Sport: That Wall of Water

For the potbellied tourist who paddles happily through Waikiki's gentle swells, surfboard riding is a nice way to get a sunburn. For the acrobatic daredevils who test their skills in Makaha's "big surf,'' 40 miles to the west, the sport is a defiant duel with nature. There, angry waves are powerful enough to snap an arm or a leg, and a careless surfer who gets caught in the breakers may be buried in tons of crashing water, swallowed in the undertow, or dashed against a razor-sharp coral reef. Still. Makaha is the Mecca of the skillful surfer, and 275 of them...

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