Out of Office Reply: Hawaii Through Fresh Eyes

Out of Office Reply is Associate Editor Taylor Paul’s column on surf travel, big waves, and other manly bits

Michel Bourez experiences the "raw, open-ocean power" of the waves at this "surfing Mecca" between runs to "Foodland" and "Lei Lei's." Photo: Nate Lawrence

Out of Office Reply

I got this email the other day from an editor at a surf magazine I used to freelance for. I guess he didn't know I'm working at SURFING now. Anyway, I thought it was funny and wanted to share it with you. See what he wrote below.


How you been? Hope all is well. Hey, what's your schedule looking like the next couple of weeks? The guy who was supposed to do our Hawaii coverage bailed last minute and we need someone over there. Can you pull it? It would be super easy. World titles have already been decided. No massive swells on the way. You can basically just stick to what we've always done. I know you've never been there, so I'm assuming you'll want to go — and that's probably better anyway, since you'll see it through fresh eyes. Just keep track of receipts and we'll sort it when you get back.

Below are a few things to think about when organizing your blog posts. Make sure to touch on…

•The "raw" power of the waves. Write about how fast they move compared to back home. Use the term "open ocean"
•How close together the surf spots are, particularly Off-the-Wall and Backdoor. Naughty neighbors!
•The unbelievably high level of surfing. This is a good piece of evidence to use to support your inevitable conclusion that Hawaii is still surfing's "Mecca" (actually, use "proving ground," I think we said "Mecca" last year)
•How many pro surfers you see on land. Make sure to mention where you see them: on the bike path, in Foodland, having dinner at Lei Lei's. If you can see what they're eating and write about it, I may be able to get you an extra penny a word
•How intimidating the locals are. Try to witness at least one fight. If you are able to get punched we'd really appreciate it. That kind of stuff makes for great copy. (I will say though, that if you do get punched, this will be your last assignment for the mag. We can't have the locals thinking you're with us. We want to be able to go back next year without hassle)
•The Aloha spirit

Good luck, Taylor. And mahalo!

Reminds me of something Ron Burgundy so wisely stated to his friend Brian Fantana: "We've been coming to the same party for 12 years now. And in no way is that depressing." —Taylor Paul