home catalogue history references appendix 
stevens and oleson  : surf riding, 1894-1900 

John L. Stevens and W.B. Oleson : Surf Riding, 1894-1900.

Stevens, John L. and Oleson, W. B.
Riches and Marvels of Hawaii;
a charming description of her unique history, strange people, exquisite climate, wondrous volcanoes,
luxurious productions, beautiful cities, corrupt monarchy, revolution, provisional government and annexation.
Photographs by Nellie M. Stevens.
Edgewood Publishing Co , Philadelphia, 1900.

Hathi Trust -1894
Internet Archive - 1900

First published as Picturesque Hawaii, Hubbard Publishing Co., Philadelphia, c1894.

The book includes an often reproduced black and white photograph of  a Hawai'ian native holding a surfboard and wearing a malo (loincloth) on Waikiki Beach.
Here, according to the text, the image is accredited to Nellie M. Stevens.
Tim DeLaVega estimates the photograph was taken circa 1893 and suggests it may be the work of  Frank Davey and the surfer, Charles Kauha.
Davey took several photographs of Kauha with his surfboard at Waikiki in April 1898, although none of him surf riding.
- DeLaVega: Surfing in Hawai'i (2011), cover, Frontpiece, and page 32..

Stevens, John Leavitt, 1820-1895;
Ex-U. S. Minister,

Oleson, W. B. (William Brewster), 1851-1915, 15 Years President of Kahemahema College.
Stevens, Nellie M
Page 75

Every visitor to Honolulu has noted the ease and self-possession of Hawaiian boys in the water near the wharves at the departure of ocean
Page 76
It is the stereotyped thing for tourists to snap ten-cent pieces into the water, and watch the boys dive for the money.
They never fail to get it, and on some occasions a particular boy will have quite a mouthful of dimes before the steamer gets fairly under way.
Sometimes sharks come into Honolulu harbor, but the natives always manage to know when a shark is about, and they rarely get caught.
When pursued by one, if brought to bay, the native will peer down into the water with his keen eyes intent on the tactics of his
The shark must turn before he can snap at his expected victim, and just as he turns, the native dives, and the great jaws come together with nothing between them.
This is repeated till relief comes, much to the perplexity of the clumsy fish.
When prepared for such an encounter, the native, as he dives, jabs his knife into a vulnerable spot in the shark's anatomy, and
usually wins the day, either by killing his foe or by driving him off.
Surf-bathing is heroic sport.
It was formerly practiced in honor of kings and chiefs, but is on its own account a right royal sport, in every sense of the word.
It consists in riding a long plank, carefully shaped, and with ends rounded, on the crest of great billows rolling shorewards.
The skill consists in "taking" the wave at an opportune moment, and in keeping the

Page 77
surf-board in such relation to the movement of the billow that the latter will propel the rider at a tremendous speed toward the shore.
Expert surf-riders will rise as they rush along, until they stand erect with folded arms, complete masters of the waves, whom they seem to drive before them like horses in a race.
Surf-riding, though not so frequently witnessed as formerly, is nevertheless yet to be seen on special occasions.
Page 83

The exciting pastime of surf riding is enjoyed by both sexes. 
To be a successful performer the swimmer requires immense 
nerve and long practice. 
The surf board is made of koa wood of light weight, 
kept highly polished, and is about eight feet long by
a foot and a half wide.


Her Unique History, Strange People, Exquisite Climate, 
Wondrous Volcanoes, Luxurious Productions, 
Beautiful Cities, Corrupt Monarchy, Rev- 
olution, Provisional Government 
and Annexation. 

HON. JOHN L. STEVENS, Ex-U. S. Minister, 
PROF. W. B. OLESON, of Honolulu, 
15 Years President of Kahemahema College. 

Profusely Enriched with Rare and Beautiful Photographs, 

Copyrighted by the Edgewood Publishing Co , 1900. 

Return to Surfer Bio menu
home catalogue history references appendix

Geoff Cater (2012-2017) : L. Stevens and W.B. Oleson : Riches and Marvels of Hawaii, 1900.