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polynesian surfriding : hawaii to 1840 
chapter 6 : hawaii,  1780-1840

European visitors to the Hawaiian Islands in the first half of the 19th century were mostly naval personnel, Christian missionaries, whalers or traders in seal skins or sandalwood. .

6.1 In the wake of the success of the publication of Cook's journals in 1884, further tales of Pacific adventure were in demand.
(Furthermore, as tourists and guests of local residents, their reports may have been augmented by commentary or discussion from their hosts and/oror local oral tradition)
Archibald Campbell published an account of his travels that included a reference to surfriding in Hawaii, circa 1812, briefly describing the board as:

"a plank shaped like an anchor stock" (1)

6.2 John B. Whitman (possibly) wrote the first account of surfriding at Waikiki (indicated as Honolulu), Oahu, circa 1815, outlining surfboard construction and maintainance.

"The surf board... is admirably adapted to the purpose for which it is used. ...They are preserved with the greatest care, as with their crude tools it is an immensity of labor to make one." (2)

6.3 French naval officer (?), Louis Claude Freycinet recorded prone surfriding in the Hawaiian islands (?), circa 1820.

"When using the board, he holds it in his hands and lies down flat on his stomach, head toward the rounded end, or else he uses his hands like paddles and with his feet directs this sort of a float with astonishing skill and swiftness." (3)

Freycinet's report, while probably inferring the boards were short, only confirms that the nose was round.

6.4 Freycinet's published account included an illustration of a Hawaiian surfboard by Jacques Arago, "The Houses of Kraimokou, circa 1819".
Arago accompanied Freycinet as the expedition's offical artist to the Hawaiian Islands when circumnavigating the world in 1817 to 1820. (4)
A wonderfully detailed  illustration of Hawaiian dwelling with the chief in ceremonial dress and his wife beating
tapa cloth, a large surfboard takes a central position in the drawing and is presumably a significant cultural item.
The buildings closely resemble a house initally drawn by John Webber in 1779 titled "An Offering before Capt Cook in the Sandwich Ilses". (5)

Given the scale of the illustration, the board is approximately 15 feet long, 20 inches wide and, less accuarately, three inches thick.
The template is foiled with a round nose and square tail, the later possibly indicating a convex bottom profile.
While the rails appear square, this possiblly is an artistic compromise to give the board perspective.
The print, below, shows the board constructed from a light-toned timber, perhaps indicating willi willi rather than the significantly darker koa wood.
Arago's illustration is the first indication that surfriding was a royal activity.

Jacques Arago,
Engraving by
Alphonse Pellion: 
"The Houses of Kraimokou", circa 1819.

Finney and Houston (1996) Page 37.

First image of an Olo board.

6.5 Hiram Bingham was one of the earliest missionaries to the Hawaiian Islands, and his account of 1821 is one of the most expansive, covering a wide range of dimensions.

"In this exercise, they generally avail themselves of the surf-board, an instrument manufactured by
themselves for the purpose.
It is made of buoyant wood, thin at the edges and ends, but of considerable thickness in the middle,
smooth, and ingeniously adapted to the purpose of sustaining a moderate weight and gliding rapidly
on the surface of the water.
It is of various dimensions from three feet in length, and six or eight inches in breadth, to fourteen feet in length, and twenty inches in breadth." (7)

The principal feature is the convex cross-sections, "thin at the edges and ends, but of considerable thickness in the middle" .
Unfortunately the estimation of the thickness, "considerable", is open to considerable speculation.
The width (from six to twenty inches) and length (three to fourteen feet) vary across a wide range, presumably determined to some extent by the proportions and/or skill of the rider.
The weight of the board and the fine finish may be, to some extent, indicated by Bingham's description "made of bouyant wood, ... , smooth".

6.6 Rev. Charles S. Stewart served in the US Navy and and served as a Christian  Missionary to the Hawaiian  Islands, 1823 to 1825. (8)
He was personally acquainted with Rev. William Ellis, a fellow missionary and reporter of surfriding activity.(9)
See below.
His surfboard description is taken from an entry dated 24th January 1825 and located at Lahaina,Maui. (10)

... a plank of light wood, eight or ten feet long, two feet broad, and three or four inches thick in the middle, decreasing to a sharp edge at the sides and ends, which are rounded, and having the whole surface finely polished, is necessary; and forms an article of personal property among all the chiefs, male and female, and among many of the common people." (11)

Stewart's estimation of width ("two feet broad" ) and  the weight ("light wood"), and description the rail profile ("a sharp edge at the sides and ends") have precedents, however the length is significantly longer than in any of the previous reports.
The thickness of "three or four inches" is significant.
The thickness is only indicated in the first edition of 1828, and was apparently deleted in the1829 and later editions.

This is the first report of the board as "having the whole surface finely polished".
The fine polished finish was a noted feature of ancient Hawaiian canoes.
This was achieved by fine sanding with selected stones and corals. and sealed with a variety of organic paints, generally called pa'ele. (12)

While the dimensions would appear to indicate that the boards were potentially suitable for standing surfriding, there is some difficulty in determing the stance of the riders as reported by Stewart:

"with the arms and feet skillfully keep their poise in the swell, so as not to be sufficiently forward to be overwhelmed by its combing, nor so far behind as to lose its impetus" (13)

"Poise" may mean maintaining a position on the wave face and not refer to the riders stance, which later is probably indicated as the prone position:.

"on the rolling summit, their erected heads only appearing above the foam" (14)

Stewart writes that surfriding was practised by commoners and chiefs of both genders.

"an article of personal property among all the chiefs,
male and female, and among many of the common people." (15)

6.7 Rev. William Ellis's highly detailed descripton is congruent with Stewart's, circa 1825, but there are significant differences probably due to observations at different locations, in this case from the large island, Hawai'i.(16)

"a board, which they call papa hi naru [papa he'e nalu], (wave sliding-board,) generally five or six feet long, and rather more than a foot wide, sometimes flat, but more frequently slightly convex on both sides.
It is usually made of the wood of the erythrina, stained quite black, and preserved with great care. (17)

The length ("generally five or six feet ") and rail shape ("sometimes flat, but more frequently slightly convex on both sides") are similar to the previous reports from Cook's crew and the width ("rather more than a foot" ) is probably at least 18 inches.
Athough these dimensions may appear to indicate a "small" board, Ellis cleary reports the boards were capable of being ridden in a standing position, presumably by adults.

"Those who are expert frequently change their position on the board, sometimes sitting and
sometimes standing erect in the midst of the foam."(18)

This is the first report confirming the wood used for board construction, in this case willi willi ("erythrina "), the perferred timber for outrigger floats, or ama. (19)
Noted for its light weight, willi willi may have been the wood used for board construction as described by Ellis's namesake in 1769 (2.2, above).

Also, the board is described as "stained quite black".
The dark stain was a feature of ancient Hawaiian canoes that sealed the wood with a paint  produced from a variety of organic products, generally called pa'ele.(20)

Of particular significance is the report of the indegenous name, "papa hi naru [papa he'e nalu], (wave sliding-board)", which in translation srongly infers the actvity entails the angling of the board on the wave face.

Elli's account further reports the neccessity to dry the board after use and the application of oil, possibly to prevent the timber splitting  and probably to act as a water repellent when next immersed.

"After using, it is placed in the sun till perfectly dry, when it is rubbed-over with cocoa-nut oil, frequently wrapped in cloth, and suspended in some part of their dwelling-house." (21)

6.8 Captain Byron, of H.M.S. Blonde, witnessed surf-riding at Hilo, Hawai'i in 1825 and commented on the status of surfboards in Hawaiian culture.

 "Float-board: this is a board a little longer than the human body, feathered at the edges, on which
these Islanders stretch themselves and float for hours on the water, using their limbs as paddles to
guide them, or at other times trusting to the impulse of the waves: the very children have their little
boards; and to have a neat float-board, well kept and dried, is to a Sandwich Islander what a tilbury, or
cabriolet, or whatever Iight carriage may be in fashion, is to a young Englishman."  (22)

His report is consistent with Ellis's (4.3) account that the boards are "neat .., well-kept, and dried".

6.9 Dutchman, Frank J. A. Broeze, visited Hawaii circa 1828 and wrote of the the natives familarity with the ocean from their earliest years and their subsequent exposure to the use of surfboards.

"Thus the children become daily accustomed to stay in Neptune's element...
Finally, when the child has learned to walk, he is given a plank, like a rectangular shield.
He goes into the water with it, farther and farther away from the shore." (23)

Broeze' description of "a plank, like a rectangular shield" is difficult to interpret.
The use of "shield" may be intended to convey the approximate dimensions, the ratio of length and width, or some other feature of the board.
Barrot's report in not included in the tables below.

6.10 Theodore Adolphe Barrot (1803-1870) visited Hawaii in 1836 and recorded a instance of female surfriding, possibly at Kealaleakua Bay, Hawai'i.

"the entire female population of Kealaleakua assembled to bathe... Then they plunged thence entirely naked, into the waves which were breaking upon the shore; a plank, six or eight feet in length, and pointed at one end, enabled them to sustain themselves on the crest of the waves. It was indeed, a singular picture..." (24)

The  description of board length ("six or eight feet") is familar from earlier reports, however this is one of the earliest report of a pin nose ("pointed at one end"), possibly indicating a nose profile similar to Elli's (2.2) "sharkboard".

6.11 Noted native Hawaiian historian, David Malo (1795-1853), a  briefly discussed surfboards in his seminal account of Hawaiian culture, Ka Moolelo Hawaii.
Initially written and published in Hawaiian between 1835 and 1838, they were translated into English by N.B. Emerson and published as Hawaiian Antiquities in 1898. (25)

"These surf-boards were made broad and flat, generally hewn out of koa.
A narrower board, however, was made from the wood of the 'Wili'Wili." (26)

Malo identifies two distinct designs, a wide and thin ("flat") board of koa and a narrow (and thick?) board built from willi willi.
This would appear to be consistant with the early reports by Cook's crew, circa 1779.
See Part 2.

Koa and willi willi are also identified by Malo as being suitable for surfboard construction in Chapter 9: Plants and Trees.
"The koa was the tree that grew to be of the largest size in all the islands.
It was made into canoes, surf-boards, paddles, spears, and (in modern times) into boards and
shingles for houses." (27)
"The wili-wili is a very buoyant wood, for which reason it is largely used in making surf boards
(papa-hee-nalu), and outrigger floats (ama) for canoes." (28)

Athough ulu (breadfruit) is also listed in this chapter, Malo does not identify it as a suitable timber for surfboard construction.
"The ulu or breadfruit is a tree whose wood is much used in the construction of the doors of
houses and the bodies of canoes.
Its fruit is made into a delicious poi." (29)
Note that some commentators have reported that ulu is occasionally used for small boards, and one example is held by the Bishop Museum, Catalogue Number 5966.

He does not indicate an average length for these specific designs but rather implies that length could vary over a range of one to over four fathoms, a nautical measure of approximately six feet.
That is, length could vary between 6 feet to longer than 24 feet

"One board would be a fathom in length, another two fathoms, and another four fathoms, or even longer." (30)

Emerson, or W.D. Alexander (Malo's editor) (31), expressed some dissatisfaction with this apparently extreme length, noting:

" The longest surf board at the Bishop Museum is sixteen feet in length.
It is difficult to see how one of greater length could be of any service, and even when of such dimensions it must have required great address to manage it.
It was quite sufficient if the board was of the length of the one who used it. (32)
One is almost inclined to doubt the accuracy of David Malo's statement that it was sometimes four, or even more, fathoms in length." (33)

Tom Blake (1935) expressed similar reservations and suggested an alternative calculation:

"I believe Malo meant yards when he used fathoms." (34)

Certainly David Malo's report is longer than any previous account.
The next longest (at 20 feet) was reported by Chester S Lyman at Waikiki in 1846 (See 4.2), and it appears Alexander's reservations are reasonable.
While the longest boards are often indicated as built from willi willi wood, it seems probable that trees that could provide boards in excess of 20 feet would be relatively rare.

Tommy Holmes extensively dicusses the use of willi willi in ancient Hawaiian canoe construction and notes:
"Wiliwili, by some accounts, was never very plentiful.
Kalokuoka-maile notes that "in the olden days. ..there were very few places in which this tree
This is somewhat at odds with botanist W. E. Hillebrand, who wrote that wiliwili was "much more common formerly than now."
It was said by some that Ka'u was the best place for wiliwili.
Today wiliwili can be found flourishing in certain areas.
The author has visited a grove of wiliwili above the Makena area on Maui that comprises
several hundred acres.
Many of the trees are 3 to 4 feet in diameter with trunks often rising 15 to 20 feet high before
By way of reference, the largest wiliwili tree known, located on Pu'uwa'awa'a Ranch is, at breast
height, almost thirteen feet in circumference, and fifty-five feet high." (35)

Given the status of Malo's account as from one who grew up under the tradional culture, it is important to note what he did not say.
There is no report of the use of specific designs as restricted to certain classes or that construcion entailed religious ceremony.
In an extensive list of 30 items ranked in importance, tilted The Valuables and Possessions of the Ancient Times (Chapter 22, Pages 76 to 81), he does not specifically include surfboards, unless they are included in the general category:

"27. A great variety of articles were manufactured by different persons which were esteemed wealth."
Page 80. (36)

Note however that canoes are rated very highly (points 7 and 8), immediately following items of royal or religious significance. (37)
Futhermore, given the canoe's status in Hawaiian culture Malo gives an extensive account of the construction process and the accompanying religious ceremonies. (38)
He makes no such claims about surfboard construction.
Malo's writings on canoe construction will further examined at a later point.

6.12 The detailed reports of the early 19th century commentators are summarized in the following table.

6.12a Whitman
1819 a
Waikiki e
papa hi naru f
15 feet
3 to 14 feet
8 to 10 feet
5 to 6 feet
20 inches
6 to 20 inches
24 inches
16 inches b
3 to 4 inches
Bevelled c
Chine d
Willi willi
Cocoa-nut oil

a. Dimensions and design features are an approximation from Arago's illustration.
b. " rather more than a foot wide".
c. "thin at the edges and ends, but of considerable thickness in the middle"
d. "decreasing to a sharp edge at the sides and ends"
e. Reported as Honolulu.
f. Properly translated as Papa he'e nalu

Kealaleakua Bay
a plank
plus six feet a
six or eight feet
six to 24
feet b
wili willi
well kept and dried

a. "a little longer than the human body"
b. "one to four fathoms" - a fathom is approxinmately six feet

polynesian surfriding : chapter 7
1. Campbell, Archibald: A voyage round the world, from 1806 to 1812; in which Japan, Kamschatka, the Aleutian Islands, and the Sandwich Islands were visited; including a narrative of the author's shipwreck on the island of Sannack, and his subsequent wreck in the ship's long-boat; with an account of the present state of the Sandwich islands, and a vocabulary of their, language.
A. Constable & Co., Edinburgh, 1816, pages 145-146.

Noted and quoted in
Dela Vega, Timothy T. (editor) et. al:  200 Years of Surfing Literature - An Annoted Bibliography
Published by Timothy T. Dela Vega.
Produced in Hanapepe, Kaui, Hawaii. 2004 (ed, 2004), page 22.

2. Whitman, John B.: An Account of the Sandwich Islands: the Hawaiian Journal of John B.Whitman, 1813-1815.
Topgallant Pub. Co., Honolulu; Peabody Museum of Salem, Salem, USA, 1979, pages 57-58.

Noted and quoted in
Dela Vega et. al: Surf Literature (2004) page 29.

3. Freycinet, Louis Claude de Sau1ses De (1779-1842): Voyage autour du monde .. entrepris par ordre du roi, exe- cute sur les corvettes dR S.M. L'Uranie et In Physicienne pendant les annees 1817,1818, 1819 et 1820 (Voyage around the World Undertaken by Order ofdle King, Performed on His Majesty's Sloops L'Uranie and L'Physicienne in the years 1817, 1818, 1819.
Olez Pillet alne, Paris, 1825, 7 Volumes.
Volume 2, Part 2, Book Chapter xxvn, Pages 517-516.
Engravingby A. Pellion 'The houses of Chief Kraimokou, Prime Minister of the King" Kailua, on page 9.

Noted and quoted in
Dela Vega et. al: Surf Literature (2004) page 22.

4. The image was originally printed in
Arago, J : Narrative of a Voyage round the World, in the Uranie and Physicienne Corvettes,
Commanded by Captain Freycinet, During the Years 1817, 1818, 1819, and 1820.
Treuttel and Wurtz, Treuttel, Jun. and Richter. London. 1823.
. . . With Twenty-Six Engravings . . . . :
Folding frontispiece map and twenty-five lithographed plates after Arago.

Also, as noted above:
Freycinet: Voyage (1825), Volume 2, Part 2, Book 4, Chapter XXVII, pages 517 to 622 (?).

Noted in
Dela Vega et. al: Surf Literature (2004) page 20.

De Rienzi, Domeny (1789-1843) & Gregoire Louis
Oceanie; au cinquieme partie du monde revue geogrophique et ethnogrophique de la Malaisie, de la Micronesie, de la Polynesie et de la Melanesie; offrant les resultats des voyages et des decouvertes de l'auteur et de ses devanciers, ainsi que ses nouvelles classifications et divisions de ces con trees (The Universe, History and Description, of All the People)
Firmin Didot, Paris,1836-1873, Three Volumes.

Noted by
Dela Vega et. al: Surf Literature (2004) page16
"vol. 2, plate 115. 'Habitations'
Image of house and surfboard (See next page bottom).
French cultural anthropology book.
No surfing content."

5. An engraving by S. Middleman and J. Hall, based on Webber's drawing,  was included in Cook's published journals in 1884.
Beaglehole, J.C.: The Life of James Cook
Stanford University Press Stanford, California. 1974, Plate 41, between pages 672 and 673.
Original publisher : A. & C. Black, Ltd. London, 1974.

6. Finney, Ben and Houston, James D.: Surfing A History of the Ancient Hawaiian Sport.
Pomegranate Books
P.O. Box 6099 Rohnert Park, CA 94927,1996, page 37.

The image, in various sizes and/or cropped versions, has been reproduced in many surfing books.

Blake, Tom: Hawaiian Surfriders 1935
Mountain and Sea Publishing, Box 126 Redondo Beach California 90277, 1983, between pages 48 and 49.
This image crops most of the surfboard out of frame.
Originally published as:
Blake, Tom: Hawaiian Surfboard,
Paradise of the Pacific Press, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1935,

Finney, Ben and Houston James D.:  Surfing The Sport of Hawaiian Kings.
Charles E. Tuttle Company Inc.
Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo, Japan,1966, Plate 12.

Margan, Frank and Finney, Ben R.: A Pictorial History of Surfing.
Paul Hamlyn Pty Ltd, 176 South Creek Road,
Dee Why West, NSW 2099,1970, page 19.

Young, Nat with McGregor, Craig: The History 0f Surfing.
Palm Beach Press, 40 Palm Beach Road,
Palm Beach NSW 2108. 1983. page 33 (poorly cropped).

Lueras, Leonard: Surfing - The Ultimate Pleasure.
Workman Publishing
1 West 39 Street New York, NY 10018. 1984. page 35 (colourized).

Kampion, Drew:: Stoked : A History of Surf Culture.
 General Publishing Group
Los Angles. 1997. Second edition 1998. page 31.
Credited as  "Kraimoku Homestead" by Villroy. Bishop Museum.

Dela Vega et. al: Surf Literature (2004) page 20.

7. Bingham, Hiram: A Residence Of Twenty-one Years In The Sandwich Islands, Or, The Civil, Religious, And Political History Of Those Islands.
Hezekiah Huntington, Hartford CT;1847 Sherman Converse, New York, 1847
Chapter VI: 1821  Page 136.

2020ok: Directory of FREE Online Books and FREE eBooks
Library of Congress
Westward by Sea: A Maritime Perspective on American Expansion, 1820-1890
 "A residence in the Sandwich Islands"

8. Charles Stewart's cultural and religous perspective is possibly indicated by his comments on Hawaii in "The Advertisement" (1839 edition), page ? ...
"It is yet scarce twenty years since the American churches first projected the enterprise of introducing the blessings of Christianty and civilization to that people - then a nation of open and gross idolators, degraded not only by all the pollutions of paganism, but doubly cursed with vices and scourges of destruction, imported and widely spread through the population by dissolute and reckless visiters from Europe and America."

- Mystics  Seaport : The Museum of America and the Sea.

9. "Stewart  ... was personally acquainted with Rev. William Ellis."
Stewart's work includes an account in Chapter XI of  "A Visit to Mr. and Mrs. Ellis", Pages 232-233?
The Fifth Edition (Enlarged) of  1839 includes  an "Inroduction by the Rev. William Ellis, from the London Edition' and is dedicated to "the Honorable Samuel L. Southard, Secretary to the Navy, etc, etc."

Stewart was probably aware of Ellis' work, which also includes an account of surfriding, and both authors were published by the same London company.
The two accounts of surfriding have some similarities.

10. Finney and Houston note four located (and two unlocated) ancient surf breaks at Lahaina, Maui.
Finney and Houston: Surfing (1996)  page 30.

11. Stewart, Charles Samuel: A Journal of Residence in the Sandwich Islands during the Years 1823, 1924 and 1825.
Fisher, Son and Jackson, London,  1828.
Chapter 10, Sports of the Surf, pages 225 to 257.

12. Holmes, Tommy: The Hawaiian Canoe - Second Edition
Editions Limited, PO Box 10558 Honolulu, Hawaii 96816.
First Edition 1981. Second Edition 1993. Second Printing 1996. page 40.

13. Stewart: Sandwich Islands (1828) pages 255 and 256

14. Stewart: Sandwich Islands (1828) page 256

15. Stewart: Sandwich Islands (1828). page 256

16. Ellis records the location of his observations as Waimanu, Hawai'i.
Finney and Houston  locate Waimanu ("bird - water") on the north coast of the large island, Hawai'i in their list of ancient surfriding  breaks.
Finney and Houston: Surfing (1996)  pages 28 and 29.

17. Ellis, Rev. William: Polynesian Researches: Hawaii
 A New Edition, Enlarged and Improved
 Charles E. Tuttle and Company
 Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo Japan,1969.
Surfriding text pages 368 - 372.

First published as:
Ellis, Rev. William: Narrative of a Tour of Hawaii, or Owhyhee; with Remarks on the History, Traditions, Manners, Customs and Language of the Inhabitants of the Sandwich Islands.
H. Fisher and Son, London; P. Jackson, London,1826.
Surfriding text pages 276-8.

Reprinted as Volume IV in:
Ellis, Rev. William: Polynesian Researches, During a Residence of Nearly Eight Years in the Society and Sandwich Islands, Volumes I to IV.
Fisher, Son and Jackson, London, 1831.
Surfriding text Volume IV, pages 368 to 372.

Reproduced in
Finney and Houston: Surfing (1996) Appendix C, pages 98 to 99.

18. Ellis: Hawaii (1969) page ?

19. "wili wili.  2. n. A Hawaiian leguminous tree ('Erythrina sandwicensis', formerly called 'E. monosperma'), found on dry coral plains and on lava flows, somewhat spiny, with short thick trunk.
The wood is very light and formerly was used for surfboards, canoe outriggers, net floats."

Pukui, Mary Kawena and Elbert, Samuel H.: Hawaiian Dictionary
University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu. 1986 page 385.

20. Holmes: Hawaiian Canoe (1996) page 41.

21. Ellis: Hawaii (1969) page ?

22. Byron, the Rt. Hon. Lord:
Voyage of the 'H.M.S. Blonde' to the Sandwich Islands in the Years 1825-26.
John Murray, Albemable Street, London,1826, page 97.

23. Broeze, Frank J. A.: Voyage to the East and West Coast of South America and thence to the Sandwich and Philippine Islands, China, etc.; done in the years 1826-1829.
Amsterdam, Holland, 1835-6, Chapter 21.
Original in Dutch.
"Thus the children become daily accustomed to stay in Neptune's element... Finally, when the child has learned to walk, he is given a plank, like a rectangular shield.
He goes into the water with it, farther and farther away from the shore."

Noted and quoted in:
Dela Vega et. al: Surf Literature (2004)  page 13.

24. Barrot, Theodore Adolphe (1803-1870):"Les Iles Sandwich"
Revue des deux mondes (a French magazine)
August 1, 15, 1839.
Later reprinted in a translated version as
"Visit of the French Sloop of War 'Bonite', to the Sandwich Islands, in 1836."
The Friend
Serialized Jan.-Nov.,1850.

Noted and quoted in:
Dela Vega et. al: Surf Literature (2004) page 10.

25. Malo, David: Hawaiian Antiquities (Moolelo Hawaii)
 Bernice P. Bishop Museum,
 1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu, Hawaii,2005.
 Translated from the Hawaiian by Nathaniel B. Emerson, 1889.
 First published 1901.
 Special Publication 2  Second Edition 1951.
 Reprinted 1971, 1976, 1980, 1991, 1992, 1997.

26. Malo: Antiquities (2005) page 223.

27. Malo: Antiquities (2005)  page 20.

28. Malo: Antiquities (2005)  page 21

29. Malo: Antiquities (2005)  page 21

30. Malo: Antiquities (2005)  page 223

31. It is unclear who actually contibuted to the text and/or the notes.
In the preface to the second edition (1951), the editor Eloise Christian comments:

 "it is hard to tell where Malo leaves off and Emerson takes over, or how much of the parenthetical material in the actual text is Emerson's."
Malo: Antiquities (2005) Page xix.

32. Emerson and/or Alexander possibly lacked personal surfriding experience.
While "It was quite sufficient if the board was of the length of the one who used it."is technically correct, and corresponds with the dimensions of many modern surfboards, it does not factor in the substantial paddling benefits of larger volume boards.
This is particually important when attempting to take-off on large fast moving  waves.

33. Emerson/Alexander : Notes to Chapter 48, Point 4
in  Malo: Antiquities (2005) Page 223.

34.Blake: Surfriders (1983) page 30.

35. Holmes: Hawaiian Canoe (1996) page 23.

36. Malo: Antiquities (2005) page 80.

37. Malo: Antiquities (2005) pages 77 and 78.

38. Malo: Antiquities (2005) pages 126 to 131.

polynesian surfriding : chapter 7

Return to History Menu
home catalogue history references appendix

The Hawaiian Kingdom, Volume 1
Ralph Simpson Kuykendall
University of Hawaii, 1938.

Page 107

One case is reported (in 1832) in which adobies were covered with mats were used for seats, (18) and in one schoolhouse on Kaui surfboards were used in the manufacture of seats and writing tables. (19)

18. L.F. Judd, Sketches of the Life, Social, Political and Religious, in the Hawaiian Islands from 1828 to 1861 (1928 ed.) 55-56.
19. ML III, 809.

Page 122

The kapu on the various games mentioned (ulumaita, pahee, puhenehene, & cards, etc.) was in accord with the teachings of the missionaries, their objection being, however, not to the games themselves, but to the gambling inseperately associated with them. (21)

21. Chamberlain Journal, April 13, 1824, records that Mr. Bingham in a conversation with the chiefs, recommended "the giving up of their sports, particually the games which are practiced to win money."
In another place, Bingham indicates the missionaries had no objection to "the healthly exercises of swimming, riding on the surf board, or on horseback, or any athletic exercises  to which the people are attached, disconnected with immorality."
- Bingham to Miller, Sept. 26, 1831, in ML, V, 1391.

See also ibid., 1382;
Bingham, Residence, 137, 213-215, 220;
Ellis, Narrative of a Tour of Hawaii, (1917 ed.) 147-149;
Stewart, Residence in the Sandwich Islands (5th ed.) 243-245;
N.B. Emerson, "Causes of the Decline in Hawaiian Sports," in Friend, L, (1892), 57-60.

ML: Missionay Letters, a typescript copy in the HMCS Library containing letters and parts of letters from the missionaries in Hawaii to the corresponding secretaries of the ABCFM copied from the originals in the archives of the ABCFM in Boston.
The collection is supposed to contain only materials not printed in the Missionary Herald, but there is a very small amount of duplication.