Friday, August 24, 2018

Mo‘ikeha and Sons

As surfing emerged and developed in Western Polynesia between 1500 B.C. and 400 A.D.,1 successive waves of Polynesian sailing expeditions explored and settled all of Polynesia.2 Double-hulled voyaging canoes covered thousands of miles of open ocean. They were guided only by celestial bodies, the flight of the golden plover3 and other birds, and sets of ocean swells as aids to primitive navigation – known today as “wayfinding.”

Legendary early-Twentieth Century surfer Tom Blake marveled: “No more daring and courageous sea journeys are to be found in history.”4 Indeed, by 800 A.D., the only other known significant seagoing explorations on the planet had been made by Phoenicians sailing the coast of Africa, Irish travelers reaching Iceland, and Vikings discovering the Faroe Islands between Norway and Iceland.5

After the major period of Polynesian expansion was over, there were later voyages consolidating the links between the islands. In this period of ali‘i voyaging, the most famous of the voyaging chiefs was Mo‘ikeha. He is the first surfer we know much about.

Mo‘ikeha's legend is not always easy to follow because of the numerous -- often conflicting -- versions of his exploits that have been recorded. But, back in the 1990s, I gave it a shot. Here it is as a free eBook, excellent for viewing on a mobile device, available for downloading and sharing as a pdf file:

1  Finney, Ben R. and Houston, James D. Surfing, the Sport of Hawaiian Kings, C.E. Tuttle Company, Rutland, Vermont, ©1966, pp. 24-34.
2  Campbell, I.C. A History of the Pacific Islands, ©1989, University of California Press, p. 31-32. See also Man’s Conquest of the Pacific, the Prehistory of South East Asia and Oceana, by Peter Bellwood, ©1978, Collins, Auckland, Australia. This is a definitive work on the prehistory of the Pacific and includes a discussion of the various alternative theories on Pacific Islander migrations.
3  Bruce Cartwright advances this theory. See Buck, Peter H. “Polynesian Migrations,” chapter 2 of Ancient Hawaiian Civilization, A Series of Lectures Delivered at the Kamehameha Schools, ©1965, C.E. Tuttle Company, Inc. Ninth printing, 1981, p. 31.
4  Blake, Thomas E. Hawaiian Surfriders 1935, Mountain and Sea, Redondo Beach, CA, ©1983, p. 31. Originally published as Hawaiian Surfboard, 1935.
5  Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History, Simon and Schuster, ©1991, p. 87.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Duke Kahanamoku (1890-1968)

This LEGENDARY SURFERS chapter on “the Father of Modern Surfing,” Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, has been one of my most-popular over the course of the past 15 years. It contains all of Duke's life relative and specific to surfing, in addition to his other contributions -- especially as an Olympic swimmer. But, the focus is on the details of 
Duke's life as a surfer.

This biography of Duke was updated and expanded in 1999 and and then again in 2005. At one time, it was the most detailed account of Duke from a surfer's perspective. Although there are now several very good books on Duke, this ebook chapter remains the most inexpensive treatment of the subject of Duke as a surfer.

Word count: 31,007; total pages: 64 (1.46 MB), including images and 8 pages of footnotes.

To order for just $2.95, please click on a Pay Pal icon:

All order fulfillments are done manually, so please be patient in the case there may be a delay. Should you have any problems with your order, please comment at the bottom of this posting or reply to my email.

Aloha and Thank You for Your Interest in My Writings.
I hope you enjoy Duke's story, and help spread the true Aloha Spirit that Duke, himself, helped foster throughout the world.

Malcolm Gault-Williams

Contents of What You Will Receive:

  Descendant of the Ali`i
  Barefoot Freedom
  Under the Hau Tree
  Bigger Boards for Bigger Surf
  "Riding the Surfboard," Mid-Pacific magazine, February 1911
  Freestyle Records Broken, August 11, 1911
  The Kahanamoku Kick Overseas, 1912
  The 1912 Olympics, Stockholm, Sweden
  1st Surfing on the East Coast, 1912
  More Than A Beach Boy
  Hawai`i's Ambassador
  Duke Surfs Freshwater, December 24, 1914
  Duke As Catalyst To Australian Surfing
  World War I
  Duke & Dad's Half Mile Ride of 1917
  Olympic Gold and Silver, 1920
  Corona del Mar Save, June 14, 1925
  The Father of Modern Surfing
  Duke's 16-foot olo design
  Rabbit Kekai
  New Sheriff in Town
  Nadine (Nadjesda) Alexander Kahanamoku (1905-1997)
  World War II and After
  Physical & Financial Health, 1955-61
  Kimo McVay
  Twilight Years, 1962-68
  Duke Kahanamoku Surf Team
  The Passing, January 22, 1968
  Duke Swims Away

"Out of the water I am nothing" - Duke

"Duke attained his greatest surfing satisfactions and some of his greatest achievements as a rider after his 40th year." - Tom Blake

"Why not honor a living monument?" - Arthur Godfrey

"My boys and I, we showed 'em how to go surfing." - Duke, speaking about the Mainland Surfari of the Duke Surf Team

"Duke was Duke. His values came from the sea. He walked through a Western world, but he was always essentially Hawaiian. And because of the simplicity and purity of that value system, money was never that important to him." - Kenneth Brown

"Duke was not in the business of being a beachboy. But in the larger sense of the word - of a man who lived and loved the ocean lifestyle - Duke was, as far as I'm concerned, the ultimate beachboy." - Fred Hemmings

"He had an inner tranquillity. It was as if he knew something we didn't know. He had a tremendous amount of simple integrity. Unassailable in integrity. You rarely meet people who don't have some persona they assume to cope with things. But Duke was completely transparent. No phoniness. People could say to you that Duke was simple - the bugga must be dumb! No way. That's an easy way of explaining that. Duke was totally without guile. He knew a lot of things. He just knew 'em." - Kenneth Brown

Saturday, August 11, 2018

"Sandwich Island Girl" updates

There is new, additional evidence that the "Sandwich Island Girl" may have existed and surfed Asbury Park, New Jersey, in the summer of 1888. Please visit the updated chapter, especially the later section with the updates from 2017 and 2018: