Source Documents
forrest clark : surf-riding at waikiki, 1912. 

Forrest Clark : Surf-riding at Waikiki, 1912.
Clark, Forrest: The Trans-Pacific Race
The Rudder

. Fawcett Publications Greenwich, Connecticut
Volume 28 Number 5 November 1912.

Hathi Trust

Although Clark reports 
that on the afternoon of July 1st most of us went out to Waikiki Beach ... where we had a grand time riding on surf-boards and in surf-boats, his description is based on earlier published accounts.
Page 209
Forrest ClarK

A BIENNIAL race for sailing yachts across the Pacific was first suggested by Commodore H. H. Sinclair, of the South Coast Y. C. The Commodore had been cruising in the South Seas on his schooner yacht Lurline, and upon his return to the Pacific coast had stopped at Honolulu for a short visit.
While here he suggested to the members of the Hawaii Y. C. that a sailing race from the Coast to Honolulu, held biennially, would be of great benefit to the yachting game on the Pacific.
The Hawaii Y. C. endorsed the proposal enthusiastically, and one bright afternoon in April, 1906, the 47-foot sloop La Paloma left its native isles bound for San Francisco to represent Hawaii in the first Trans-Pacific Race in history.

Page 210

The race for 1912 was started on June 16th, from San Pedro.
The writer was a member of the crew of the yacht Lurline, and he will tell the story of the race as viewed from the deck of that vessel.

Page 213

June 30th.—At seven bells in the mid-watch Molokai Light was sighted from the masthead, and at eight bells it was visible from deck.
The breeze freshened up as we approached Diamond Head and as we crossed the finish line the balloon jib carried away.

Page 214

On the morning of July 1st we removed the stump of the foretopmast which we had carried away during the race, and ordered a new one from a local boat-builder.
In the afternoon most of us went out to Waikiki Beach, where we had a grand time riding on surf-boards and in surf-boats.
The surf-board is from 6 to 10 feet long and from 18 inches to 2 feet wide, sometimes flat, but generally convex on both sides.
A place is chosen where there is deep water close to the shore and the surf breaks violently.
The swimmer pushes the board out ahead of him a quarter of a mile or more to sea, dodging the breakers or diving under them as they roll shoreward.
When he is far enough out, he adjusts himself on the rear end of the board, lying flat on his stomach, and when a very-large billow approaches, paddles with his hands and feet toward the shore.
The breaker catches up with him in a moment, and by skilful steering and balancing it is made to bear the board forward upon its face at an angle of about 30°, with the speed of an express train, until close to the beach, when he slides off the board, and grasping it in the middle, dives under the water with it while the wave passes on and breaks on the shore.
Many of the riders are so expert that they stand or sit on the boards while riding in on the crest of a breaker.
The larger the breakers, the more sport it is.
The surf-boats are large outrigger canoes in charge of a couple of expert Kanaka boatmen, and take out parties of tourists from
the Moana Hotel.
These boats ride the incoming breakers in much the same way as the surf-boards.

Page 217

On the afternoon of July 13th the boys said "aloha" to the many friends who had gathered on the wharf to bid them farewell, and set sail in the race to Hilo.

Page 218

Surf-Board Riding.

Diamond Head in the Distance,
as Seen From Waikiki Beach, Honolulu.

Previously printed in:
Hallock, Leavitt H.:
Hawaii Under King Kalakaua
Smith and Sale, Portland, Maine, 1911
Page 219

July 18th.—Tumbling out of our bunks at sunrise a small party of us boarded Lurline's gasolene tender, and rounded Cocoanut Island, took several snapshots of it as the sun rose behind the clouds, throwing the palms into bold relief against the sky.
We then headed for the Wailuku River, which we ascended to the rapids just below the three falls.
Here we tied up the launch and took some pictures of the falls from the volcanic rocks in the river-bed.
Next we went in for a swim, as this was the last opportunity for a fresh-water plunge be- fore we put to sea.
The bathing was delightful
 It was great sport to shoot the rapids, which we did to the amusement of a group of natives gathered on the bridge above us.

Clark, Forrest: The Trans-Pacific Race
The Rudder

. Fawcett Publications Greenwich, Connecticut
Volume 28 Number 5 November 1912.

Hathi Trust


Geoff Cater (2017) : Forrest Clark : Surf-riding at Waikiki, 1912.