Maui provides a beautiful life for Gina Parola and her family
WEST MAUI — The iconic surfing documentary of the late 1960s, “The Endless Summer” by Bruce Brown, told the story of two surfers following their California dream of riding waves around the world. Their adventures took them to Southeast Asia, Europe, Africa and, of course, to the South Pacific islands, including Hawaii.
Surfing enthusiasts throughout the Mainland United States — and especially in California — longed for the opportunity to ride some of the waves of “The Endless Summer” that rolled across the big screens of showcase auditoriums across the country.
This included Northern California surfer Dave Barca and his wife, Jill. They soon packed up their surfboards and moved to Maui — eyes wide open to the freight train speed ramp at Maalaea, the performance curls of Mala Wharf and up to the perfection of Honolua Bay. This was in 1968.
The young couple settled into the easy going lifestyle of the island while working in the restaurant industry at night and then enjoying dawn patrol surf sessions at the perfection spots along the leeward coast of Maui.
Offshore winds, bright, sunny days and the warmth of island life dominated the lives of the Barcas.
They settled into a home in Napili, and soon the joyful addition of a baby girl further enriched their lives. Baby Gina arrived in 1974.
As you would expect, Gina Barca was surfing before she was walking — albeit with arms hanging onto dad’s neck while he rode waves.
Baby girl was a constant accompaniment to her parents’ dawn patrol sessions at Breakwall or the Bay — that is, until Gina was ready to paddle out on her own.
She became deeply enthralled with surfing. Like her mom and dad, Gina has nurtured a deep relationship with the sport and continues to this day to paddle out — most times with Jill — at Olowalu, Breakwall or the Bay.
“As a teenager, I was very serious about surfing. Getting up at dawn to go to Breakwall, Kaanapali Point, Honolua for hours of riding waves. It was my favorite thing to do — to paddle out with my dad every day and just have fun. It still is.”
She is now Gina Parola after marrying Clint Parola, a personable former boat skipper in Lahaina and valet personality at The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua.
The couple purchased a home in Napili — not far from where Gina grew up — and continue to surf in their own endless summer.
She has settled into a successful career in real estate with Keller Williams of Maui, and Clint has retired to tend to the homestead and the family garden.
The Parolas have also found further life enrichment in the practice of Shotokan Karate Do, a traditional martial arts program here in Lahaina.
It just so happens that dad Dave is one of the original founders of the club and has returned to practice as a senior instructor with his daughter and son-in-law.
Gina and Clint have been with the club for six years and have attained the rank of Shodan, or first-degree black belt.
The Parolas attend Kumulani Chapel Christian services at Kapalua and feel truly grateful and thankful for the good life that Maui has provided them.
“Maui provides such a beautiful life for us. We are so blessed for this life,” said Gina with her trademark gentle smile of appreciation and contentment.