If Obama Could Do Anything For A Day, He Would Surf

Basketball isn't the only sport in the president's repertoire
Staff Writer

When Vanity Fair sent reporter Michael Lewis to shadow Barack Obama for six months, the man went everywhere—from the White House to the basketball court to Air Force One—to get a deep, unique look into what makes our president tick. What did he find? Well, a lot of things. But one thing stood out: That in spite of being an East Coaster these days, Obama hasn’t lost his Hawaiian surfing roots:

"Aboard Air Force One, I’d asked him what he would do if granted a day when no one knew who he was and he could do whatever he pleased. How would he spend it? He didn’t even have to think about it:

When I lived in Hawaii, I’d take a drive from Waikiki to where my grandmother lived—up along the coast heading east, and it takes you past Hanauma Bay. When my mother was pregnant with me she’d take a walk along the beach. . . . You park your car. If the waves are good you sit and watch and ponder it for a while. You grab your car keys in the towel. And you jump in the ocean. And you have to wait until there is a break in the waves. . . . And you put on a fin—and you only have one fin—and if you catch the right wave you cut left because left is west. . . . Then you cut down into the tube there. You might see the crest rolling and you might see the sun glittering. You might see a sea turtle in profile, sideways, like a hieroglyph in the water. . . . And you spend an hour out there. And if you’ve had a good day you’ve caught six or seven good waves and six or seven not so good waves. And you go back to your car. With a soda or a can of juice. And you sit. And you can watch the sun go down …"

Click to read the rest of “Obama’s Way.”


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