First summer waves swell for local businesses

Sean McKerren
Sean McKerren
Neal Nakasone
Neal Nakasone

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - As the first summer swell rolled in, Waikiki filled up with surfers, and those who come out to watch the men and women ride the waves.

They're not the only ones keeping an eye on the water, because big waves can have an impact on businesses along the beach.

Its the Waikiki many visitors envision when they think of Hawaii.

Beautiful beaches with plenty of surf.

"I kinda wanted to come out and ride some waves. I haven't done that in hawaii - so why not," said Sean McKerren, from San Diego.

And when the waves are up for southern shores, its not just the visitors hitting this popular beach. Even locals grab their boards and head down to Waikiki. No matter their skill level.

"The surf was pretty good the waves were pretty clean. The only thing is - I'm not such a good surfer. Maybe if I was a better surfer I would have a better time out there," said Daniel Yokoyama from Kailua.

But others are having the time of their life on the first swell of the summer.

"Its just fun for these guys being in the water, living the life," said Hawaii Kai resident, Russ Ramos.

The sizeable surf may mean more work for lifeguards but it also means a big boost to businesses along waikiki beach.

"Business always picks up, cause there are more locals that come down. And the tourists are more curious about surf lessons and canoes rides. Its good for business - its better for business," said Neal Nakasone, with Hawaiian Oceans Waikiki Inc.

Other shops also see sales increase as more people come out to Waikiki.

But along with keeping an eye on the bottom line, because of bigger waves on the horizon, some who have set up shop along Waikiki are also concerned about those inexperienced in the water.

"If you're not a good swimmer its not a good day to be out there," said Capt. Micheal Sisiam, with Star Beach Boys.

But for now, surfers, beach goers, and businesses are having a swell time in Waikiki.

"Good weather, good people, good waves," said one happy surfer at the end of the day.

On Tuesday, lifeguards in Waikiki were involved with one rescue, a half dozen assists and hundreds of preventative actions.