncle Chris if there were any alligators in the pool! Just the feeling of knowing the BEST WAVE EVER is coming, I could already see myself on the wave. When I finally reached the number 1 I realized that I was already paddling, and on the WAVE! My first wave was a left and it was so much fun! The inside barrel was my favorite because we had been practicing tube riding. When I took off on the wave, I really wanted to do something big but I didn’t want to fall at the same time and waste the wave!
Uncle Raimana was so amazing, guiding our timing on the waves so we can have the best waves ever! All of the staff were so nice to us and happy to have kids from Hawai’i at the pool. Mahalo to all of them for helping us have the best day ever of our lives!
I am most grateful for Uncle Chris and Carissa for this life time opportunity. I hope that I can give back to younger generations like how they are guiding me to be myself and to not give up when it’s hard. They have also taught me to trust in myself and try new things! I will never forget this special moment!
A poem by Puamakamae Desoto
At the break of dawn in LA we arrive
Enroute to Lemoore it’s a 3 hour drive
First priority first PANCAKES we grind
Onwards we go with one thing on our mind
Driving into the Ranch we start to scream
Stoked, pinch me, I think it’s a dream
We are full of adrenaline to surf the wave
Sick turns and barrels are all we crave
A little intimidated by it’s perfection
Kelly’s wave pool meets all expectation
Determined to shine like true C-Stars
We wax up our boards the time is ours
Jumping off the ski and getting in place
Uncle Raimana yells “go” setting our pace
The wave comes flying in with the energy of a train
“Now, paddle, go, hit it, stall” he yells again
We all got our waves with a couple to spare
For our friends Kala & Bella who were also there
The C-Stars shined it is safe to say
And the rest is history on this special day
Our team led by our Coach, Chris Moore
And for our mentor, Carissa, whom we adore
No words can express, but blessed are we
A small group of surfer girls from Hawai`i
We have grown and changed to the core
Mahalo nui for this special trip to LeMOORE