Duke Kahanamoku


Surfers of all ages and skill level are likely to know the name of Duke Kahanamoku — “The Big Kahuna.” He is known for many things, but popularizing surfing outside of Hawai’i is one of the big ones. At Maui Surf Clinics, we like to pay homage to all of Duke’s dedication to the art and sport of surfing.

During your Maui surf lesson, you are likely to learn a lot. Much of the modern surfing techniques —especially for beginner surfers — come from Duke. Duke grew up around Waikiki and became a an avid swimmer and surfer at an early age. The surfboards Duke rode back in the day were similar in some ways to the boards many beginners use and have much success on during their surf lessons at Lahaina Breakwall. Duke’s boards were typically made from Koa wood, measured about 15 feet in length and weighed over 100 pounds (that sure has changed)!

Duke was a gold medalist at both the 1912 and 1920 Olympic Games in swimming. After his Olympic career, Kahanamoku travelled around to teach swimming internationally. This was the time when he also spread his love and passion for surfing.

Not unlike Duke, our instructors at Maui Surf Clinics love to share our knowledge and enthusiasm for surfing with visitors to Maui as well. We respect the sport and its history and look forward to getting you out on some of the beautiful waves Maui has to offer. Aloha.