thrum : all about hawaii, 1911
Alexander Hume Ford : The Outrigger Club, 1911.
Ford: The Outrigger Club
The Hawaiian Annual.
Thos. G. Thrum, Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, 1911.
One of two articles
prepared by A.H. Ford for the 1911 Hawaiian Annual of 1911, the
other being the Hawaiian Trail
and Mountain Club.
Ford was instrumental in the formation of both.
By ALEXANDER HUME FORD.
The Outrigger Club.
The Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Club was organized in the month of
It was the thought of several malihinis, or newcomers, who
recognizied the pictutresque charm to the tourist of surfboard
riding, an art that was rapidly dying out owing to the fact that
Waikiki beach was becoming closed to the small boy of limited
Private residences and great hotels,
with the completion of the trolley line, began to occupy the
entire beach, so that the native and the small white boy could
no longer doff his duds and mount his board at will.
It now costs money to go out into the breakers, and become an
expert on the surfboard, day after day, week after week,
for months at a time, must be spent in the surf.
Fortunately for the cause of surfboard riding the trustees of
the Queen Emma Estate saw their way to aid in its pres
They leased for twenty years at a nominal sum an acre and a half
of land and lagoon between the Seaside and Moana hotels at
Waikiki, to trustees who guaranteed that the property should be
used only for the purpose of preserving surfing on boards and in
Hawaiian outrigger canoes.
Hence the name adopted-"The Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Club."
The first board of officers and directors elected was made up as
follows: Alexander Hume Ford, President; H. L. Herbert,
Vice-President; R. H. Trent, Treasurer; C. H. Frazier, Auditor;
Kenneth Winter, Captain; H. P. O'Sullivan, Secretary; J. P.
Cooke, J. R. Gait, and H. R. Macfarlane, Directors and Trustees.
The Club became active from the start.
To preserve the Hawaiian atmosphere, the only two Hawaiian grass
houses of the old style remaining on the Island of Oahu were
purchased and removed to the Club grounds at Waikiki beach.
The other buildings erected generally followed the plan of a
Hawaiian village of bygone days.
The Club grew in membership to several hundred, and a woman's
auxiliary was organized and now numbers about one hundred
members, with a number of young girls, who stand gracefully on
their boards in the largest surf that runs.
During the first year of the life of the Outrigger Club many
canoes were purchased and brought to Waikiki.
Crews were organized, and at the regattas, in which both whites
and Hawaiians contested, the "Outrigger" boys were almost
Boys who had never braved the surf now began to paddle out on
their boards, and soon learned to ride in before the waves.
Men of mature and even advanced years took up the sport; one
tourist of 70 learned to stand on his board after a few trials.
The influence and membership continued to grow.
A large lanai with cocoanut columns and thatch roof was built
over a part of the lagoon, and in this Hawaiian lanai, with its
80 by 56 feet of floor space, the dances and entertainments of
the Club are given.
When the visiting fleets are in the harbor, Hawaiian regattas
and surfing contests are held at Waikiki under the
auspices of the Outrigger Club.
The Club has gradually encouraged surfing exercise and contests
solely for the sake of health and sport.
Today it is a thoroughly amateur oranizationl and onle of the
chief promoters of the recently formed A. A. U. in Hawaii.
In 1909, Frank C. Clark contributed four colossal cups to be
contested for annually by the members of the Club for the best
events in surfboard riding and in surfing in small and large
During the visit of the Cleveland round-the-world cruisers,
somle 700 tourists witnessed the first cup events and saw on the
Club grounds how the Hawaiians (the Kalihi Club of native
paddlers being guests of the Outrigger Club) preared poi and
baked their pigs in underground ovens.
Under the impetus given by the formation of a real surfing club,
the art of riding the surfboard has made great advances, and
once again the native Hawaiians are seeking to wrest the laurels
from the white men and boys.
Some of the native men now ride in before the largest rollers
their boards with small boys standing and balancing on their
The Outrigger Canoe Club is practically an organization for the
haole (white person).
During 1910, it was necessary to build a new bathhouse for men
with lockers for one hundred, and before the year was out it
became necessary to double its size, besides enlarging the one
for boy members; a new and enlarged bathhouse for the women is
also in course of construction.
The officers elected at the February meeting for 1910 were
Sanford B. Dole, President; Alexander Hume Ford, First
Vice-President; P. H. Weaver, Second Vice-President; G. H.
Tuttle, Secretary; F. T. P. Waterhouse, Treasurer; Ralph Lyon,
Auditor; J. P. Cooke and J. R. Gait, Directors and Trustees.
The membership dues in the Outrigger Club were fixed at five
dollars a year.
To this has been added, for adults, an initiation fee of three
Many tourists have become members of the Club and have learned
to ride the surfboard and to guide the Hawaiian outrigger canoe
before the big rollers.
The Club has brought health and muscle to many small boys, and
even to men of Honolulu.
Usually, if the surf is good, as many as a hundred surfboards
are now to be seen in the several surfs of a Saturday or Sunday
The Outrigger Canoe Club is now known around the world, as it
has promoted the securing of many instantaneous photos of this
purely Hawaiian water sport, and these have found their way into
St. Nicholas, Collier's Weekly, the Illustrated London News, and
many other magazines anal journals of world-wide circulation.
Thos. G. Thrum, Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, 1911.
Geoff Cater (2016) : A.H.
Ford : The Outrigger Club, 1911.