william castle : surf riding in hawai'i, 1917
were a sport-loving people.
Boxing, wrestling, foot racing, and bowling with polished stone discs were among the favourite amusements.
Still to be seen, also, are the long slides on steep hillsides, down which they darted on wooden sleds.
Swimming and diving were the delight of all, chiefs and common people, and surf riding remains to this day one of the favourite
It is this surf riding, as popular now with foreigners as with the natives, which makes Waikiki, near Honolulu, unique among bathing resorts.
The surf rider takes a long, smooth, polished board and with it swims out a half-mile or so from the shore.
He then lies flat on his board and swims rapidly toward shore until a roller catches the board and carries him on its crest to the beach.
Expert surf riders can raise themselves to a standing position after the wave takes them and so ride, standing, for hundreds of yards, or as far as the wave will carry them.
The game has all the excitement of tobogganing without the effort of dragging the toboggan uphill again, be-
cause the swim
out to sea, diving under the waves as one goes, has almost the fun of the
For those who cannot swim the tamer sport of surf riding in long Hawaiian canoes, the outriggers of which make an upset next to impossible, is a good substitute.
Hawaii - Past and Present
Dodd, Mead and Company, New York, 1917.
Revised and enlarged edition.