Duke Kahanamoku Statue
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- 98%History Buffs
- 82%Local Culture
- 66%Outdoor Enthusiasts
- 66%Budget Travelers
- 66%Family Travelers
- 51%Art & Design Lovers
Member Reviews (24)
- Duke Kahanamoku StatueJan 22, 2014
Of course I got a picture with the statue of Duke Kahanamoku!
He was just chilling out in Waikiki Beach. I walked by him many times while I was strolling around. There are always tons of people here taking a picture with him.
This is a good place to hang out and people watch. And the huge tree nearby is impressive too!
- Duke Kahanamoku StatueOct 20, 2013
The classic souvenir postcard shot of Waikiki has to be the statue of Olympian swimmer and Waikiki "beachboy" surfer Duke Kahanamoku. Often draped with fresh flower lei, the statue caused some controversy because it shows Duke with his back turned to the sea, something smart surfers don't do.
- Duke Kahanamoku StatueMember ofLocal CultureBudget TravelersFoodies+ 7First to ReviewAug 13, 2013
Surf legend, The Duke, greets tourists as they arrive at Waikiki beach in Honolulu. The statue is usually covered in flower leis and tourists often stop to take a shot with the famous surfer.
- Duke Kahanamoku StatueCommunity ManagerMember ofLocal CultureFoodiesBackpackers+ 4Aug 10, 2013
The Duke Kahanamoku statue, for me at least, marks the center of Waikiki. He was the one who popularized surfing for the Western world, so it's only appropriate the the Western world surround him as they vacation in Waikiki. Fresh flower leis are placed around his neck every now and again, a tribute to one of Hawaii's favorite icons.
- Duke Kahanamoku StatueMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 11Jul 28, 2012
This statue honors the legendary father of surfing in Hawaii, Duke Kahanamoku. It is right on the beach in Waikiki, oddly enough, next to places where you can rent long boards and learn how to surf!
- Duke Kahanamoku StatueJul 13, 2012
Who was the Great DUKE KAHANAMOKU? No one really seems to know at least not from the reviews I have seen...So let me tell you who he was and why he’s at the center of all things ALOHA and why he now sits at the center of Waikiki...
Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku was the Ambassador of Aloha to the Hawaiian island and abroad, but he would also greet many in the old days first hand that came to the Hawaiian islands by plane. He was a five-time Olympic Swimming medalist, he was a Lawman, Professional beach volleyball player, Water Polo Player, Pro Surfer, Businessman and Actor.
The name “Duke” was a given name…He was named so because of his Father Duke Halapu Kahanamoku who was named “Duke” by Bernice Pauahi Bishop, in honor of the actual Prince Alfred, DUKE of Edinburgh, who visited Hawaii…lol…Long story so I won’t go off subject…
Duke Kahanamoku originally became a household name NOT because of his surfing, but because of his Swimming abilities, which was some of the best in the world. Duke’s father and mother had been from prominent Hawaiian families, but not royalty as some people think.
Duke grew up on Oahu and spent most of his time around Waikiki where he developed his swimming and surfing skills. Duke preferred old fashion Koa long boards. He would often be seen on his 16 foot, 114 pound "OLO BOARD" which went back to ancient Hawaiian times. When competing for swimming he would often be seen surfing where ever he was…Before Duke was traveling around the world no one knew of surfing except in Hawaii, but in 1912 everything changed…It was the first time Surfing came to the Mainland of the United States and to California when The Duke did an exhibition. While in Cali he was asked to perform in several Hollywood movies and became an actor for a short period of time. Duke joined the LA Athletic Club acting as a lifeguard and competing on the swimming and water polo team.
While on duty as a lifeguard in Cali he used his surfboard to make rescues…something no human had ever done before. This skill and knowledge to save people with the board came in handy because in 1925 a fishing vessel had capsized in ruff surf…using his surfboard, Duke was able to rescue 12 of the crew. The Police Chief at the time called Duke’s efforts the most superhuman surfboard rescue the world had ever seen.
Duke Kahanamoku was the first person to be inducted into the Swimming Hall of Fame and the Surfing Hall of Fame and he is also in the US Olympic Hall of Fame.
The Duke, once returning to Hawaii in 1932, was the SHERIFF of Honolulu until 1961 something many don’t talk about and during this time some very interesting arrests had been made, but that is another story…Duke ran the show in Honolulu for many years…HE WAS THE MAN…HE WAS THE DUKE!
Unfortunately in 1968 at the age of 77 Duke passed away…His burial was at sea and his ashes scattered into the Ocean at his favorite beach…Waikiki. What better way…He lives on today with the many surfers that surf his waves there and his statue that welcomes all of you to the place he loved so very much.
Dukes Famous words live on through all those who spread Aloha…
“In Hawai’i we greet friends, loved ones and strangers with Aloha, which means with love. Aloha is the key word to the universal spirit of real Hospitality, which makes Hawai’i renowned as the world’s center of understanding and fellowship. Try meeting or leaving people with aloha. You’ll be surprised by their reaction. I believe it and it is my creed.
Aloha to you. Duke Paoa Kahanamoku”Recommended for:History Buffs
- Duke Kahanamoku StatueJul 08, 2012
The statue of The Duke is a great spot to gather near the center of Waikiki Beach. Take a seat on the statue's base and wave at the webcam across the street to get some face time with your ohana back home. You will meet people from all around the world while enjoying this great spot on Waikiki Beach
- Duke Kahanamoku Statue