what he said^ fall flat. I live in maui. No the locals dont wear them unless your fishing. It is a sure fire way to be spotted as a visitor, but then again the lack of tan gives that away as well so thats no big deal.
In reality you shouldnt walk on the reefs any ways cause its bad for them, generally on reef breaks theres a channel you should be able to paddle through.
If they serve a function then don't worry aboot how you look. Yeah, I know easier said then done. But as long as you are confident in yourself and what you do and wear, then nothing anybody thinks or says can dissuade or hurt your feelings.
Bullies, like Skeglegs, only have power if you let them. If what anybody thinks or says aboot you doesn't bother you then you have the power.
( A comet flies across the screen) The More You Know...............(touching piano piece)
Arsenio Hall did a informative video aboot AIDS back in the day. Because of that I never got any AIDS. Also, always sniff never shoot. Ya know what it is that I be sayin' ?
I personally wouldn't wear them, but if it's a spot that you have to literally walk across the reef then bring em for that, then find a way to tie em to the back of your shorts or something, maybe install a glove compartment in your board to store away items
My shaper has been taking annual trips to Indo for the past decade. Coming back with dozens and dozens of photos and videos of ridiculous shacking and world class surfing. He brings the reefs booties every time. And I must say, he is one of the best surfers I have ever met, and not a kook in any way shape or form. If it makes you feel more comfortable in the water, and will make you more willing to drop in and take chances, then do it. Think of it this way, if you injure yourself the first day you are out with coral reef gashes, you may miss out the rest of your trip....
Disclaimer: I have never worn them, and have surfed over there a handful of times and surfed reefs pretty much all year long for a decade. So I do agree that they are no needed, but if you feel safer and more comfortable, do it.
Im from Florida and for the most part we don't even have rocks let alone reef. Well I take that back, we have reefs but most are offshore. Nothing really to contend with here in the surf. I remember when I was a kid/grom traveling for the first time outside of Florida only to be shocked that I couldn't just dash out into the surf. Whether it be a reef or rocky beach (or even hot volcanic sand) you have to learn to navigate your way through it.
Yes you will definitely be noticed when heading out because locals that grow up around those beaches are accustomed to it and know exactly how to navigate sharp reef and rocks. I have to admit that its the small slippery rocks that are the worse for me because you can really roll an ankle fairly easily.
Your best bet is to sit and watch the locals for a bit. No matter what, anytime you travel you should do that anyways. Whether it be navigating sharp reef or rocks or learning where the channel is or just plain which direction to head out and where the take off points are at.
I have personally seen many travelers get hurt just rolling up fresh off the plane and seeing guys out in the line-up so they just jump in the water and chug straight out only to be washed up by the next set on the reef that was inch under the water because they didn't know where the channel was.
Make friends with some locals. Hang out and talk to those guys and learn as much as you can before heading out. It will make your surf experience 100 times better.
When the pros travel and surf whether it be freestyle or contests they don't just dash out in the water. Actually most of the top up and comers and pros have local coaches that counsel them on the break. Besides paddling out and all the basics as a pro you really have to adjust your style and approach at each different break. They way you surf Sebastian is going to be totally different from the way you would surf Cloud Break. Also a pro may have already surfed a particular break a handful of times but this trip the swell angle is different so now he needs the low down as to what to do on this swell direction.
So answer your question.... no booties. Unless you are really uncomfortable then go ahead but personally I would say no. Now a helmet that's a different story! Take the time to learn how the locals surf there and then do exactly what they do. Sure its going to take some time to get used to but you'll get the hang of it. Probably by the second or third day you'll be jetting out to the break, skimming across the reef and killin it!
Last edited by wavehog1; Nov 16, 2013 at 09:22 PM.
Here's what you do:
Walk and then paddle out into the lineup with your reef booties, bring an inflatable float, some rope and a heavy rock. Take off reef booties and attach to rope along with the float at one end and the rock at the other. Drop the rock--it will act as an anchor and the float will let you know where it is. Surf all day and retrieve your stuff when you are ready to go in.
This could also work in higher crime areas if you have a dry bag to keep valuables in.
We use this system when bottom fishing offshore to mark a reef, wreck or to leave the anchor in one spot if we want to troll around but still not lose our position when returning to bottom fishing.
Real man of genius.
IMO it is disrespectful to try to be a local when it is obvious you are not. It is more important how you conduct yourself, and how you surf, than what garb you are wearing. A smile, a friendly nod, and staying out of everyones way while you learn the rhythm of the break will get you good waves and respect. Pick up some trash on the way out, and you might not be welcomed, but at least tolerated. Most likely welcomed. Have fun!
I sat in your exact same situation about a year and a half ago. I lived on South Shore Oahu for a summer (not my first time surfing there though) and was totally opposed to "kook boots". The breaks on south shore particularly, kaisers and rockpiles, are ridiculously shallow and have random railroad spike patches of coral. Needless to say, about a month in to my stay, I messed up the inside portion of my right foot (back foot). This cut grew and grew as I could not allow myself to stop surfing. End result was a "crater" that hurt like hell every time I surfed, and took almost an entire year to heal. The "crater" was so nasty and hurt so bad that I often had to wear a boot or sock to go surf. This look was more kooky then wearing reef boots in the first place. Needless to say, I will never surf shallow reef again without reef boots. Don't care what others think