It is a high precipice
where a man jumps from. If the man makes a skillful~ leap, touching the
water toes first, it is called iomo, which means "without splash."
The acme of skill in leaping into the water, with Hawaiians, regardless of height, was to enter the water feet first, with the least agitation of the water.
The Tahitians' enjoyment of the sport was the reverse, for they delight to create the greatest splash, to accomplish which they double their feet under them in jumping from a height, so as to plump into the water with the greatest possible commotion.
Diving headfirst into the water is seldom if ever practiced by either race.
A long board is
hewn from the willwilli wood (34), four fathoms long, some three,
so on down to one fathom; the width is one yard.
Here are the names of the boards and the surfs:
The board is alaia,
(35) three yards long.
The surf is kakala, a curling wave, terrible, death-dealing.
The board is olo, (36) six yards long.
The surf is opuu, (37) a non-breaking wave, something like calmness.
If there is no surf, invoke seaward in the following manner:
Arise, arise ye
great surfs from Kahiki,
The powerful curling waves.
Arise with the pohuehue, (38)
Well up, long raging surf.
When the surf
rises and breaks lay the board on.
The man has two places to slide in the surf, the foam, which is within the curl, or the end, which is outside the curl.
Alaia is the name given to a small, thin, surf board.
Olo was the large, thick, wiliwili surf board.
Opuu, the blind-breaker character of surf prevalent during calm periods.
Hawaiians had two methods of surf coaxing during calm weather, the general method being for a swimming party to take several strands of the sea-convolvulus vine, and swinging it around the head lash it down unitedly upon the water until the desired undulating waves were obtained, at the same time chanting for a response to their effort. (Hawaiian Annual, 1896.)
Surf riding has a wider range of sport than shown above, for canoe surfing is also very generally practiced, and occasionally body surfing.
This requires strong, expert swimmers to attain sufficient momentum to ride in on the surf without a board or other support.
This, termed kaha nalu, is still practiced.
He alaia ka papa
(ekolu iwilei ka loa).
He kakala ka nalu - he nalu poi, he aaka, he make.
He olo ka papa
(eono iwilei ka loa).
He opuu ka nalu, he nalu poi ole, he alaneo ke ana.
Ina aohe nalu, alaila, kahea aku i kai, penei e hea ai.
Ku mai! Ku mai!
Ka nalu nui mai Kahiki mai,
Alo poi pu! Ku mai ka pohuehue,
Hu! Kaikoo loa.
I ke ku ana o
ka nalu a hai, alaila, hoomoe ka papa, elua wahi a ke kanaka e halo ai
i ka nalu.
0 ka hua maloko ia o ka nalu, o ka lala mawaho ia o ka nalu.
Fornander Collection of Hawaiian Antiquities and Folk-Lore.
With Translations Edited and Illustrated with Notes by Thomas G. Thrum.
Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1919.
Volume VI, Third Series, Part 1.