Almeida throws me a shaka (the sign for "hang loose," a fist with thumb and pinky finger extended) as he climbs out of the calm water and walks barefoot onto the rocks at PK's, a little cove and surf spot in the popular Poipu Beach Park (left) of Kauai. Almeida is a native Kauaian. He grew up spending every Sunday surfing and spearfishing with his father and brothers in nearby Kukuiula Harbor while his mom and auntees prepared food for the Sunday supper.
Sitting at the top of the Hawaiian archipelago, with only the "Forbidden Island" of Niihau and the tiny, distant fragments of bird sanctuary islands to the northwest, Kauai is different. It's the wild, salty-haired, and stylishly bohemian sister of the flashier Oahu, Maui's Hollywood scene, and the always bustling Big Island.