Duke Kahanamoku Early SUP | Newly Released Rare Footage
As a waterman, a surfer, a standup paddler or an enthusiast of any activity involving riding boards on water, it is your duty to understand and share the legend of King Duke Kahanamoku. As a Hawaiian citizen, The Duke was long the sheriff of Honolulu, re-elected 12 times between 1934 and 1960 by a community who adored him. As an athlete, The Duke was an outstanding waterman—an Olympic swimmer and water polo player. As a pop star, The Duke was also a Hollywood actor. But how The Duke earned ultimate reverence among his fellow Hawaiians and generations of surfers to follow—reverence still upheld and respected with the utmost regard to this day—boils down to his contribution to the surfing world and his mission to spread the Aloha spirit across the globe. The ultimate Hawaiian legend, The Duke, along with friend and fellow pioneering Hawaiian surfer/standup paddler, George Freeth, is credited as the original godfather of surfing. He dedicated his life to being the pioneering ambassador of surfing and standup paddling, traveling the world, spreading the aloha spirit and giving the gift of wave riding to generations to follow.
This rare, recently discovered footage of Duke Kahanamoku performing what may well have been the first true recreational SUP surfing with friends at Waikiki Beach is a privilege for us modern day paddle surfers to marvel at, appreciate, and share with generations to come. All hail The Duke.
Check out Duke’s Oceanfest, a festival dedicated to the godfather of surfing and standup paddling.
The article was originally published on Standup Paddling
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