If you’re new to Ho’okipa, the rocks are one of the first things you notice. They look very threatening and can be quite scary. There is a strong current that runs with the wind and therefore leaves you feeling very under-powered when you are close to the rocks and this is the main reason that people end up drifting onto those dreaded boulders, quite often on their first run out from the beach.
The trick to trying to stay off the rocks is to use the currents to your advantage. Accept that you will get whipped right across the front of the rocks and that it will be hard to get planing off the beach, even if it’s very windy, but this isn’t really a problem as you want to get downwind to the channel anyway. Give yourself enough space to get easily past the rocks and then let the current pull you downwind into the channel. You will have to go over a couple of pieces of whitewater but once you are past the first big rock, even if you end up falling in due to lack of wind, the current should whip you past the rest of the rocks and leave you in the channel, ready to sail out in the “relative” safety of that nice channel.