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Walani begins the game with her custom Surfboard. The Surfboard does not require hands to row, and can be a great tool for exploration early on. In addition to drying faster, she also gets hungry slightly faster than normal and effects over time on her Sanity are slightly weaker. Her maximum Health is only 120 but her Hunger is 200, making up for the faster drain to it. Overall, Walani fills the role of an easy to use starting Character for Shipwrecked.
Walani starts out with a Surfboard, which has ×1.3 the sailing speed of a Raft but has 2/3 the durability of one. The Surfboard can also be picked up and stored in the inventory, meaning players don't have to backtrack to where they left it in order to leave the island they're on. She can also craft it with 1 Boards and 2 Seashells from the Nautical Tab.
The Surfboard lets her ride on Big Waves too and every time she surfs on a Wave with it, she gains 1 and ×5 (Small Waves) or x7 (Big Waves) speed boost for a short time.
She dries off from Wetness 20% faster than normal, and she experiences no Sanity drain from being wet, but will be affected by wearing wet items. Her Sanity also drains 10% slower from any sources that drain it over time, but this does not count towards instantaneous changes towards her Sanity.
Walani has lower maximum Health (an amount near that of Wes) and her Hunger drains 10% faster than normal. Her lower maximum health means Poison is more deadly to her, especially with no Anti Venom available. The limited durability of her Surfboard can be an issue, as a Boat Repair Kit will be a waste on it, due to the maximum durability. While her Sanity drains slower, it also fills up slower from sources that fill it up over time.
- Since Walani starts automatically with her Surfboard, the player does not need to waste time gathering materials for a Log Raft or Raft. Said time can be better spent exploring.
- While Boards require a Science Machine to be prototyped, players can acquire them without one, by using a Hammer on Crates found in Beach Biomes.
- Since the Surfboard does not require rowing, she can hold Torches while surfing, making exploration in the early days easier.
- A Captain Hat may make the use of a single Surfboard more worthwhile, as it will delay gradual loss of normal boat durability.
- The Surfboard can only be hammered when deployed onto water, but it will not drop the materials used to craft it.
- A Cargo Boat with a Cloth Sail will have the same base speed as the Surfboard, but an Armored Boat with a Sail can reach even greater speeds. This means that unless the player is expecting to ride a large amount of Waves or Big Waves, such as during Hurricane Season, the Surfboard can be put aside for other transportation in the late-game.
- Surfing on Waves in the Ocean (Medium & Deep) biomes is a cheap and easy way to restore a lot of Sanity quickly.
- Walani's voice is played by an (out-of-tune) ukulele.
- Walani was added in Hang Ten update for Shipwrecked. She was the first Character to be added to the DLC during its Early Access phase.
- When struck by Lightning, Walani has bones in her hair (similar to most other Don't Starve Characters) as well as in her gold earrings.
- Her old nickname was "The Relaxed", and her old motto was "Can someone bring me some food?"
- Walani could possibly be Hawaiian or from Hawaiian descendants as she has smaller eyes, a rounder nose, and darker skin than all other characters apart from Warly.
- Walani's attire (Gold hoop earrings, ruffle shirt and buccaneer boots), along with examination quotes for certain items such as the Cutlass Supreme, Captain Hat and Swordfish suggest that she may formerly have been a pirate before giving it up to become a surfer.
- Walani may have had a negative experience with jellyfish, as her examination quote states that she "hates [those] things".
- When traveling via surfboard, custom music plays instead of the default sailing track.
- Walani is the first dark-skinned character, breaking the trend of seemingly European ones.