One of many visitors to the Hawai'ian Islands following
tWorld War I, Cameron's account of Waikiki notes the
surfriders and, like fellow tourist Agetha Christie, tries her
hand at surfboard riding.
People are always in and out of the sea here.
On Waikiki Beach one sits on the sand under a
palm-tree and dreams.
Some people are disappointed at the length of
Waikiki bathing beach, for, of course, the beach
proper extends for miles.
I have heard Americans exclaim, "Oh, this is not a
patch on Atlantic City or Coronado!"
Waikiki is, however, quite different.
No surf in the world is more agreeable to bathe in
than the soft white carded waves that lap these
One is in and out of the tiny narrow outrigger
canoes, laughing and falling over each other.
Towards sunset is the favourite time for the expert
Then you may see Duke Kahanamoku, the world's
champion swimmer, and his bosom friends swim out.
Then they come racing in, standing up balancing,
which is a great feat, on a board which is
travelling at the speed of an express train on the
spangled foam of breakers.
When nearing the sands they step gracefully ashore.
For a beginner it is very difficult and dangerous,
as often the board flops up out of the waves and
hits the novice on the head, as mine did.
As the sun descends, a huge globe of
red and gold, leaving a shimmering trail on the deep
blue ocean, you,out by the pier in your little
canoe, watch the tall, bronzed, magnificently built
Hawaiians, whose lives since infancy did
Facing page 24
WAIKIKI BEACH AND
have been spent more or less in the water.
It is a sight you will never forget, to witness half a
dozen of the best surf-riders, in the sheer joy of
living, mount their boards and speed in.
These boards are rather unwieldy things to manage.
They are some 2 inches in thickness, but vary, and are
about as long as a man and maybe 1 1/2 feet
to 2 feet wide.
I have heard them described as of the shape of a
coffin-lid, which is not exactly cheerful!
One can never become blase on the sands of Waikiki.
In the days of the ancient Hawaiian kings, surf-boarding
was the royal pastime, and great tracts of land would change
hands as the chiefs bet upon their favourites.
The great King Kamehameha in his youth
was never beaten at this magnificent sport.