LAVA SURFERS OF TO-O-BRIA
The islanders of Toa-O-Bria still keep alive the exhilarating sport of lava-surfing developed by their ancestors as a religious ceremony. Young men coming of age anxiously await the next volcanic eruption. Long before, they have steeled their bodies by submerging in ever hotter water, and have collected and purified the two basic ingredients: steer semen and turtle tears.
In the dark night, they climb the erupting volcano in single file, chanting their dedication song to E-ru-pi-ta, the Goddess of Magma. Close to the crater, the leader selects an appropriate continuous lava stream, wider than six feet and faster than 15 miles per hour.
Each rider then carefully smears his entire body with the mixture of SS and TT and joins the others in the climactic AA-Pahoihoi dance. When completely magmatized and under the spell of the Goddess, each waits and watches from an elevated position next to the frightening fast flowing lava current.
This is the magic, magmatic moment , that of picking the exact right ke-ha-po-do or fire-riding steed. It determines his success or failure in future life, which should not be long if he makes the wrong choice. He then executes a death defying dive landing flat on his stomach on top of this solidified but still very hot piece of lava crust.
While rushing along with the current on this rough red raft at blood curdling speed, he screams his excitement and delight at not having missed the landing, which spelled certain failure for many of his peers. The ride, although only lasting a few minutes, forever leaves an indelible impression in the mind of these few youngsters who survive it. They will henceforth proudly show off the burnmarks on their stomachs, knees and elbows.
Reportedly, an aggressive French tourist bureau has contracted with a Japanese inventor to produce teflon SK&E pads and is in the process of developing the lava ride as a tourist attraction. Rolex might be interested in financing this as an advertisement for their newest fire-proof watch. It is also rumored that TV station owner and millionnair P. is considering awarding a $ 1 million cash price to the first amateur lava surfer to break the 55 mph speed limit. As the islanders say about the men surviving this ordeal: puka aa no ka oi!
January 8, 1990