carrie ainsworth : surf riding at waikiki, 1922
There are many amusements to attract
the stranger, such as visiting the other islands, watching surf riders,
hula dancers, climbing
Diamond Head, Punchbowl, and Pali, riding around Oahu on the railway, visiting shops of Chinese and Japanese, sugar plantations and mills, and attending luas - "native feasts"- if one is so fortunate as to be invited to one of the latter.
With bows and arrows they are as clever as all savages, and wonderfully good shots, at-
tempting many wonderful feats.
They are swift
as deer, when they choose, though somewhat lazy and indolent.
The performers begin by swimming out into the bay and diving under the huge Pacific rollers, pushing their surfboards - flat pieces of wood, about four feet long by two wide, pointed at each end - edge-wise before them.
For the return journey they select a large wave; and then, either sitting, kneeling, or standing on their boards, rush in shorewards with the speed of a racehorse, on the curling crest of the monster, enveloped in foam and spray, and holding on, as it were, by
the milk-white manes of their furious coursers.
It looked a most enjoyable amusement, and I should think that, to a powerful swimmer, with plenty of pluck, the feat is not difficult of accomplishment.
The natives here are almost amphibious.
They played all sorts of tricks in the water, some of the performers being quite tiny boys.
Four strong rowers took a whaleboat out into the worst surf, and then steering her by means of a large oar, brought her safely back to the shore on the top of a huge wave.