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A Definitive History of Surfing's Culture and Heroes
By  Malcolm Gault-Williams

This Chapter Updated:  29 February 2008
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Duke Paoa Kahanamoku

The Father of Modern Surfing

Duke Kahanamoku ebooklet

Aloha and welcome to this introduction to the Father of Modern Surfing, Duke Paoa Kahanamoku. This chapter of the LEGENDARY SURFERS series has been one of my most-visited chapters of the website over the course of the past 10 years. It contains all of Duke's life relative and specific to surfing, in addition to his other contributions. To my knowledge, there is no other source available - either in print or on the Net - that contains as much detailed information about Duke's life as a surfer. If you can show me anything to the contrary, I will send you a copy of my work for FREE.

The chapter on Duke is available for USD $4.95 for a printable electronic file in Adobe Acrobat format. The 31,007 word (44 page) article can be purchased by credit card using Pay Pal (see below) or arranged by personal check by emailing

When you click on the Pay Pal icon directly below to use your credit card, your order will be processed using the PayPal system. It takes no longer than a half a minute, your personal information is not shared with third parties, and your card numbers remain unseen in a secure environment. Shortly after placing your order, you will receive confirmation of your purchase via email.

The LEGENDARY SURFERS chapter on the Father of Modern Surfing was updated and expanded in 1999, to replace a previous version, which contained some factual errors. The previous version has been replicated throughout the Internet and it, along with previous knowledge, contains a number of factual errors. Please note that information about Duke's longest ride, the boards he rode, his surfing in Australia, and his surfing on the East Coast of the USA have all been corrected in this Version. Many other sources on Duke - both published and on the Net - have this information in error. If this is no big deal for you, then hit the free sites. Otherwise, if you want the true story, shell out the cost of less than a six pack to have the knowledge most surfers - even those who think they know - do not have... Enjoy Duke's story, and help spread the stoke and Aloha Spirit that Duke, himself, helped foster throughout the world.

To order the eBooklet "DUKE PAOA KAHANAMOKU" in portable document file format for USD $4.95 (file sent to your email address), click on a Pay Pal icon below:

To make payment by personal check or money order, send email  to:

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

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    Copyright © 1992-2008 by Malcolm Gault-Williams... Aloha Nui Loa!