Xtreme Hawai'i

The X-Games kids of today have nothing on the old traditions of our fiftieth state. Check out Tom "Pohaku" Stone. He's a surfer and a woodcarver. He hand carves traditional wooden surfboards. Even more interesting is the so-called lava sled:

Hölua, or heÿeholua (to slide together or as one entity) , refers to the ancient art of surfing mountain slopes and lava fields on a specialized Hawaiian sled, a papahölua, constructed of wood lashed together with coconut fiber that is capable of attaining speeds up to 50 mph+ over rock lightly covered with pili, a grass native to Hawai'i.

Fifty miles per hours?! Gads! Sounds dangerous to me.

Oh, yeah, it is:

He has the scars to show for it.

Wearing just a tank top and shorts and reaching speeds of up to 70 mph on a sled standing only four inches above ground, Stone once ran into a steel post sticking up from the grass during a demonstration in a slope on Maui, tearing an 18-inch gash in his left thigh.

In another crash, Stone broke his neck. It hasn't stopped him.

"You can't even imagine what it's like to be head first, four inches off the ground, doing 30, 40, 50 miles an hour on rock," Stone said. "It looks like you are riding just fluid lava. It's death-defying ... but it's a lot of fun."

So yeah... Any friends I have living in Hawai'i who are still recovering from massive bodily injuries should make sure never to look up Tom Stone, OK? Thanks.