"James Apu was a noted Hawaiian surfer in the 1880s and '90s."
Some Instances of His Remarkable Feats of Diving and Swimming.
Amoung the natives
who will go to the Midwinter fair at San Fancisco is James Apu, now in
Honolulu from Kauai, who is the champion diver and surf rider of that island.
Many stories of the remarkable feats performed by this man in the water are related.
It is said that
he is so expert at diving that he can stay underwater for four minutes
at a time and meanwhile catch fish with a spear and net which he uses while
on his submarine visit.
He has no fear of sharks and will take to the water at any time and under any circumstances.
While on board one of the island steamers a little while ago off Diamond Head Apu got fish hungry and jumped overboard, caught some and returned to the steamer in a few minutes.
In 1881, while
at Molokai in a small schooner with three or four other natives, after
discussing several bottles of gin the others left Apu on shore and sailed
Apo threw off his clothes, tired them in a bundle on his head and swam after the schooner, which he soon caught up with.
The others would not let him in, so he struck out for himself and swam the entire distance, reaching the Maui shore some time before the others.
The distance is over eight miles and the current swift and dangerous.
Apo will give
surf riding exhibitions on his arrival at San Francisco, and the board
which he will use has been made to order of redwood, which Apu says
is preferable to koa, being so much lighter.
It will be painted black, that color being most obnoxious to sharks.
This surf board is 12 feet long, and when performing Apu stands errect on it and goes through a variety of wonderful feats in balancing, etc – Hawaiian Star.