Walking onto Big Beach is like walking into a high school cafeteria. There are all the designated cliques; they even sit on separate sides of the beach. So I’ll be the knowledgeable goth guide from Mean Girls to all you fresh-faced Lindsay Lohans and point out the groups that make up the anatomy of Bigs.
Photo: Fbritop5/Wikimedia Commons
These account for 80 percent of the waveriders. They go around touting neon red and green bodyboards, their vocabulary consisting of “Action!” and “We go charge!” As they advance through a barrel a GoPro pops out, ready to replace the last 15 Facebook profile pictures of them looking off-camera, mouth-open as they throw up a shaka on top of their Nike-watch adorned wrist. Go to any Spunjah’s Instagram page and it will convince you that his house in Kahului is imaginary. Those fins he wears are real. He’s a merman who lives in the waters off Big Beach.
The Tourist Family
Photo: Lian Chang/Wikimedia Commons
A tourist family will have their spot on the beach set up like a mini Fourth of July barbecue at Grandpa Pete’s house in Wisconsin. Their fortress will consist of coolers, umbrellas and chairs bought from Sports Authority’s camping section. They will cheer on their teenage sons floating in the shorebreak on aloha-print boogie boards. Half-finished sand castles are trail marks of the common tourist family.
The Shore Break
Photo: Thierry Geoffroy/Wikimedia Commons
So this isn’t a group of people, but it is the bully of the beach. Big Beach’s shore break is the culprit behind Maui Memorial Medical Center’s nickname for the state park: “Neckbreak Beach.” The sudden whiplash of a wave has sent many victims and their snapped necks to the hospital’s emergency room.
Photo: Forest and Kim Starr/Wikimedia Commons
If The Purge was real, these anonymous thieves would satisfy their sadistic urges and steal every pair of slippers on the island. If they are feeling a little more merciful they’ll opt for your iPhone instead. But really, who are these people? What organization do they work for? I speculate that these guys are behind all the Locals rubber slippers sold at Long’s. How else does the store afford to sell them at $5 a pair if it weren’t for a blackmarket?
The Acacia Bikini Instagrammers
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I once found a list of diseases as yet unclassified by medical science, and among these there occurred the word islomania, which was described as a rare but by no means unknown affliction of spirit. There are people…who find islands somehow irresistible. The mere knowledge that they are on an island, a little world surrounded by the sea, fills them with an indescribable intoxication. –Lawrence Durrell, reflections on a marine venus
Mix and match prints of cheetah and birds of paradise predominate Big Beach. These $120 brazillian ‘kinis are Maui’s biggest mystery, since it seems every lady at Big Beach has at least 20 pairs. You’ll see them showcased on social media outlets alongside captions about living the simple life in Hawaii. When you see a group of gals pull out their iPhones, you know a philosophical photoshoot centered around luxury swimwear is about to take place. But Confucius would probably do the same too; I mean, they make your butt look awesome.
Photo: Jrockley/Wikimedia Commons
These guys can be seen perched against Bigs’ concrete graffiti block, vibing from the influences of reggae and a pinch of Maryjane. Actually, they can just be spotted across the whole 3,000 foot expanse of the shore. Big Beach provides an ideal habitat for the island’s Cheech and Chongs.
Photo: jeremyg3030/Wikimedia Commons
These watchdogs save as much lives as Doctor Shepherd does on Grey’s Anatomy. No one heeds to all the warning signs rooted in the shore, so many it makes Big Beach look like the protesting grounds of Occupy Wall Street. The vigilants of Bigs don’t drive their ATVs around to just look cool. Those lifeguards actually do keep everyone afloat.
The Mysterious Other Siders
Photo of the 1921 film The Adventures of Tarzan: Wikimedia Commons
Parents and the more knowledgeable will tell younger ones to not walk up the cliff and cross to the other side. They create as much suspense as the writers of Lost, refusing to say who these “others” are and why they need a whole separate beach. Unlike the science fiction show, the mysterious Little Beach goers are usually just a bunch of 60-year-old men with a strong sense of exhibitionism and shamelessness.