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Surfing as a “Fred” – How Important is Passion?

I have been surfing for a while now. Nothing serious, I just go out with my longboard 5 or 6 times a month with friends. I can navigate just fine. I can bottom turn, ride in the meat of the wave just after the white water, and can ride top to bottom. While I feel confident in the water, on the wave I am what I would consider a “Fred” wave rider. Let me explain.

Daniel Smith

Showing “Freds” everywhere how it’s done | Photo of Daniel Smith

A “Fred” in the recreational bicycle road racing world from which I came would be a guy with all the right bicycle equipment, kit (clothing), and attitude to match. The problem is he doesn’t have the speed, skills, or fitness to run with the big boys.

Bicycle road racing is all about Category racing, Cat for short. Cat 1 (the best, almost pro), Cat 2, Cat 3, and so forth until you get to Cat 5. That’s the beginner category. I used to think a “Fred” was a Cat 6, beyond a beginner. In fact, Cat 6 is what other elitist riders call a beginner’s beginner. A “Fred.”

I realize now that in actuality a “Fred” defies these category assumptions. He has the passion, and simply enjoys the action of the sport no matter where he lands in those category limitations. I am a Cat 3 in bicycle racing, but I am a clearly a “Fred” on the surfboard.

For God’s Sake, We Sell Houses!

Why am I contemplating all of this on the Hawaii Life blog? Stick with me, it will all come together…honest!

Being a “Fred” surfer with immense passion for wave and water, I knew that I needed a tool that would maximize my enjoyment while in that element. A board that would do what I needed it to do, and be able to grow with my abilities. Short enough to be able to fit in my car, and of course be short enough to look cool, and with enough volume to float me on those small days. Something that paddled well and worked perfectly for my favorite South Shore spots. A stock board wouldn’t do, I needed something different. This is where Kyle Bernhardt came into the picture.

Kyle is a surfboard shaper on the North Shore, and has been making surfboards since his teens. He has seen it all come and go, and has had much success by being on the cutting edge of surfboard manufacturing, inventing many processes that others have followed. He is very, very good at his craft. He is also a Realtor with Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers, and hones that craft as well as his artisan surfboards.

I sat down with Kyle and explained my “Fred” theory, all the while waiting for him to tell me to stick to Real Estate Brokering. Much to my surprise, he listened to my wants and needs, and actually encouraged me to define the idea even more. After an initial 15 minutes of listening and encouraging insight, he opened his laptop and created a CAD model of my surfboard.

His passion for creating my idea, the “Fred,” was infectious. He asked more questions, refining the entry and the width of the tail, adjusting the rocker, all the while asking pinpoint questions about my surfing style. We finalized the design and now he is working on the board. It was an amazing process, and it made me think about our processes and the talent we attract to Hawaii Life.

What’s Most Important to You?

As Broker In Charge for Hawaii Life in Oahu, I see this same care and attention to detail manifest itself in my agents’ relationships with their clients. The clients usually have done the research, and know generally what they want and why they want it. They have great intentions and are ready for the task of finding or selling their home. “Freds” in the truest sense.

The agents listen intently to their clients and work together to craft a well thought out plan that is tailor-made for their wishes. They do more than simply find a house; they intimately understand what the goal is and what the eventual outcome will be. Professionals that are soft spoken and have empathy and understanding in this crazy, trumped up Oahu marketplace. They use technology to be efficient, use experience to be effective – but none of that replaces the most important thing – the agent/client relationship.

It’s the opposite of the traditional Realtor in this day and age of CRM drip campaigns and life-size agent photos on car doors. They believe that having a passion for the work is more important than the volume of sales, and that success comes from just doing the work and doing what’s right.

And most importantly, they live the Hawaii Pono Lifestyle.

 

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