Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Traditional Hawaiian Life

Aloha and Welcome to this installment in the LEGENDARY SURFERS series on Traditional Hawaiian Life.

Early Twentieth Century surf great Tom Blake felt the article in the Hawaiian Annuals of 1896, translated by Nakuina, to be “the finest contribution on old surfriding in existence.”76

The “native from Kona,” whom Nakuina translated, not only described surfing during his time, but also told of competition and betting being integral to Hawaiian surf culture:

“Surfriding was one of the favorite sports, in which chiefs, men, women and youths took a lively interest. Much valuable time was spent by them in this practice throughout the day. Necessary work for the maintenance of the family, such as farming, fishing, mat and tapa making, and such other household duties required of them and needing attention, by either head of the family, was often neglected for the prosecution of the sport. Betting was made an accompaniment thereof, both by the chiefs and the common people, as was done in all other games, such as wrestling, foot-racing, holua, and several other games known only to the old Hawaiians. Canoes, nets, fishing lines, kapas, swine, poultry and all other property was staked, and in some instances, life itself was put as a wager. The property changing hands and personal liberty or even life itself sacrificed according to the outcome of the match, the winners carrying off their riches, and the losers and their families passing to a life of poverty or servitude.”77

The ali‘i took great pride in the skill, grace, speed, and courage involved in surfriding. They often performed in public, sometimes to court a visiting queen from another island, sometimes as part of a gathering of island chieftains. Most often, however, gambling was a part of a contest or competition. Indeed, gambling and competition were major elements in the pursuit of surfing. The fact that betting accompanied nearly every contest was no doubt an important incentive for the popularity of the sport.

“Before a surfing contest in which chiefs were competing, a dog might be buried in an underground oven and baked, so that the contestants could periodically replenish their strength during the match. If the contest was one of pride, the chiefs would gird themselves in tapa loincloths dyed red. When preliminaries were over and all the bets were in, the competing surfers paddled out to a predetermined position to wait for a swell to come through. As soon as a large wave rose up behind them they paddled, caught it together and rode until they reached a pua (buoy) anchored inshore. The first man to the buoy won the heat. Probably several such rides determined the winner of the contest.”78

The American Anthropologist of 1889 documents a variance to this kind of contest featuring surfriders starting from shore. “The riders sometimes also raced to the kulano, or starting place. Standing on the boards as they shot in was by no means uncommon. Men and women both took part in this delightful pastime, which is now almost a lost art... Racing in the surf is called hie-eie-nalu, ‘hie-eie’ meaning to race and ‘nalu’ meaning to surf. Two champions will swim out to sea on boards, and the first on arriving on shore wins.”79

There were other kinds of ocean competitions, also, involving canoes and sleds. Noted anthopologist Kenneth Emory documented that, “The wave sought in surfing by board or canoe was one that welled up high and smooth, and did not break quickly or all at once. That sort of a wave was called an ohu, or opuu, whereas the long wave breaking all at once was called Kakala.”80

One kind of match pitted a chief’s surfboard against another chief and his land-locked holua sled. At Keauhou, on the western side of the Big Island, one can still see the stone holua slide stretching several hundred yards down the mountain slope to the shore at He‘eia Bay. A grass house once sat at the bottom of the slide and beyond the house, out to sea, was the noted surfbreak of Keauhoua. When the largest wave of a swell’s set was spotted heading toward shore and the center of the surfing area, an assistant would wave a tapa flag from his position at the grass house. A young chief at the top of the slide would then run a few powerful steps, throw himself and his narrow sled belly-down on the slide, and plummet seaward. At the same time, out at sea, a surfer would catch the wave that had triggered the signal and race the sled to shore. The first to reach the grass hut was the winner.81

“Wagering on such matches,” noted Finney and Houston, “by contestants as well as spectators, was a favorite and often fanatic pastime that occasionally overshadowed the sport itself.”82

In Hawaiian Antiquities, published by the Bishop Museum in 1951, Nineteeth Century Hawaiian scholar David Malo agreed that, “Surf-riding was a national sport of the Hawaiians, on which they were very fond of betting, each man staking his property on the one thought to be most skillful... Hawaiians were much addicted to gambling, even to the last article they possessed.”83

This passion for gambling was unusual for Polynesians as a whole. In the other island groups, betting was either unknown or otherwise not practiced. Because of this, Kenneth Emory advanced the theory that Hawaiians actually got gambling from shipwrecked Japanese fishermen, prior to European contact. However it started, by the time the Europeans first started to observe life in the Hawaiian chain, gambling was an essential aspect connected to sports of all types. An excited native might impetuously wager canoes, fishing nets and lines, tapa cloth, swine, and sometimes his own life or personal freedom, all on the outcome of a match. The consequences were often dramatic. To the winners went the spoils. For the losers, it could mean death or a life of servitude for himself and his entire family.84 The dangers of such a contest are illustrated in the legendary match between Uni-a-liloa and Paiea.85

Mele and Hula

Having no written language, the Hawaiians developed the mele (poetry and music) and hula (dance) to convey the stories handed down from generation to generation. Meles always contain subtle, hidden meanings:  1) the ostensible meaning; 2) the sexual double meaning; 3) a mythological, historical or topographical meaning (usually religious) or; 4) a kauna, or deeply hidden meaning.

The mele is presented in either oli form or hula. The oli form is a recital method of chanting or intoning, unaccompanied by any musical instrument, with a limited tonal range which was practically monotone. Hula was a physical interpretation of the words of the song, augmented by ornamental gestures which expressed the different meanings a mele contained. According to legend, the first hula was danced by the goddess Hi‘iaka on the black sand beach at Puna on the southern coast of the Big Island. Hula later became the primary function of the goddess Laka. Although it – along with other Hawaiian traditions – suffered greatly in the 1800s, hula is alive and well, today, and is practiced by both women and men who graduate from a halau (school) under the teachings of a kumuhula (master).

Traditional Hawaiian musical instruments include: ipu hula (gourd drum); ka-laau (the gourd’s beating stick); ohe keeke (unstripped bamboo struck to make a clanking sound); pu-ili (section of bamboo split into long, slender teeth, struck against each other against the performer’s body, producing a rattle sound); pahu (hollowed coconut trunk with shark skin head); pu puhi (conch shell horn); pu-nui (drum with cords used in tying it to the knee of the beater); ohe hano ihu (nose flute); uliuli (rattle gourd made of coconut containing seeds or pebbles, trimmed with feathers and tapa, shaken by the hula dancer); and ili-ili (castanets made of smooth pebbles, clicked together by hand).

The following is the mele of Naihe, a man of strong character, but not a high chief. He was born in Kona and resided at Napoopoo. His mother was Ululani. His father was Keawe-a-heulu, who was a celebrated general and strategist under Kamehameha I:86

He Mele-Inoa (No Naihe)

A Name-Song, A Eulogy (for Naihe)

Ka nalu nui, a ku ka nalu mai Kona,

Ka malo a ka mahiehie87

Ka onaulu-loa,88 a lele ka‘u malo.

The huge roller, roller that surges from Kona,

Makes loin-cloth fit for a lord;

Far-reaching swell, my malo streams in the wind;

O kakai89 malo hoaka,90

O ka malo kai,91 malo o ke alii.

E ku, e hume a paa i ka malo.

Shape the crescent malo to the loins –

The loin-cloth the sea, cloth for king’s girding.

Stand, gird fast the loin-cloth!

E ka‘ikai92 ka la I ka papa o Halepo;93

A pae o Halepo i a nalu.

Ho-e‘e i ka nalu mai Kahiki;94

He nalu Wakea,95 nalu ho‘ohua.96

Haki opu‘u97 ka nalu, haki kua-pa.98

Let the sun guide the board Halep,

Till Halepo lifts on the swell.

It mounts the swell that rolls from Kahiki,

From Wakea’s age onrolling.

The roller plumes and ruffles its crest.

Ea mai ka makakai99 he‘e nalu,

Kai he‘e kakala100 o ka moku,

Kai-ka o ka nalu nui,

Ka hu‘a o ka nalu o Hiki-au.101

Kai he‘e-nalu i ke awakea.

Here comes the champion surfer,

While wave-ridden wave beats the island,

A fringe of mountain-high waves.

Spume lashes the Hiki-au altar –

A surf this to ride at noontide.

Ku ka puna, ke ko‘a I-uka.

Ka makaha o ka nalu o Kuhihewa.102

Ua o ia,103 noha ka papa!

Noha Maui, nauweuwe,

Nauweuwe, nakelekele.

The coral, horned coral, it sweeps far ashore.

We gaze at the surf of Ka-kuhi-hewa.

The surfboard snags, is shivered;

Maui splits with a crash,

Trembles, dissolves into slime.

Nakele ka ili o ka i he‘e-kai.

Laliali ole ka ili o ke akamai;

Kahilihili ke kai a ka he‘e-nalu.

Ike‘a ka nalu nui o Puna, o Hilo.

Glossy the skin of the surfer;

Undrenched the skin of the expert;

Wave-feathers fan the wave rider.

You’ve seen the grand surf of Puna, of Hilo.104

The Makahiki

The Hawaiian luau is named for the taro tops traditionally served at this feast. “The custom of the luau,” wrote Tom Blake, “is a happy note in old Hawaiian life. The luau, meaning feast, was an excuse for hospitality on a grand scale, music, dancing, eating, awa drinking, chanting, love making.”105 The grand Hawaiian luau amounted to the Makahiki, a four-month-long celebration.

Surfing was integral to the annual Makahiki. The ancient festival coincided with the rise of winter waves in the fall season. The Makahiki began when the Huihui – or Makali‘i – star group made its first evening appearance in the eastern sky. Greek astronomers called the Makali‘i the Pleiades – or “seven little sisters” – and this is how they are most commonly known in the Western World, today.106 In our time, the Pleiades show in Hawai‘i at the present time around the middle of November. In other latitudes and in other eras the date is different. Around the year 1000 A.D., the Pleiades would have risen at sundown in the Hawaiian Islands about November 5th; 2000 years ago, on October 20th.107

Lolo was the patron deity of the Makahiki festivities between mid-October and mid-January. During that time, Hawaiians stopped work, relaxed, and passed much of their time dancing, feasting and participating in sports. Religious ceremonies and a kapu on war was also part of this most special time of the year.108

Thousands gathered to watch tournaments; prominent of which were the surfing contests. A particular akua pa‘ani (special god of sport) usually presided over each contest. Kenneth Emory wrote, “No important contest was engaged in without approaching the gods with prayers and offerings to win their favor. Some god presided over every sport. When a man felt he was in harmonious relations with the mysterious forces about him he was quite likely to accomplish superhuman feats of strength and skill.”109

Interestingly and somewhat disappointingly for some, nowhere in the whole colorful collection of ancient Hawaiian gods is there mention of a special deity for surfing. In Tahiti, Ellis recorded the presiding god of surfing was Huaouri. His Hawaiian counterpart can only be assumed, but remains nameless and unknown.110


The possibility of a surfing god is strengthened by the existence of more than one heiau for surfing on the big island of Hawai‘i. Heiau – ancient Hawaiian temples, shrines, or places of worship – were built sometimes in connection with a community, with an individual god, or a certain activity. Types of heiau known to us, today, include:

• hei-au ho‘ola – for treating the sick.

• hei-au ho‘o-ulu‘ai – for the increase of crops; where first fruits were offered.

• hei-au ho‘o-ulu i‘a – where fish were offered to insure good fishing.

• hei-au ho‘o-ulu ua – where offerings were made to insure rain.

• hei-au ka-lua ua – for stopping the rain

• hei-au ma‘o – small temporary heiau covered with tapa stained green, used for the ho‘oulu ‘ai ceremony to bring food.111

• hei-au po‘o kanaka – where human sacrifices were made.

• hei-au wai-kaua – for services to bring success in war.112

John Francis Gray Stokes (1876-1960), in his archaeological study Ancient Worship of the Hawaiian Islanders, identified the seaside heiau at Kahalu‘u Bay on the Kona coast as a spot where locals made offerings and prayed to their gods for good surfing conditions.113 The Ku‘emanu Heiau is a large structure built of lichen-spotted black lava rock. Stokes recorded locals as describing this as, “a heiau for surf-riders, where they could pray for good sport.” The compound contains a stone pool convenient for rinsing water from bodies after surfing. Stone terraces are a dominant feature of the temple and these are so aligned that from the upper level, spectators could easily watch surfers riding waves less than a hundred yards away. Good sized surf still breaks offshore at Ku‘emanu, directly in front of the heiau.114

The Ku‘emanu religious site is very similar to another heiau fronting the sea at Holualoa, a few miles north of Kahalu‘u. This site is known as Keolonahihi Heiau. A pool and bleacher-like terrace are features there, too, and it also faces a once-well-known surfing area. Both places, in fact, were noted in earlier times for the good surf close-by. At Keolonahihi, King Kamehameha first learned to surf. Local chiefs favored the surrounding lands because of abundant food and good surf the area produced. Ke-olo-na-hihi as a name is significant in itself, since it means “the olo of Hihi.115

Most of the Hawaiian heiau are overgrown and obscured by tropical vegetation, much as the ancient surf culture of Hawai‘i and Polynesia is hidden from us, today. Some heiau are easy to see, like the one at Kapa‘a, on Kaua‘i. Others require solid determination by the average seeker to find and identify.




76  Blake, 1935, p. 44. Blake misspelled Nakuina as “Nakoina.”

77  Blake, 1935, pp. 44-45.

78  Finney and Houston, 1966, p. 51.

79  Anthropologist, 1889, quoted in Blake, p. 48. He‘e-nalu is misspelled.

80 Emory, Kenneth P. “Sports, Games, and Amusements,” Ancient Hawaiian Civilization, Chapter 14, the Kamehameha Schools, Honolulu, Hawai’i, 1933, p. 149.

81  Finney and Houston, 1966, pp. 51-52.

82  Finney and Houston, 1966, pp. 51-52.

83 Malo, David. Hawaiian Antiquities, BP, Bishop Museum, Special Publication 2, 2nd Edition (translated by Nathaniel Emerson, 1898; First published 1903), Honolulu, Hawai‘i.  See also Finney and Houston, p. 52.

84  Finney and Houston, 1966, p. 52.

85  See Gault-Williams, “Ancient Polynesian Surf Legends.”

86 Emerson, Nathaniel B. Unwritten Literature of Hawaii, The Sacred Songs of the Hula, ©1965. Originally published by the Bureau of American Ethnology in 1909, pp. 35-37.

87 Mahiehie – A term conferring dignity and distinction.

88 Onulu-loa – A rolling wave of great length and endurance, one that reaches the shore, in contrast to kakala.

89 Kakai – forty.

90 Hoaka – A crescent; the name of the second day of the month. The allusion is to the downward curve of a large number (kakai) of malo when hung on a line, the usual way of keeping such articles.

91 Malo kai – The ocean is sometimes poetically termed the malo or pa-u of the naked swimmer or surfer. It covers his nakedness.

92 Ka‘ika‘i – To lead or to carry. The sun is described as leading the board.

93 Halepo – Emmerson believed this to be the name of Nahie’s surfboard. A surfer he knew said it is the name given to the surf at Napoopoo, in Kona.

94 Kahiki – Tahiti or any foreign country.

95 Wakea – Legendary leader of the Polynesian migration. See Chapter 4: “Ancient Hawaiian Surfers.”

96 Ho‘ohua – Applied to a rolling wave, one that rolls on and rises in height.

97 Opu‘u – Said of a wave that completes its run to shore.

98 Kua-pa – Said of a wave that dies at the shore.

99 Maka-kai – The springing-up of the surf after a period of inactivity.

100 Kakala – Rough, heaped-up, one wave over-riding the other; choppy sea.

101 Hiki-au – Name of a Heiau.

102 Kuhihewa – Short for Ka-kuhi-hewa, a distinguished king of O‘ahu.

103 O ia – Surfboard pearled; the board dug its nose towards the reef or into the sand.

104 Emerson, Nathaniel B. Unwritten Literature of Hawaii, The Sacred Songs of the Hula, ©1965. Originally published by the Bureau of American Ethnology in 1909, pp. 35-37. Not an exact rendition of Emerson’s translation. I’ve made some of the terms more contemporary. Note: last nine verses omitted as they do not apply to surfing.

105  Blake, 1935, p. 31.

106  See Pukui and Elbert, 1986.

107 Bryan, E.H.  “Astronomy and the Calendar,” chapter 23 of Ancient Hawaiian Civilizations, A Series of Lectures Delivered at The Kamehameha Schools, Honolulu, C.E. Tuttle Company, Inc., ©1965.  Ninth Printing, 1981, pp. 252-253.

108  See Pukui and Elbert, 1986.

109  Emory, 1933.  Quoted in Finney and Houston, 1966, p. 54 and the 1996 edition, p. 48.

110  Finney and Houston, 1966, p. 54 and in the 1996 edition, p. 48.

111  Malo, p. 158.

112  Pukui and Elbert, 1986.

113 Stokes, John Francis Gray. “Heiaus of Hawaii,” Ancient Worship of the Hawaii Islanders, compiled by William T. Brigham, first director of the Bishop Museum. Published in 1919, ©1991 by the Bishop Museum, Honolulu, pp. 67-70.  Quoted in Lueras, 1984, p. 33.

114  Finney and Houston, 1966, p. 55 and the 1996 edition, p. 49.  See also Lueras, 1984, p. 33.

115  Finney and Houston, 1966, p. 55 and the 1996 edition, p. 49.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Kapu and Classes

Aloha and Welcome to this installment in the LEGENDARY SURFERS series entitled: Kapu & Classes.

A tiki from the Marquesas

In “the old days,” lectured Dr. E. S. C. Handy, “the mass of the people were called makaainana. The word is interesting because it refers to the relationship of the people to the land. The makaainana were the people who lived on the land. Aina means land, but it has a deeper meaning because it is derived from the word meaning ‘to eat.’ The word actually means the land on which a person is born and from which he gets his living. The makaainana were the common people, the laboring masses, the cultivators of the soil, the fishermen, hunters, and craftsmen. In wartime they fought for the chief or king. Amongst themselves, their goods and their labor were shared or exchanged, but it was the right of the chief or king to require of them what he pleased, in goods or in services. Compensation for labor was, for the most part, in the form of gifts – food, cloth, mats, utensils, etc. There was no medium of exchange or money. Those who worked for the chief had their livelihood from him as compensation.”52

Due to this relationship, the maka‘ai-nana53 were second to the ali‘i when it came to all aspects of Hawaiian society, including wave riding. It was the ali‘i, or chiefly class, that not only had the reputation but more importantly the time to dedicate to their wave riding. Their wave riding sport included three types: he‘e nalu (board surfing), holua sledding, and lele wa‘a (canoe-leaping).54

“The ali‘i were a majestic aristocracy,” wrote Finney and Houston, “generally taller, broader, and physically superior to the commoners.”55 This difference in body type between the ali‘i and the maka‘ai-nana may have come about by the settling of Hawai‘i by two separate peoples, as sung in early legends and substantiated by archaeological evidence.56 As for the ali‘i, their status as leaders within the class of chiefs depended, in part, on their strength and stamina.”57 For the ali‘i, surfing and other sports were not only recreational pastimes, they were serious training sessions to keep them fit for the physical requirements their status required.

“The rulers of those people were in their chiefly position,” Duke Kahanamoku told his biographer Joe Brennan in their book World of Surfing, “because of their inheritance of rank, plus their physical strength and courage. In short, they were recognized and respected for their athletic talents, so the leaders constantly trained and schooled themselves in athletic activities in order to be strong enough to maintain their positions of command. Surfing rated high on their athletic agenda, and they strove for perfection in that field.”58

Today’s common expression “taboo” is based on the Hawaiian system of kapu.59 The kapu system helped assure the ali‘i position of privilege. This system, like other laws, applied only to the maka‘ai-nana. Used in relation to surfing, it prohibited commoners from using the onini (o-NEE-nee) and owili (o-WE-lee) types of olo boards, both of which were made of wili-wili.60 According to a local from Kona who told about surfing in the earlier days to Thomas G. Thrum and translated by M. K. Nakuina, “it is well known that the olo was only for the use of chiefs; none of the common people use it.”61

The kapu system also restricted maka‘ai-nana from surfing certain breaks that were reserved for the chiefs only. As Duke Kahanamoku put it, “the ali‘i did as they saw fit. This meant that those of royal rank surfed to their hearts’ content and developed great skill at riding the waves. The oppressed commoners had to do without... The more select surfing areas were reserved for those of royal blood. A commoner using one of the tabued beaches risked a death sentence.”62 This consequence for using ali‘i-only surfing areas was also substantiated by Hawaiian scholar David Malo.63 An example of this segregation was witnessed by William Ellis, upon seeing some ali‘i having fun surfing by a rivermouth, at the same time strictly forbidding commoners to approach.64

This particular kapu only applied to particular breaks. For instance, Ellis also mentions ali‘i and maka‘ainana surfing together at another location and other accounts refer to an “inter-class mixing” in the ocean.65 The intricacies of the kapu system are difficult to know for sure, however, since most of what was written about it came after the abandonment of the kapu system in 1819.66 Certainly, ali‘i surfing privilege is substantiated in such Hawaiian surf legends as that of Piikoi the Rat Killer, and the designated special surf spot at Waikiki which was kapu to everyone but the Queen. In the case of Piikoi the Rat Killer, this maka‘ainana was severely beaten and nearly put to death for riding to shore on one of the Queen’s waves.67

Another advantage that the ali‘i had over the maka‘ai-nana was personal wealth. This obviously determined the quality of wave riding gear. For example, a chief could order a team of maka‘ai-nana into the colder highlands to cut down a selected tree, usually the light weight wili-wili. After the appropriate ceremonies, the retainers brought the wood back to his ahu-pua‘a,68 or ruling realm, where the ali‘i would have a craftsman carefully custom-shape his board. Commoners had to settle for heavier wood – like koa – of their own design. For women and children of common birth, the situation might be even more basic. For instance, the Hawaiian chronicler John Papa I’i (1800-1870) recalled a scene at Lahaina, Maui, in 1812, where the “boys were surfing on the north side of Pelekane, with banana trunks for surfboards.”69

The manner of handling and riding boards was much the same as it is today. After paddling prone past the soup70 and the breakers,71 surfers would position their boards out beyond the breaker line, sitting on their boards and waiting for a set72 to roll in. Selecting their wave of the set, they would swing again to the prone position – kipapa73 – and dig hard to catch the wave. “Gracefully, and all in one catlike motion,” described “The Father of Modern Surfing” Duke Kahanamoku, “the surfer would spring to his feet. Then, in a standing position with feet spread, he would maintain balance and direction by shifting his weight, right or left, forward or backward. Thus the board was deftly maneuvered throughout the shoreward ride.”74

In the Hawaiian Annuals, published in 1896, a native Hawaiian surfer from the Kona district of the Big Island gave a detailed description of surfing in the Hawai‘i of old. This was translated by another Hawaiian surfer, M. K. Nakuina:

“Breakers. The line of breakers is the place where the outer surf rises and breaks at deep sea. This is called kulana nalu. Any place nearer or closer in where the surf rises and breaks again as they sometimes do, is called the ahua.

“Methods of Surfriding. The swimmer taking position at the line of breakers waits for the line of surf... the first one is allowed to pass by. It is never ridden because its front is rough. If the second comber is seen to be a good one, it is sometimes taken, but usually the third or fourth is the best, both from the regularity of its breaking and the foam calmed surface of the sea through the travel of its predecessors.

“Expert Positions. Various positions used to be indulged in by experts in this aquatic sport, such as standing, kneeling and sitting. These performances could only be indulged in after the board had taken on the surf momentum and in the following manner. Placing the hands on each side of the board close to the edge, the weight of the body was thrown upon the hands, and the feet brought up quickly to the kneeling position. The sitting position is obtained in the same way, though the hands must not be removed from the board till the legs are thrown forward and the desired position is secured. From kneeling the standing position was obtained by placing both hands again on the board, and with agility, leaping up to the erect altitude, balancing the body on the swift, coursing board with outstretched arms.”75.


52  Handy, E.S.C. “Government And Society,” chapter 3 of Ancient Hawaiian Civilization, “A Series of Lectures Delivered at the Kamehameha Schools,” C.E. Tuttle Company, Inc., Rutland, Vermont, ©1965. Ninth printing, 1981, p. 35.

53  maka‘ai-nana, n. Commoner, populace, people in general; citizen, subject. Cf. lunamaka‘ainana. Literally, people that attend the land (PNP matakainanga). From Pukui and Elbert, Hawaiian Dictionary, 1986.

54  Finney and Houston, 1966, p. 44.

55  Finney and Houston, 1966, p. 44.

56  See old Chapter 1, “The First Surfers.”

57  Finney and Houston, 1966, p. 44.

58  Kahanamoku, Duke with Brennan, Joe. World of Surfing, Grosset & Dunlap, New York, NY, ©1968, p. 21.

59  kapu n.  Meaning “prohibited.” This is where the expression “taboo” comes from.

60  See Chapter 3, “Ancient Hawaiian Surfboards.”

61  Thrum, Thomas G. “Hawaiian Surf Riding,” Hawaiian Almanac and Annual, 1896. Early account of surfing as told by a Kona native and translated by M.K. Nakuina, who was also a surfer in his younger days. See Finney and Houston, 1996, Appendix E, p. 102.

62  Kahanamoku, 1968, p. 22.

63  Malo, David. Hawaiian Antiquities, Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Special Publications 2, 2nd Edition, Hawaiian Gazette Company, ©1951, pp. 56-57. Original translation by Nathaniel Emerson, 1898. First published in 1903.

64  Ellis, William. Polynesian Researches, volumes 1-3, published by Fisher, Son & Jackson, London, 1831.

65  Ellis, William. Polynesian Researches, volumes 1-3, published by Fisher, Son & Jackson, London, 1831.

66  Finney and Houston, 1966, p. 46.

67  Finney and Houston, 1996, p. 46. See also Gault-Williams, “Ancient Polynesian Surf Legends.”

68   Ahu-pua‘a, n. Land division usually extending from the uplands to the sea, so called because the boundary was marked by a heap (ahu) of stones surmounted by an image of a pig (pua‘a), or because a pig or other tribute was laid on the altar as tax to the chief. The landlord or owner of an ahupua‘a might be a konohiki. A konohiki was a headman under a chief. The land rights included fishing rights along the land’s border, sometimes referred to as konohiki rights.  See Pukui and Elbert, 1986.

69  Lueras, 1984, p. 41. John Papa I’i (1800-1870) quoted.

70  Soup n. The turbulent foam created by a wave’s breaking; not very suitable for surfing, and often dangerous in big surf; a mixture of air bubbles and moving water.

71  Breaker n. Any wave that breaks on its way to the beach.

72  Set n., A series of waves – 2, 3 or 4 in a row – generally arriving at regularly spaced intervals.

73  Kipapa has several meanings in the Hawaiian language. Relative to surfing it means the prone position on a surfboard or to assume such position. See Pukui and Elbert, 1986.

74  Kahanamoku, 1968, p. 23.

75  Hawaiian Annuals, 1896. See also Blake, pp. 46-47. Ku-lana nalu, n. Place where the waves swell up and the surf rider starts paddling and racing the wave, usually at the most distant line of breakers. Also kulana he‘enalu. Ahua, to swell, as a wave; heap, mound, hillock, knoll, pile; heaped, bumped; tremendous. See Pukui and Elbert, 1986. Comber, n. A long, curling wave.  See Cralle, 1991.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Traditional Hawaiian Spots & Breaks

Aloha and Welcome to this installment in the LEGENDARY SURFERS series on Traditional Hawaiian Surf Spots and Breaks.

Maps courtesy pf Finney and Houston's "History of Surfing"

Village-wide surfing was a frequent sight, especially when a swell hit. Due to climate, means of livelihood and a general dependence on the ocean, nearly all Hawaiian villages were near warm, palm-laden coasts. Thus, ancient and pre-European contact Hawaiian surf spots were mostly near coastal villages and well populated areas.

The best and most popular surfing locations on each island were known by name. Dozens of surf spots and individual breaks are remembered in Old Hawaiian stories and songs and on every island in the chain. Early sources revealed 50 individual breaks off the big island of Hawai‘i alone.16 For the other six inhabited islands, 57 more locations once used in ancient Hawai‘i have been identified, making a total of 107 surfing areas. Specifically, in addition to the 57 on Hawai‘i, there were 17 on O‘ahu; 19 on Maui; 16 on Kaua‘i; 3 on Ni‘ihau; 1 on Molokai; and 1 on Lanai.17

The writings of Nineteenth Century Hawaiian historians John Papa I‘i and Samuel Manaiakalani Kamakau are our major sources for identifying these ancient Hawaiian surf breaks.18 A modern tabulation was made by Ben R. Finney, who credits the Twentieth Century author and translator Mary Kawena Pukui with significant help. At one point, she gave Finney and his co-author James Houston “a stack of file cards on which she had written the names of surfing places that she had run across during her decades of translating and interpreting Hawaiian oral traditions and newspaper articles from the nineteenth century.”19

The tabulation of pre-European Hawaiian surf spots, listed here, gives the modern geographical location name, if there is one, followed by the traditional place names, followed by the spot’s literal translation. Particular areas sometimes contained more than one break and these are indicated. By noting the number of the break, one can find its approximate location on the attached maps. Last but not least, in addition to the known breaks, there are 19 more surf spots named in legends, but have not been located to date. These are listed here, but not marked on the maps:


1.  Na‘ohaku – Ku‘moho, “to rise (as water)”

2.  East of Kauhola Point – Hale-lua, “pit house”

3.  Wai-manu, “bird water”

4.  Wai-pi‘o, “curved water”

5.  Lau-pahoehoe, “smooth lava flat”

6.  Papa‘i-kou, “hut (in a) kou (grove)”

7.  Kapo‘ai, “to rotate or revolve” (as in a hula)

8.  Pu‘u‘eo – Pa‘ula, “red enclosure”

9.  Hilo Bay20

9a.  Off Mokuola (aka Coconut Island) – Ahua, “heap”

9b.  Next to Kaipalaoa – Huia, “a type of high wave formed when two crests meet”

9c.  Kai-palaoa, “whale sea”

9d.  Near Ha‘aheo – Ka-hala-‘ia, “the sin of eating forbidden fish or meat”

9e.  Near Waiakea – Ka-nuku-o-ka-manu, “the beak of the bird”

9f.  Kawili, “to mix, blend, intertwine”

9g.  Pi‘ihonua, “land incline”

10.  Ke‘eau21 – Ka-loa-o-ka-‘oma, “the length of the ocean” 

11.  Kai-mu – “gathering (at the) sea (to watch surfing)”

11a.  Ho-eu, mischief“

11b.  Ka-poho, the depression“

12.  Kala-pana

12a.  A’ili, to struggle for breath, to pull“

12b.  Ka-lehua, the expert“

13.  Puna-lu’u – Kawa, „distance“

14  Ka-alu’alu Bay

14a.  Pai-a-ha‘a, “lift and sway (of waves)”

14b.  Kua‘ana, “big brother” (the outside surf for adults)

14c.  Kaina, “little brother” (the inside surf for children)

15.  East of Ka-lae (South Point) – Ka-pu‘u-one, “the sand hill”

16.  Ke’ei

17.  Napo’opo’o

17a.  Ka-pahu-kapu, the tabu drum“

17b.  Kapukapu, “regal appearance”

17c.  Kukui, “candlenut tree, torch”

18.  Ke-ala-ke-kua, Hiki-au, “moving current”22

19.  He‘eia Bay, Kona – Ke-au-hou

19a.  Ka-lapu, “the ghost”23

19b.  Kaulu, ledge“

20.  Kaha-lu’u

20a.  Ka-lei-kini, “the many leis”

20b.  Kapu‘a, “the whistle”

21.  Ke-olo-na-hihi

21a.  Ka-moa, “the chicken”

21b.  Kawa, “distance”

21c.  Pu‘u, “peak”

22.  Kai-lua, Kona

22a.  ‘Au-hau-kea-e

22b.  Huiha24

22c.  Ka-maka i‘a, “the fish eye”

22d.  Ki‘i-kau, “placed image”

22e.  Na‘ohule-‘elua, “the two bald heads”

23.  Honokahau, “bay tossing dew”

24.  Mahai‘ula – Ka-hale-‘ula, “the red house”

25.  Kawaihae – Ka-pua-‘ilima, “the ‘ilima flower”

26.  Honoipu – Pua-kea, “white blossom”

Not Located:

27.  Kohala – Ho‘olana, “to cause to float”

28.  Puna

28a.  ‘Awili, “swirl”

28b.  Ka-lalani, “the row”

28c.  Kala-loa, “very rough”


1.  Wai-kiki25

1a.  ‘Ai-wohi, “royal ruler”

1b.  Ka-lehua-wehe, “the removed lehua (lei)”26

1c.  Ka-pua, “the flower”

1d.  Ka-puni, “the surrounding”

1e.  Mai-hiwa

2.  Hono-lulu

2a.  ‘Ula-kua, “back red”

2b.  Ke-kai-o-Mamala, “the sea of Mamala”27

2c.  Awa-lua, “double harbor”

3.  Moku-le‘ia – Pekue

4.  Wai-a-lua – Pua-‘ena, “issue hot”

5.  Waimea River mouth – Wai-mea, “reddish water”

6.  Sunset Beach, Pau-malu Bay – Pau-malu, “taken secretly”

Not Located:

7.  Wai-a-lua

7a.  Ka-papala, “the crest”

7b.  Ka-ua-nui, “the big rain”

8.  Wai-‘anae

8a.  Ka-pae-kahi, “the single landing”

8b.  Kuala-i-ka-po-iki, “tumbling in the small night”

9.  Ka-‘ihu-wa‘a, “the nose (of the) canoe”


1.  Wai-he’e

1a.  Ka-haha-wai, “the broken rivulets”

1b.  Pala‘ie, “inconstant”

1c.  Popo‘ie, “vine cluster”

2.  Wai-ehu

2a.  ‘A‘awa, “wrasse fish”

2b.  Niu-ku-kahi, “coconut palm standing alone”

3.  Wai-luku

3a.  Ka‘ahu, “the garment”

3b.  Ka‘akau-pohaku, “the north (or right hand side) stone”

3c.  Ka-leholeho, “the callus”

3d.  Pauku-kalo, “taro piece”

4.  Hana Bay

4a.  Ke-‘anini, “the stunted”28

4b.  Pu-hele (Pu‘u-hele), “traveling hill”29

5.  Kau-po – Moku-lau, “many islets”

6.  La-haina

6a.  ‘A‘aka, “roiled”

6b.  Hau-ola, “dew (of) life”

6c.  ‘Uha-‘ilio, “dog’s hindquarters”

6d.  ‘Uo30

Not Located:

7.  Hana (either bay or district)  Ka-pua‘i, “the flow (of water)”

8.  La-haina

8a.  Hale-lua, “pit house”

8b.  Ka-lehua, “the expert”


1.  Anahola – Ka-naha-wale, “easily broken”

2.  Kapa‘a

2a.  Ka-maka-iwa, “the mother-of-pearl eyes”

2b.  Po‘o, “head”

2c.  Ko‘a-lua, “two coral heads”

3.  Wai-lua

3a.  Maka-iwa, “mother-of-pearl eyes”31

3b.  Ka-‘o-hala, “the thrust passing”

4.  Hana-pe-pe, “crushed bay” (due to land slides)

5.  Wai-mea

5a.  Kaua, „war“

5b.  Kua-lua, “twice”

5c.  Po‘o, “head”

Not Located:

6.  Hana-lei District

6a.  Hawai‘i-loa, “long (or distant) Hawai‘i”32

6b.  Ho‘ope‘a, “to cross”

6c.  Ku-a-kahi-unu, “standing like a fishing shrine”

6d.  Makawa

6e.  Pu‘u-lena, “yellow hill”

7.  Wai-‘oli – Mana-lau, “many branches”


1.  Ka-laupapa – Pua‘o, “onslaught of dashing waves”


1.  Ka-malino – Lana, “floating”

2.  Pu‘uwai – ‘Ohi‘a, “‘ohi‘a tree”

3.  Ka-unu-nui, “the large altar”


Not Located:

1.  Hilole33

Famous Hawaiian Breaks

Of the many ancient surf spots scattered throughout the Hawaiian Islands, some were more famous than others:


By the early 1900s, the location of Ka-lehue-wehe,34 off Waikiki beach, was only known “to but a few old-timers today,” wrote 20th Century surf pioneer Tom Blake.35 In his book Hawaiian Surfboard, Blake wrote that Kala means “proclaiming or announcing” and hue means “calabash.” Wehe means “loosened, opened or over-flowing.”36 Blake wrote that “the earth around the ocean was likened to a great calabash by the old Hawaiians.” His translation for Kalahuewehe was: “proclaiming the over-flowing or opening of the big calabash.” In other words, announcing that the sea is loosened and big waves are running at Waikiki.37

Hawaiian oral traditions have another interpretation of the word that is probably closer to the mark. Ka-lehua-wehe is translated as “the removed lehua.” This action, applied to this break was inspired by a certain instance when the surfer Piikoi, who was riding there, later removed his lei made from lehua blossoms and presented it to a chieftess who was also riding there.38 The reason why it was a big deal was due to the rider’s being a commoner. His act was a bold one, as it was not within his place to approach a member of the ali‘i.

Kalehuawehe – Waikiki’s biggest break and furthest from shore – later became known as Outside Castle’s in the 1920s and 1930s. This is the name that remains, today. A few times a year, more or less around summertime, big south swells roll into O‘ahu’s south shore. These swells – called “Bluebirds” by the old timers – roll in to provide rides that can sometimes be taken all the way to the beach. A ride on a twenty-to-thirty-foot wave from Kalehuawehe – or Outside Castles – was considered the ultimate experience by Waikiki-area surfers of the early Twentieth Century.39

In the 1930s, Duke Kahanamoku gave more details about Kalehuawehe’s location to Tom Blake. When Duke was still just a boy, Duke remembered his mother telling him Kalahuewehe was the big surf outside Queen’s break. “This,” Blake generalized, amounted to the surfing area that comprises “Cunha break, Papa Nui or outside Cunha, Public Baths and Castle’s break.” This outside area of larger surf was where “the ancient chiefs gathered from all the countryside to ride when the Kalahuewehe was running.” Blake added: “Without hesitation Duke’s old mother told me the same story. Dad Center, Dudie Miller and [John D.] Kaupiko substantiated the location of this surf.”40

Early 1900s surfer Lukela “John D.” Kaupiko also told Blake about how one of the kings of O‘ahu who had his men paddle him out to the bigger breaks in an outrigger canoe. Once out beyond the breakers, the king would launch his board – undoubtedly an olo  make one long ride, and then quit for the day.41


Several miles along the coast from Waikiki, going west, toward what is now Honolulu harbor, there was once a break called Ke-kai-o-Mamala, or, “the Sea of Mamala.” It broke through a narrow entrance to what in ancient times must have been low-lying marshland. It is possible that Ke-kai-o-Mamala was located in the area near what is now known as Ala Moana, Rock Pile, Inbetweens or Kaisers. These contemporary surf spots are popular breaks at the mouth of the harbor channel, just east of Magic Island.42 Because of the harbor, Ke-kai-o-Mamala must have been the first surf break to suffer at the hands of human engineering.

In Old Hawaiian days, Ke-kai-o-Mamala broke straight out from a beautiful coconut grove called Honoka‘upu. The break was one of the best in all of Kou, the old time name for the Honolulu area. Ke-kai-o-Mamala was named after Mamala, a famous surfer and a pominent O‘ahu chiefess. She was kupua, a demigod or hero with supernatural powers who could take the form of a beautiful woman, a gigantic lizard, or a great shark. According to legend, she was first married to another kupua, the shark-man Ouha; but then Honoka‘upu, who owned the coconut grove, chose her to be his wife, and so – for whatever reason – Mamala left Ouha for Honoka‘upu. Mad at Mamala for this dissertion and ridiculed by other women in his attempts to regain his former wife, Ouha cast off his human form and became the great shark god of the coast between Waikiki and Koko Head. Beautiful Mamala was remembered afterward by the surf spot named for her and in a song about her triangular love affair called the Mele (song) of Honoka‘upu.”43 This song, in part goes like this:

The surf rises at Ko‘olau,

Blowing the waves into mist,

Into little drops,

Spray falling along the hidden harbor.

There is my dear husband Ouha,

There is the shaking sea, the running sea of Kou,

The crab-like sea of Kou...

My love has gone away...

Fine is the breeze from the mountain.

I wait for you to return...

Will the lover return?

I belong to Honoka‘upu,

From the top of the tossing surf waves...44

Mamala “often played konane,” wrote Mary Kawena Pukui in her Place Names of Hawaii. “She left her shark husband, ‘Ouha, for Honoka‘upu. ‘Ouha then became the shark god of Wai-kiki and of Koko Head.”45

The ocean off O‘ahu’s south shore is still called “The Sea of Mamala.”


Forty miles from Ke-kai-o-Mamala, on the North Shore of O’ahu, Paumalu was known for its big waves, just as it is known, today, by the different name of “Sunset Beach.”

In the Hawai‘i of long ago, Sunset Beach was called Paumalu, which means “taken secretly.” This reference came from an incident when a local woman, who had caught more octopus than was permitted, had her legs bitten off by a shark,46 presumably as punishment.

Paumalu figures prominently in another legend, when a prince from Kaua‘i named Kahikilani crossed the hundred miles of open sea between his home and O‘ahu just to prove his prowess in the famous surf of Paumalu.47

“As soon as he arrived he started surfing,” wrote Finney and Houston in a re-telling of an ancient mele. “Day after day he perfected his skill in the jawlike waves. As he rode he was watched by a bird maiden with supernatural powers who lived in a cave on a nearby mountain. She fell in love with the prince and sent bird messengers to place an orange lehua lei around his neck and bring him to her. By flying around his head, the messengers guided Kahikilani to the bird maiden’s cave. Enchanted, he spent several months with her – until the return of the surfing season. Then the distant sizzle and boom of the waves at Paumalu were too much for Kahikilani to resist, and he left the maiden, but only after promising never to kiss another woman. However, the excitement of the rising surf must have clouded his memory because almost as soon as he was riding again, a beautiful woman came walking along the white sand. She saw him there, waited until he rode to shore, placed an ilima lei around his neck, and kissed him. His vow was broken. He thought nothing of it and paddled back out to the breaking waves, but the bird messengers were watching. They flew to tell their mistress of his infidelity. When she heard their report, the bird maiden ran to the beach with a lehua lei in her hand. Snatching the ilima lei from Kahikilani’s neck, she replaced it with the one made from lehua blossoms. As she ran back to her cave, he chased her. That was the last Kahikilani saw of the bird maiden, though, for halfway up the mountain he was turned to stone.”48

The image of Kahikilani can still be seen, today, with a petrified lehua lei around his neck on a barren ridge above Paumalu Bay, less than a mile from the Kamehameha Highway. In modern times, this rock outcropping is more commonly known as “the George Washington Stone.49

Surfers then, like surfers now, were apparently familiar with the cost of faithless love. In this legend, too, is revealed the conflict every surfer feels sooner or later and not once but many times. That is, the choice one makes between spending time riding waves vs. time spent in the company of others.

Kona Coast

In contrast to today, where the Hawaiian Islands’ center of surfing mostly stretches 7 coastal miles along O‘ahu’s North Shore, in the Hawai‘i of old, surfing’s epicenter was along the Kona Coast on the big island of Hawai‘i. When the first Europeans arrived, this particular section of coast was also the major population center for the entire island chain, so that probably had more to do with it than the quality of the surf. Together with the Waikiki area of O‘ahu, the Kona Coast was the most heavily surfed of all Hawaiian surfing locations. It was while at Kona that William Ellis wrote his numerous observations of Hawaiian surfing. It was also at Kona where King Kamehameha I learned to ride a surfboard. Last but not least, it was surfing at Kealahehua Bay on the Kona Coast that so impressed Cook’s Lieutenant James King in 1779:

“If by mistake they should place themselves on one of the smaller waves, which breaks before they reach the land, or should not be able to keep their plank in a proper direction on the top of the swell, they are left exposed to the fury of the next, and, to avoid it, are obliged again to dive and regain their place, from which they set out. Those who succeed in their object of reaching shore, have still the greatest danger to encounter. The coast being guarded by a chain of rocks, with, here and there, a small opening between them, they are obliged to steer their boards through one of these, or, in case of failure, to quit it, before they reach the rocks, and, plunging under the wave, make the best of their way back again. This is reckoned very disgraceful, and is also attended with the loss of the board, which I have often seen, with great horror, dashed to pieces, at the very moment the islander quitted it.”50

“Remember, now,” wrote 1960s surfing legend Phil Edwards in his own inimitable style, “Surfers of ancient Hawaii were tall, godlike creatures, each one looking like he had been hand-dipped in gold plate; they wore loincloths if the mood struck them – or they surfed buff more often than not. (And to think that, years later, the ho-dads and gremmies of early California surfing used to drop their pants. It was an older custom than they knew.)

“While Cook and crew were still mapping Hawaii,” continued Edwards, “the natives knew where the good spots were. On Oahu, the surf came with the north swells, from October to January, and the south swells from June through October.”51


1  Muirhead, Desmond. Surfing In Hawaii, A Personal Memoir, “With Notes on California, Australia, Peru and Other Surfing Countries,” Northland Press, Flagstaff, Arizona, ©1962, p. 2.

2  Muirhead, 1962, p. 2.

3  Muirhead, 1962, p. 2.

4  Duck Diving v. Where the surfer pushes down on the front of the nose of the board to dive under a breaking or broken wave (JP); a method of diving with the board under an oncoming wave on the way out through the break (NAT, 1985).

5  Young, Nat. History of Surfing, Palm Beach Press, 40 Ocean Road, Palm Beach, N.S.W. 2108, Australia, ©1983, p. 31.  See also Finney and Houston, 1966, pp. 36-37 and Finney and Houston, 1996, p. 32.

6  Finney, Ben R. and Houston, James D. Surfing, The Sport of Hawaiian Kings, C. E. Tuttle Company, Rutland, Vermont, ©1966, p. 35. See also Finney and Houston, 1996, p. 27.

7  Lueras, Leonard. Surfing, The Ultimate Pleasure, Workman Publishing, New York, NY, ©1984, p. 31.

8  Keauokalani, Kepelino (1830-1878). Traditions of Hawaii. Quoted in Lueras, 1984, p. 31.

9  Finney, Ben and Houston, James D. Surfing: A History of the Ancient Hawaiian Sport, Pomegranate Artbooks, Rohnert Park, California, ©1996, p. 27.

10  Byron, Captain, the Rt. Hon. Lord. Voyage of HMS Blonde to The Sandwich Islands, 1824-25, London, published in 1826, p. 97. See also Finney and Houston, 1966, p. 35. In the Britain of the 1800s, a cabriolet was a light, two-wheeled, hooded, one-horse carriage. The term was later adopted for use in describing early automobiles resembling convertible coupes.

11  Stewart, C. S. A Residence in the Sandwich Islands, Boston, published 1839, p. 196.  See also Finney and Houston, 1966, p. 35.

12  Emory, Kenneth P. “Sports, Games, and Amusements,” Ancient Hawaiian Civilization, “A Series of Lectures Delivered at the Kamehameha Schools,” C.E. Tuttle Company, Inc., Rutland, Vermont, ©1965. Ninth printing, 1981, p. 149.

13  Finney and Houston, 1966, pp. 35-36.

14  Finney and Houston, 1966, pp. 35-36.

15  Edwards, Phil and Ottum, Bob. You Should Have Been Here An Hour Ago: The Stoked Side of Surfing; Or, How to Hang Ten Through Life and Stay Happy, Harper and Row, ©1967, p. 165.

16  Finney and Houston, 1996, pp. 28-29. The maps are excellent and the most authoritative source on ancient Hawaiian surf breaks. See also pp. 30-31 for the other major Hawaiian Islands.

17  Finney and Houston, 1966, pp. 24-30.

18  I‘i, John Papa. Fragments of Hawaiian History, translated by Mary Kawena Pukui, edited by Dorothy B. Barrer, ©1959, Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

19  Finney and Houston, 1996, p. 28.

20  Punahoa’s favorite spot. Punahoa was a chieftess during the time of Hiikaikapolo.

21  Favorite of Laieikawai and Halaaniani, Hiiakaikapoli and Hopoe.

22  Opposite the heiau of the same name, where Captain Cook was received as a personification of the god Lono.

23  Favorite of Kauikeouli (Kamehameha III) and sister, princess Nahieanena; their birthplace.

24  Favorite of many chiefs; opposite the present-day Kona Inn.

25  “Although Waikiki literally means ‘spouting water,’” wrote Finney and Houston, “it actually refers to the fresh water (wai) in the swamps behind the famous beach, not to the sea water (kai) of the surf offshore.” See notation in Finney and Houston, 1996, p. 30.

26  Ka-lehua-wehe “used to be the attraction for the congregating together for days of neighboring chiefs,” wrote Tom Blake, in Hawaiian Surfboard, 1935, p. 14.

27  Mamala was a chieftess, prominently noted in Hawaiian oral history.

28  Favorite of early chiefs. See Finney and Houston, 1966.

29  Favorite of early chiefs. See Finney and Houston, 1966.

30  Favorite of early chiefs. See Finney and Houston, 1966.

31  Blake has it at Kapa‘a. See p. 14 of Hawaiian Surfboard, 1935. See also Gault-Williams, “Mo‘ikeha at Maka‘iwa,” Kauai magazine, Spring 1995, H & S Publishing, Kapa‘a, Kaua‘i.  Mo‘ikeha’s favorite spot.

32  Not refering to the Big Island, but rather Hawaiki or the birthplace of Hawai‘iloa the great navigator.

33  Most all notations are based on information in Finney & Houston, 1966 and 1996, and Blake, 1935.

34  Blake spelled it “Kalahuewehe.”

35  Blake, Thomas E. (1902-1994). Hawaiian Surfriders 1935, ©1983, Mountain and Sea, Redondo Beach, California. Reprinted by permission. Formerly, Hawaiian Surfboard, published in 1935, by Paradise of the Pacific Press, Honolulu, Hawaii, p. 15.

36  Calabash n. A large, hard-shelled gourd often used as a utensil.

37  Blake, 1935, 1983, p. 15.

38  Finney and Houston, 1996, p. 33.

39  Finney and Houston, 1996, p. 33.

40  Blake, 1935, 1983, p. 15. Kalehuawehe is the correct spelling, while Blake spelled it with triple-e’s. Also, John D. Kaupiko’s last name is spelled “Kaupiku” in the original.

41  Blake, 1935, 1983, p. 15.

42  Wright, Bank. Surfing Hawaii, ©1973, 1985 by Allan Bank Wright, jr. Mountain and Sea Publishing, Redondo Beach, California, pp. 16-17.

43  Finney and Houston, 1996, p. 33 & 35.

44  Westervelt, 1915, p. 52-54. See also Finney and Houston, 1996, p. 35.

45  Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H. and Mookini, Esther T. Place Names of Hawaii, ©1974, The University of Hawai‘i Press, Honolulu, Hawai‘i, p. 144. See also Finney and Houston, 1966, p. 39 and Westervelt, 1964b: 15, 52-54.

46  Finney and Houston, 1996, p. 35.

47  Taylor, 1953, p. 20. See also Finney and Houston, 1996, p. 35.

48  Finney and Houston, 1996, p. 35.

49  Finney and Houston, 1996, p. 35. Footnote.

50  Finney and Houston, 1966, p. 37. See also Young, 1983, p. 31.

51  Edwards and Ottum, 1967, p. 164.