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Duke Kahanamoku
(1890 - 1968)
Duke Kahanamoku at Waikiki, 1910.
Selected items from:
Newspaper Menu  : Surf and Surf-Bathing. Overview.
Following the formation of the Outrigger Canoe Club in 1908 and the acquisition of beach front property, its activities dominated surf riding  at Waikiki.
Among its innovations were the Clark Cup contests, surf-board and outrigger canoe riding competitions to be held in conjunction with arrival of Frank C. Clark's cruise ship the Arabic on two visits to Honolulu on the23rd January and 12th February, 1910

The first Clark contest was plagued by a small swell and a brisk off-shore wind and the surf riding competitions postponed.
Preparations for the second Clark Cup included the construction of an Outrigger Club float for the Floral Parade and the interest of a film crew, led by  M. Bonvillain of Pathe Freres, Paris
To assist in shooing film of the contest, K.O. Hall &Son.provided galvanised iron piping for a platform in the surf zone, which was erected with considerable difficulty.

Bonvillain shot some preliminary scenes of junior Outrigger members collecting their boards from the grass houses and paddling out next to the Moana pier, these included Lionel Steiner, Harold Hustace, Marston Campbell Jr. and "Duke."
This is the earliest report of Duke Kahanamoku in the Hawaiian press.
For images, See DeLaVega: Surfing in Hawaii (2011) page 70.

The February contest was also to include a swimming race between the teams of the Outrigger Club and the Diamond Head Athletic Club.
The Outrigger team was Ben Vincent, Alfred Young, Cooper, Harry Steiner, Evans and "Rusty Brown, captain.
The D. H. A. C. was represented by  D. Center, Glirdler, Duke, L. Cunha, C. Oss, and Archie Robertson, captain.
Note that the same report lists David Center and Duke Paua (in the B team, the "Strawberry crew") as crews of Outrigger canoes in the six paddle race.
At this time, club membership appears flexible, with some competitors changing from club to club or holding multiple memberships.
This regatta was also plagued by a lack of swell and many events were cancelled.

In August, the Promotion Committee considered several poster designs for the upcoming floral parade.
The submitted works were considered inappropriate, the press in stronger words, described them as "the three atrocities."
One member suggested an alternate design based on the image of a surf rider, "which has been displayed here as an advertisement," which
was well received by the committee.
This was, presumably, the photograph of Duke Kahanamoku, taken and by A. R. Gurrey Jr. and used in promoting his photographic studio.

A. R. Gurrey Jr. published his widely reproduced company logo featuring Duke Kahanamoku surfing at Waikiki in the Evening Bulletin of 23rd
November, and two weeks later the newspaper announced the release of Alexander Hume Ford's Mid-Pacific Magazine.
On 164 glossy pages with halftone photographs, it represented a "high standard in the printer's art" and it was claimed that it would appear
simultaneously in London, Boston, New York, San Francisco and Sydney.


By the end of 1910,  Duke Kahanamoku had established a reputation as one of Waikiki's leading expert surfboard riders, such that the initial edition of Ford's Mid-Pacific Magazine featured the first of a two-part account of surfing, accredited to Duke Paoa, "the recognized native Hawaiian champion surf rider."
The article was in fact written by Ford
The introduction to the article noted:
"Duke Paoa was born on the island of Oahu, within sound of the surf, and has spent half of his waking hours from early childhood battling the waves for sport.
He is now 21 years of age, and is the recognized native Hawaiian champion surf rider.
Duke and the members of the Hui Nalu, an organization of professional surfers at Waikiki, have supplied the material for this article on the national sport of Hawaii."

Significantly, the cover featured a photograph
by A.R. Gurrey of Duke at Waikiki.
The image was also used to advertise
Gurrey's photographic studio in Honolulu and an illustration based on the photograph was later used to promote the Mid-Macific Carnival (1914) and Duke's Australian tour in 1915.

 The article was supplemented by several surfboard riding photographs, probably by the prolific A. R. Gurrey, and given the inclusion of an article on Skiing in Australia by Percy Hunter, it is likely  that copies of the magazine were available across the Pacific in Australia.
If a copy came into the possession  of one of the small number of Sydney surfers, largely centred at Manly Beach, who were beginning to experiment with Hawaiian type boards, then it would have been highly prised and eagerly shown around that group.

See Kahanamoku, Duke Paoa: Riding the Surfboard.

The Mid-Pacific Magazine, Honolulu, Volume 1, Number 1, January,1911, page 3.

Around the middle of the year, the Hui Nalu, described as "Waiklki rowers and swimmers, composed chiefly of Hawaiians," was admitted to the local branch of the A.A.U.
This new club was largely an offshoot or a faction of the Outrigger Club, those previously identified as Outrigger members included Duke Kahanamoku, Vincent Genoves, Kenneth Winter and Curtis Hustace.
On the 5th August, the Hui Nalu added twelve new members, making a total of 27.
E. K. Miller, W. H. King and R. W. Foster were elected as their delegates to the A.A.U.

The establishment of the Outrigger Club, with its prime focus on contests in the surf at Waikiki, allowed the wide program of events that previously comprised the earlier Waikiki Regattas to be diversified.
The rowing and sailing races moved to the more suitable flat water of the harbour and the swimming events, now under the auspices of the A.A.U., to the slips between the docks where the length of the course could be effectively measured.

The program for the upcoming aquatic meet was released on the 8th August, initially to be at the Bishop slip.
As the dock was being used commercially on the day of the event, it was moved to the Alakea slip.
Entrants from the various clubs included Geo. Freeth and  L. Cunha (Healani); D. Center (Myrtle); and D. P. Kahanamoku and Vincent Genoves (Hui Nalu).
Freeth's eligibility was questioned, but after meeting with John Soper, his application to join the A.A.U. was accepted.
The program did not include a swimming team from the Outrigger Club, one reporter suggesting that "the members got cold feet as soon as the entry list of the Hui Nalus was scanned."
It later transpired that the club had intended to enter a team, but due to misadventure, if not "treachery", the correct documents were not lodged before the official closing time.
Circumstantial evidence suggested the involvement of the Hui Nalu in the matter.
While the press report suggested that disgruntled Outrigger members might console themselves with that evening's moonlight dance in the club's lanai, elsewhere on the same page it was noted that the Hui Nalu club was "at present giving more attention to swimming than dancing."

Any questionable pre-contest manoeuvres by the Hui Nalu proved to be unnecessary, and the club emphatically dominated the swimming races on the 12th August.
In excellent conditions, the "water was as calm as a mill pond," Vincent Genoves won the  440, the 880 yards and one mile and Duke Kahanamoku won the 50, 100 and 220 yards events.
In addition, Kahanamoku broke world record times for the 50 and 100 yards.
In a sudden leap to international fame, the press noted that at the time Duke was "not well known among the people of Honolulu, but is remembered by many tourists who have visited Hawaii and taken a dip in the surf of Waikiki."

As Hawaii's first event sanctioned by the A.A.U., considerable care was taken to correctly measure the course before the carnival and the events were timed by several officials.
Due to some cynicism as to the validity of these record breaking swims, the course was re-measured the following day by a surveyor.
It was later reported that it was, in fact, longer by one and a half feet; however the records were not officially recognised at the time.

In a regular column, Honolulu Newsletter published in the Maui News in August, Oscar Brenton reviewed the failure of the Outrigger Club to enter a team in the recent swim meet.
He implied that the club, under the direction of Ford, had alienated a number of junior members with its rigorous interpretation of amateur status.
This probably stemmed from the rejection of a motion to allow the payment of juniors for providing canoe surfing services, passed at the AGM on 15th February 1910.
As Duke Kahanamoku "happens to get his livelihood making surfboards and occassionally taking tourists canoing at so much a head", under the rule he was unable to compete "for the Clark cups, or anything else under the auspices of the Outriggers."
It is likely that this dispute over the definition of amateur status within the Outrigger Club significantly contributed to the formation of the Hui Nalu in mid 1911.
Twelve months later, the reasons for the defection of some Outrigger members, notably Duke Kahanamoku, to the Hui Nalu were still considered a mystery by most in Honolulu.
In July 1912,  a reporter for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin stated "many know, but more do not and the writer of this is with the latter."
With an element of regret, the article noted that it "would have been a good thing from the point of view of the promoter of tourist travel to the islands" for the international reputations of Duke and the Outrigger Club to have been combined.

The regatta day planned for the 12th September was to take place in Honolulu harbour for a series of races for barges, ship's boats, shore boats, whaleboats, and modern and old canoes.
There were also sailing races for boats and canoes.
A barge race was competed by groups of local government workers as Federal, Territorial, or County Employees.
Visiting crews included those of the Resolute, the Patterson, and  the Robert Searle.
Competing clubs included the Healani Boat Club, the Myrtle Boat Club,  the Puunene Athletic Club, the K. A. C. Seniors, the Outrigger Club, and the Hui Nalu.
The Hui Nalu secured  the A, Prince Kuhio's canoe, previously used by the Kona paddlers, to compete in the six and four-paddle canoe races.
Crew members included  lngworth, Duke Kahanamoku, O'Sullivan, Archie Robertson, and Vincent Genoves.
They won both canoe events, placing ahead of the Kamehameha's and the Outrigger in the six paddle, and beating the K. A. C. Seniors in the four-paddle race.
The event was well attended with most support  for the Healanis and the Myrtles, but there were also a significant presence of the "black and gold" for the Puunene Athletic Club and the "blue" of the Hui Nalu.

The autumn of 1911 provided large waves at Waikiki.
At the end of September canoe and board riders rode surf, said by experienced elders, to be "higher today than at any time in the last nine years."
Another substantial swell arrived in November, which persisted for several days and at one point was large enough to keep the local fishing fleet at home.


The New Year saw steps to secure funds to send Duke Kahanamoku  to the mainland to take part in the Olympic trials.
About $230 was already collected but the trip would require at least $1000, and "an extra five hundred wouldn't hurt a little bit."
The reporter noted the need of  a manager/coach to avoid  "the wiles and wrinkles of important amateur athletic competitions" and warned that suggestions by George Freeth that Duke seek employment in California may prove detrimental to his amateur status.

The Hui Nalu Club arranged a dance on Saturday, January 27, at the Young roof garden
Tickets were $4 each, the proceeds going to the Duke traveling fund.
At the time swimming was the club's main focus, the press noting the "Hui Nalu is not a rowing club at present."

In the first week of February, Frederick Shaffer, a crewman of the visiting cruiser Colorado, drowned at Waikiki while attempting to rescue a woman in difficulties.
Shaffer's companion and the woman were in turn rescued by the Outrigger's youngest and most recent member, thirteen-year-old Ralph Williams,  Alexander Hume Ford and Duke Kahanamoku.
Williams and Kahanamoku used their surfboards and Ford had grabbed in the smallest outrigger canoe available.
Despite an extensive search by Hui Nalu members and a search party raised from the Colorado, Shaffer's body was not recovered that day.
Ford later noted that the Waikiki boys had regularly performed rescues, " the Hustace boys with a score of life savings."

During the following week, Duke Kahanamoku and Vincent Genoves gave a free swimming exhibition in the Bishop slip before about 200 (?) spectators.
Although neither produced record breaking times, they gave respectable performances under less than ideal conditions.
At Waikiki, in a  response to calls for an improvements to beach safety, The Outrigger Club announced its members would man a patrol during the tourist season.

Duke Kahanamoku and Vincent Genoves, accompanied by Lew G. Henderson and "Dude" Miller departed Honolulu on the 7th February to compete in the U.S. trials for the 1912 Olympic games.
At the dockside, members of "the Hui Nalu gave their club yell, a quintette club sang 'Aloha Oe,' Berger's band struck up 'Auld Lang Syne.'"

The Hawaiian Star printed a letter on 12th March from Dr. A. E. Friesel to his brother, a local athlete, with an account of the Olympic trials in Chicago.
He noted that Genoves was severely disadvantaged by the short course tank which required numerous turns, losing "one and one-half to two yards on every turn," and failed to qualify.
The tank was less of a problem for Duke Kahanamoku, in "the finals he won the fifty yards and the 100 yards by about two feet each" and he was selected for the U.S.A. team to swim in Stockholm.
Emphasising Hawaii's status as a U.S. territory, "Duke was brought out wrapped in the American flag."
Friesel requested that his brother send him an autographed copy of  "one of those large photos showing him (Duke) standing on his head on a surf board" to be framed for his office.

On  the mainland, Kahanamoku competed in a series of competitions and, as of 22nd March, he had won every race he entered, with the exception of one event at the Pittsburgh Athletic Club where he retired from the race with cramps,
Described as 21 years old, six foot and 185 pounds, in particular, the press noted "his style is different from anything ever seen before in this country."
In interviews Duke accredited his swimming success to his surf riding experience at Waikiki.
Despite the years of strenuous publicity by A.H. Ford to give the Outrigger Club an international profile, its fame was now rivalled by "the Hui Nalu ('Ocean Wave' Club) of Hawaii."

In mid May, Waikiki experienced a large swell and "an unusually large number of surf board riders were in evidence," while on shore, a benefit dance was arranged by the Hui Nalu Club to raise funds for Duke Kahanamoku's trip to the Olympic Games in Stockholm.
Set for Saturday, May 25, it was to be held at the Outrigger Club "and tickets will be sold at 50 cents each."

After a complex series of events and negotiations, Duke Kahanamoku won the 100 meters swimming finals at Stockholm on the 10th July, 1912.
After setting an Olympic  record of 62 2-5 seconds in the heats (ratified after a protest from Germany), Kahanamoku and the other American qualifiers, failed to appear for their semi-final due to confusion about the schedule.
After meetings with the Olympic officials and the consent of the qualified competitors from Australasia (a combined team from Australia and New Zealand) and Germany, a repercharge heat was run and two Americans, Duke and Kenneth Hustagh, advanced to the final.

Kahanamoku placed first with Cecil Healy, representing Australasia, second; Hustagh was third, followed by Germany's K. Bretting and W. Ramme.
Australia's champion, William  Longworth, although qualifying for the final, was too ill to compete.

The complications in running the event were compounded by difficulties in communication and it wasn't until six days later that the Honolulu Star-Bulletin was able to announce Duke's victory and world record.
Apart from an outstanding athletic performance, Duke's "style" also made an impression.
During the games, James H. Randall, the San Francisco Call's correspondent in Stockholm observed that he was " the talk of the town today, not only for what he does, but for the easy, nonchalant way in which he does it."
Furthermore, the generous approval by the Australasian and German competitors to a rescheduling of the semi-finals was highlighted by Dagens Nyheter, the Olympic Games' special paper.
On 10th July, it stated "the whole world of sport will ring with applause for your sporting action in permitting the semi-flnal of the 100 metres to be re-swum."

Apart from Cecil Healy's extensive career as a competitive swimmer he was also a leading member of the Manly Surf Club, one of the four clubs then operating on Manly Beach, Sydney's closest equivalent to Waikiki.
Healy was, no doubt, aware of the surfboarding exploits of Tommy Walker of the neighbouring Seagulls Club and of Duke's surfing reputation..
As such, he had a bond with Kahanamoku that was rare in Stockholm, and later was one of the principal figures in issuing an invitation for Duke to tour of Australia.
In the southern summer of 1941-1915, he reported on the Kahanamoku tour as a journalist for The Referee and was directly involved in the Sydney surfboard riding exhibitions.

Following his success at Stockholm, the Hawaiian Gazette reported on the19th July that Duke Kahanamoku would tour Europe and the United States, before a scheduled return to Hawaii on the 23rd August.
Meanwhile,  preparations were under-way to honour him, "the gift probably to take the form of a house and lot, in addition to a purse."
It printed selected excerpts from some of Duke's letters back home and suggested that he would return via "Atlantic City where the crowds will see him on the surf board."

Duke Kahanamoku arrived in Atlantic City on 10th August, New York's The Evening World reporting that "he brought with him two of the surf riding boards used by the Hawaiians."
The boards were forwarded from Honolulu directly to the East coast, possibly to the care of George Macfarlane or the Henderson family, awaiting his arrival.
The article also noted that "the City Commisson forbids the use of boards in the ocean, but has granted him permission to employ the surf runners two hours a day."
Atlantic City was not the only civic authority to restrict surfboard use; in March 1912, the NSW Government enacted an ordinance giving  local inspectors power "to order  bathers to refrain from surf shooting, whether with or without a surfboard, where the practice was likely to endanger or inconvenience other bathers."
Both cases indicate that these regulations were in response to the activities of local surfboard enthusiasts.
Furthermore, another report of Duke surfing at Atlantic City noted that his board was "longer than the boards seen here."

Of course, this was not the first appearance of Hawaiian surfboard riders on the East coast.
Kahanamoku was preceded by a group of surfing musicians, "the Hawaiian quintette", who were booked to perform at Atlantic City and Ashbury Park, N.J., in July 1910.
At Ashbury Park, their board riding, "skimming on the crest of a wave for hundreds of feet", was admired and copied by some locals, with limited success.

Duke later wrote to his father that he was "having a great time ... riding the surf ... thousands of people were on the Million Dollar Pier."
The New York Herald of 16th August reported that his appearances in Atlantic City had immediate impact.
It noted that "amateur surf riders here ... have provided themselves with surf boards," presumably larger designs than those previously used, and  "a new impetus has been given to surf riding and boys and men may be seen at any hour of the day when the tide is just right for the fun trying their skill striding in with the waves."
His upcoming  itinerary included appearances at Ocean City, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

Interviewed at the end of September, following his return to Sydney  from the 1912 Olympic Games, the manager of the swimming team, Mr. A. C. W. Hill, raised the prospect of a tour of Australia by "the brilliant American sprint swimmer Duke Paoa Kahanamoku."
This was only one of the numerous invitations to Duke following his Olympic success and the Australian tour would not eventuate until the southern summer of 1914-1915.

Edward Rayment, the director of the New South Wales Immigration and Tourist Bureau, visited Hawaii in October 1912 on his way to London to relieve Percy Hunter, who was to return to Sydney, via Honolulu, "arriving here during February and remaining for carnival week."
He was given the standard tourist treatment including an "afternoon surfing in canoes and watching the Hawaiian boys and Outrigger members disporting themselves on the surfboards."
At the Outrigger Club, Rayment met with Duke Kahanamoku and reiterated Hill's invitation to visit to Australia.

Later that month in Sydney, Hill reported to a meeting of the NSW Association that he had approached several international champions in Stockholm about their availability to tour Australia, and Duke Kahanamoku was the most enthusiastic.
The association resolved to apply to the Australian Swimming Union for power to extend a formal invitation.
Although the invitation was for a series of swimming exhibitions, "Merman,"  the natatorial correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, commented:
"Should Kahanamoku come to Sydney (he is claimed to be the world champion surf-shooter in Honolulu), he will surely astonish local surfers with his evolutions in the breakers."

Preparations were well under way in Honolulu in December for the Mid-Winter Carnival, the program was to feature "the Landing of Kamehameha the Great", accompanied by a large fleet of canoes, at Waikiki.
He was to arrive on a traditional double war-canoe, requiring Prince Kalanianaole's canoe and one other to be brought from Kailua, Hawaii.
At Waikiki, they were to be "lashed together by a Hawaiian who did the same for those in the Bishop Museum."
Other events included  surf riding and canoe races, in particular "Duke Kahanamoku will be a star attraction la the surfing and swimming performances."

Circa 1912, Aloha  from Hawaii, a publication produced to promote the developing tourist industry, included an  image (often reproduced) of Duke and his board on the beach at Waikiki.

The Hawaiian Swimmer
World record holder 100 metres,
Time 1 min. 2 3/5 secs.

- The Champion Swimmer of the World.
Island Curio Co.: Aloha from Honolulu.

The Island Curio Company, 
Honolulu, T. H., circa 1912.

Note that the nose template is standard for the majority of solid timber boards of this period, and is in marked contrast to the first board (the Freshwater board) he shaped in Australia in 1914.
See below.

The Daily Telegraph
30th October, 1912,
page ?

Subsequent editions of The Mid-Pacific Magazine continued to feature articles and photographs of surfboard and outrigger canoe surfing in Hawaii (and other Pacific islands) with the December  issue of including a photograph of Duke surfing at Waikiki.

Duke Paoa Kahanamoku,
Hawaii's Champion Swimmer of the World.
Copyright by A. R. Gurrey Jr.

The Mid-Pacific Magazine
Published by Alexander Hume Ford, 
 Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, 
Volume 4, Number 5, 
December,1912, unpaginated.

Note that in this image Duke Kahanamoku is riding in "goofy" stance (that is right foot forward), whereas subsequent photographs indicate his stance as "natural" (left foot forward). 
Either the image was flopped from the negative, or more likely, he reversed his stance for the benefit of the photographer.

This photograph, although in natural stance, was later adapted as the template for an illustrated poster for the Mid-Pacific Games of 1912. 
This poster was then appropriated by the NSW Amateur Swimming Association to promote their series of swimming carnivals in Sydney in 1915.
See below.

On 29th January 1913, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin was quick to pour scorn on a recent story in the opposition Advertiser, later widely repeated, pro-ported to record "Duke Kahanamoku's terrific battle with a high-powered, man-eating eel."
Under the sub-heading "Quick, Officer, the Padded Cell,"  the HS-B reporter interviewed the Duke who confirmed that there was a confrontation, that is "Duke was nipped by a small eel when he stuck a finger into a crevice in the coral."
The original story was repeated in the Long Beach Press on 29 January, 1913.
The HS-B also included an interview from the San Francisco Call of the recent return from Hawaii of "the winner of the Call's girl wage earner beauty contest," who included Duke Kahanamoku amongst several gentlemen with whom she was romantically linked.

At the beginning of February The Salt Lake Tribune published an extensive and flamboyant article on Duke Kahanamoku who "Made the Fastest Swimmers of the World Look Foolish at the Stockholm Olmypiad, Was Reared in the Surf of His Island Home and as a Boy Dodged Sharks for Sport."
It was accredited to Jim Nasium, "Copyright by The Philadelphia. Inquirer Co.", and was reproduced in several other mainland papers.
Accompanied by two photographs of Duke, there was also a dramatic surfboard riding illustration, copied from the cover of John R. Mustek's Hawaii - Our New Possesion, published in 1897.

Two weeks later the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reproduced selections from the Nasium article, identifying it as "a Sunday story in the Philadelphia Enquirer," and made light of the stories of shark dodging, the headline reading "Hold on tight, This story makes Duke Kahanamoku's giant eel look like a bait worm."

Towards the end of May, at the request of a visiting team of Australian cricketers, Duke Kahanamoku gave his first swimming exhibition  since his return to Honolulu.
Held off the Moana Hotel pier, the event was a casual affair with no starters or timers, Duke demonstrating his style and skill in company of a number of locals.
Before starting, he posed for more than half an hour at the request of tourists and local photographers.
Afterwards Duke took some of the visitors from "Kangarooland" into the surf in one of three large canoes manned by the Hui Nalu, while other club members gave exhibitions of surf riding.
The cricketers expressed a desire to see the champion swimmer compete in Australia, a prospect that was regularly canvassed in their national press.

In Honolulu on the 17th June, a morning paper (The Adveriser ?) reported that Duke Kahanamoku was considering an offer to appear in vaudeville, reputedly at $1000 a week.
The claims were emphatically rejected by Duke in the afternoon edition of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, and he made it clear that there was no prospect of him turning professional.
He indicated that his prime focus was on the upcoming swimming events in California, and the day before he had collected "his special surfing board"  from Waikiki in anticipation of riding it at Long Beach.
Duke also expressed an ambition to surf on the beaches of Florida, but noted few people visit the resorts there "in the baking hot summer months and the big hotels are virtually closed until late in the fall."

On the 18th June, a team of seven Hawaiian swimmers, including Duke Kahanamoku, left for San Francisco on the Wilhelmina to compete at the Sutro Baths on the 4th July.
Led by William T.Rawlins, their arrival was eagerly anticipated and there were suggestions that further swimming events may be arranged in Los Angles and surf riding at Long Beach, "where the breakers usually are heavy and suitable for this kind of sport."

Before competing at the Los Angeles Athletic Club on the evening of the 11th July, at the invitation of Pete Lenz, captain of the Long Beach high school swimming team, the visiting Hui Nalu squad spent several hours at Long Beach.
Here, "they couldn't resist the surf and the Duke gave a thrilling exhibition of surfboard riding" before a crowd of "thousands."
After the day's surfing, Kahanamoku easily won his swimming events that night.

Manager Rawlins and the majority of the Hui Nalu team; H. W. D. King, Lukelai Kaupiko, D. Keaweamahi, H. Kahele, C. W. Hustace, Frederick Wilhelmn and J. B. Lightfoot; returned to Honolulu from California aboard the Sierra on the 21st July.
Duke Kahanamoku was to return "in about a week" and Robert Kaawa was reported to have "yielded to the lure of the footlights and will go into vaudeville."
Rawlins detailed Duke Kahanamoku's success in California to the local press.
Apart from his expected victories, he won the the fifty-yard breast-stroke " though he has never practiced that style" and in a race against California's Ludy Langer over three-quarters of a mile, despite not contesting the distance before, he bested Langer's record by two and a half minutes.
During the tour, Curtis Hustace and Duke gave a surfriding exhibition at Venice where "Hustace came in on the surf -board standing on his head about twenty times, and twenty thousand people went wild."

The San Francisco Call advertised Duke Kahanamoku's final mainland appearances would be at the Casino Natatorium, Santa Cruz, on the 26th and 27th July .
The event was said to include "all the crack swimmers and divers of the coast, in races, high and fancy diving, surf riding."

The Maui News of the 9th August reported another invitation for Duke Kahanamoku to tour Australia with an offer "to pay the expenses of Duke, his manager and trainer."
It was suggested that a tour could start with within a month.
Furthermore, the article commented on the swimming skills of the Solomon Islanders, "where the great Wickman came from," particularly the  women, of whom it was said "would swim circles around anything Honolulu has so far produced."
Crucially, demonstrating the dispersion of the "crawl" style across the Pacific, they noted "the famous Duke kick is native, not to say indiginous (sic), to that section of the world and the women all use it."

The "great Wickam" was Alick Wickham, originally from the British Solomon islands, who was a leading competitor in the Sydney swimming fraternity and was often accredited with developing the "Australian Crawl" with the Cavill family in the late 1890s.
In 1949, Wickham was accredited by C.B. Maxwell with shaping the first surfboard in Australia around the turn of the century.
She noted that the board was not a success- it was hand carved from a piece of driftwood found on Curl Curl beach and sank.
During 1903 he set a world record for 50 yards and equalled the Australian record for 100 yards at Farmer's Rushcutter Bay Baths, Sydney.
In 1905 Wickham led the "Manly Ducks", a team that "performed exhibitions of fancy diving and swimming," the other members were A. Rosenthall, L. Murray, H. Baker, and C. Smith.
Harold Baker later identified Wickham, along with  "(Cecil) Healy, the Martins, Colquhoun-Thompson, Read, F. C. ('Freddie') Williams, and (Charlie) Bell", as one of "our best (surf) shooters" (bodysurfers).
Healy and Wickham were both members of the Manly Surf Club, and Wickham was one of Cecil Healy's strongest competitors in the lead up to his selection to the Australasian team for the 1912 Olympic Games.
In 1918, Wickham, then aged 33 and appearing under the name "Prince Wickyama," set a  the still-standing world's record by diving from a height of 205ft 9in. into the Yarra River at Deep Rock Baths, Melbourne.
The feat was nearly fatal, and Wickham was hospitalised for several days.

Wickham was not the first, or the last, Pacific islander to have a significant influence on Australian swimming and surf-riding.
Body-surfing was introduced at Sydneys' Manly Beach in the 1890s by Tommy Tana, a native of the island of Tana in Vanuatu (then the New Hebrides).
His style was studied and copied by Manly swimmers, notably Eric Moore, Arthur Lowe and Freddie Williams, who was considered to be the first local to master the sport.

On the 18th September, Mr. W. W. Hill, the Australian Swimming Union secretary, announced that Duke Kahanamoku would visit Australia to compete in Sydney and Brisbane at the 1913-1914 national championships
W. T. Rawlins, president of the Hui Nalu Club, had recently written to Hill confirming Duke's enthusiasm to tour and noted that on the recent San Francisco trip "he broke many records, among them the 100yds record held by your Wickham."
Rawlins wrote that, following another visit to California in October, "we will start for Sydney the first week in November."
This tour was formally cancelled in a cable to the the A.S.U. on the 4th December.

Mr. W. W. Hill, in his role as secretary of the New South Wales Rugby Union, was invited to referee several games in California during October 1913.
These included an annual match between the University of California and Stanford University, and matches played by the touring New Zealand "All Blacks" against the All-American team and California University.
Returning via Honolulu in December, he contacted Duke Kahanamoku "in regard to a visit to Australia," however, Duke was currently unavailable due to "private business" commitments.
While at Waikiki, Hill "mastered the art of surf-board riding, and canoeing in front of the wave."
Hill noted that "the Hawaiian Athletic Union wants to send a team to Australia next season."

On the last day of the year, the Sydney Morning Herald published an extensive article on Waikiki and Duke Kahanamoku, apparently based on a recent interview by a visiting Australian, perhaps W.W. Hill.
It detailed the Waikiki beach-front, the surfing conditions, and board and canoe riding, followed by a brief description and biography of Duke with  a list of his five current world records.
While he was always willing to demonstrate his swimming technique, "when asked how he 'kicked,' Duke was quite at a loss to explain; and he finally gave it up, and said he did not know, but just kept going naturally."
Informed of the nature of the harbour pools in Sydney, Kahanamoku "was surprised to hear of the enclosed baths, as, like all the natives, he has no fear of sharks."
Indicating that an Australian tour was confirmed for the next December (1914), the journalist suggested that the climate, the water temperature, and the 100 metres straight-away course of the Domain baths would see Duke swim times "even faster in Sydney than he has done hitherto."


In January, the Hui Nalu Club, "of which Duke Kahanamoku, world's champion, is a member," announced plans for a clubhouse at Waikiki.
As a fund-raiser, the club membership was preparing for two performances of "The Hui Nalu Follies,"  to be presented at the Honolulu Opera House.
The Follies were held on the 12th and 13th February and the press reported  that it was crowd had "an evening of riotous fun,"  with one of the most popular numbers being a dance by Duke Kahanamoku partnered by Ned Steel, "dressed like an up-to-date chorus lady."

At a swimming carnival at Honolulu at the end of February, Duke won all his events except for the 50-yard -race, where he was unexpectedly defeated by Bob Small, of California.
However, Kahanamoku's main rival on the day was George Cunha of the Healani team, who would later accompany Duke on the Australian tour.

Around this time, Reg "Snowy"  Baker, who competed across range of sports including swimming and was later a sports promoter, wrote from Honolulu that he "had the pleasure of a long yarn with the world's champion swimmer, Duke Kahanamoku."
He commented on Duke's athleticism, pleasant demeanour, swimming technique, an enthusiasm for motor-bikes, and his anticipation of the visit "our great country."
Baker also noted that the carnival there was promoted by "life-like pictures of Kahanamoku shooting on a surf board;" the same poster would be reproduced for the Sydney carnivals.

Monday 14th December 1914:  Arrival in Sydney.
 Duke Kahanamoku , accompanied by 19 year old surfer/swimmer George Cunha and manager Francis Evans, arrived in Sydney on RMS Ventura.
Despite a delay due to rough seas outside the Heads, a large number of officials, press and public were at the wharf when the steamer docked after a two week voyage from Honolulu.
The officials included E.S. Marks and W.W. Hill, who as the secretary of the Australian Swimming Union and had met with Duke twelve months earlier in Honolulu to advance preparations for the tour.
Sydney's premier athletic track is named after former Lord Mayor of Sydney, E.S. Marks who won over forty trophies as an athlete between 1888 and 1890. He was a founding member of the North and East Sydney Amateur Swimming clubs, Manly Surf Club; and the New South Wales Amateur Swimming Association, and a touring manager for the Australian team at the 1912 Olympics.

The fastest swimmer in the world, photographed at the Sydney Domain Baths two hours after his arrival in Sydney.

He secured second place in most of the Pacific Coast Championships, and can do 100yds in 57sec.
He is one of the Honolulu party now in Sydney.

Photographs: The Referee, 16 December 1914, page 11.

After the touring party travelled to their accommodation at the Oxford Hotel, they inspected facilities at the Domain Pool and then attended an official reception at the Hotel Australia.
Cecil Healy, now a journalist for the Referee, Sydney’s premier sporting publication, missed the ship’s arrival but attended the evening reception.
At the Stockholm Olympics  in 1912, Healy had placed second to Duke in the 100 metres sprint.

Tuesday 15th December 1914: Tour schedule to include surf-riding?
The Sydney Morning Herald detailed Duke’s tour schedule, beginning with a  series of swimming carnivals at The Domain Pool in Sydney on 2nd, 6th and 9th January and followed by carnivals in several towns in Queensland.
On returning to Sydney “the Swimming Union will probably in arrange for a surf display, when the champion will be seen on the surf-board.
Matters in this direction have not yet been finally arranged."

The Swimming Union contributed to growing expectations for a surf display by promoting the swimming events with a dramatic illustration of Duke surfing at Waikiki.
Copied from the previous year's poster for the Mid-Pacific Carnival, an illustration base on a 1911 photograph by A.R. Guery, it also graced the
official program's cover.

Domain Baths
Thoms: Surfmovies (2000) page 22.

Mid-Pacific Carnival
Kampion: Stoked (1997) page 38,
credited to Bishop Museum.

Wednesday 16th December 1914: Coogee Carnival, Surfboard Ban? A Board to be Shaped?
Duke Kahanamoku attended the annual Randwick versus Coogee Club carnival at the Coogee Aquarium Baths.
The competitors included Cecil Healy, A. W. Barry, L. Boardman, T. Adrian, and  W. Longworth  and “Miss Fanny Durack gave an exhibition swim of 200 yards.”
Fanny Durack was another competitor at the Stockholm in 1912, the first Australian woman to win an Olympic gold medal in a swimming event.
In the press, the front page of The Referee featured Cecil Healy’s report of Duke’s arrival and the “magnificent reception (where he) managed to get a chance to shake hands and have a chat with him.”

Of course, the outbreak of the war in Europe, with the first contingent of ANZAC troops already embarked, tended to overshadow the celebrations.
One of the speakers, H. Y. Braddon, noted that while there ”seemed to a desire to put off carnivals and similar events, owing to the war, ... it was a good thing to hold them, as they meant work for someone.”
Healy questioned Duke on his visit to the Domain Pool (“just fine, and the water's great") and asked:
" ‘Did you bring your surf board with you?'’, to which he replied:
'Why no, we were told the use of boards was not permitted in Australia.'
Evidently noticing the look of keen disappointment on my face, he quickly added 'But I can easily make one here'.
This information, I am sure, both swimmers and surfers will be delighted to be acquainted with, as holding out prospects of the acquirement of the knack of manipulating them."

The supposed ban on surfboards in Sydney was reported by American journalist and enthusiastic (self) promoter, Alexander Hume Ford, a principal character, along with George Freeth, in Jack London's celebrated account of surf riding at Waikiki, A Royal Sport, in 1907.
Following a visit to Australia in the summer of 1907-1908, Ford published an article in The Red Funnel, an early tourist magazine, where he claimed that at Manly Beach he “wanted to try riding the waves on a surf-board, but it was forbidden.”
While surfboard use had been regulated for the safety of body-surfers on Sydney’s beaches since March 1912, it was not prohibited.
On returning to Honolulu in 1908, Ford was integral in the founding of the famous Outrigger Canoe Club at Waikiki on prime of beach front property, an idea possibly influenced by observing the beginnings of the first surf life saving clubs while in Sydney.

Thursday 17th December 1914: Competition, Beaches, and the Needs of a Waikiki Beachboy.
By the end of the week, the arrival of Duke Kahanamoku in Sydney had been noted by newspapers from Townsville to Perth, including The Farmer and Settler, The Australian Worker, and The Catholic Press.
While Duke had few official engagements in the weeks leading up to his first swimming carnival scheduled for 2nd January, there were a number of important developments.
Firstly, Francis Evans and NSW Swimming officials were busy conducting negotiations for Duke‘s appearance at a number of carnivals in Melbourne.
Whereas the Victorian Association had previously declined involvement in the tour, with the wide-spread publicity, it was now seriously reconsidering its position.
Secondly, given the results, it is likely that Duke and George Cunha did some training to prepare for the swimming competitions.
However, any sessions were probably in the early morning, to avoid onlookers, and could have been at any one of a number of suitable local pools.
Also, at some point Duke crossed the harbour, presumably on one of the ferries of the Manly and Port Jackson Company, and became acquainted with the beaches of Sydney’s north shore, in particular Freshwater and the Boomerang camp.
Most importantly, Duke was without a surfboard, a ukulele and some poi.

Friday 17th - Tuesday 21st December 1914: Duke’s Freshwater Board
Duke shaped his famous Freshwater board during the first week of his arrival in Sydney, at some time between 17th and 21st December.
In many contemporary articles the width and length are often reported incorrectly, and errors appear in many subsequent accounts.
For example, Nat Young (1979-2003) records the length as 3.6 m (or 11 ft 10’’). Also note that some have asserted that Duke shaped a concave section in the bottom, a feature that is not, however, evident.
The actual dimensions are 8 foot 6.5 inches long, 23 inches wide and 2.75 inches thick, with a weight of 78 pounds.

All reports indicate the timber as sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana), a substitute for the significantly lighter Californian redwood as “a properly seasoned piece of that particular timber, sufficiently long, could not be procured in Sydney,” at short notice.
As a result the board was considerably heavier than normal, which Duke suggested was a disadvantage as his Waikiki board “as a rule weighs less than 25lb.”
The weight was not the only distinctive feature, the nose template is unusual and it was not replicated on the boards shaped in Australia following Duke’s departure.
The template was probably not cut by Duke, Reg Harris (1961) suggesting that the billet was donated by a timber firm, George Hudson’s, who “did the rough cutting to Duke’s instructions then he finished off the finer designing of the bottom of the board.”

Although Hudson's apparently had several timber yards in Sydney, the principle premises were at Blackwattle Bay, Glebe, and it is the most likely source of the billet and the initial cutting of the template by an experienced tradesman.
In the haste to produce a board, the template may not have been cut exactly to Duke’s instructions.
However, whatever its deficiencies, the board’s status is assured as Duke generously accepted it in the spirit of aloha and was happy to use it, apparently, at all his surf riding exhibitions in Sydney.
Either at Hudson’s or, more likely, after the board was transported across the harbour, Duke rough-shaped the bottom and rails with the tools at hand, ideally a small adze and a draw knife.
He then would have finished it with various grades of sandpaper and sealed the board with a coat of a natural oil or marine varnish.
Although by this time a number of surfboards had been built in Sydney, notably by Les Hinds of North Steyne, this was the first by a professional shaper.
Given his impeccable credentials, any who witnessed the craftsman at work were accorded a rare honour.
The board was finished, and even perhaps test ridden at Freshwater, by the 21st December 1914.
This is simply based on the assumption that whoever placed an advertisement with the Sydney Morning Herald on that day did so only with the certain knowledge that the board, and rider, were ready.
The next morning the Herald announced:
“The New South Wales Swimming Association has arranged for a display by Duke Paoa Kahanamoku at Freshwater on Wednesday morning, at 11 o'clock.
The famous swimmer will give an exhibition of breaker shooting and board shooting.“


My sincere thanks Eric Middledorp, the board's custodian at the Freshwater SLSC, for his dedication and invaluable assistance. Eric has overseen the recent excellent restoration and enhanced presentation of Duke’s board, in addition to supervising the shaping of an active replica.

Saturday 19th December 1914: The Sydney vs. Melbourne Carnival
Duke, probably accompanied by George Cunha and Francis Evans, attended his second Australian carnival at the Domain Pool on Saturday 19th as a spectator.
His attendance at the carnival does not eliminate this day for the shaping of the Freshwater board, but makes it very unlikely.
The carnival was the annual swimming competition between the “crack” swimmers from Sydney and Melbourne, with the honours going to Sydney on this occasion.
On show were Boardman,  A. W. Barry, and Tommy Adrian from Sydney, all potential Duke rivals.
The performance of Ivan Stedman from Melbourne was impressive and he was seeded into the heats for the first Kahanamoku carnival on the 2nd January 1915.
This further increased the interest of Victorians in the tour, and gave Francis Evans and the NSW Association additional leverage in the negotiations with Melbourne’s swimming officials, now keen to secure dates for Duke’s appearance in their city.

The word “carnival’ was very apt, swimming races were only the central feature of a program that regularly included diving competitions and displays, novelty events, and, occasionally, musical entertainment.
In the springboard diving at this carnival, Barry was second to Melbourne’s L. Grieve.
Very popular with the public, the carnivals were a significant source of income for the amateur Associations, and in this instance, the cost of the Kahanamoku tour was to be covered by the gate receipts.
The cost was considerable: steamship from and return, via New Zealand, to Honolulu, two months first-class hotel accommodation, transport and all incidentals, for three.
In making the bookings the negotiations could be protracted, the managers seeking suitable discounts or extras in respect of the fame of their client, or quickly and amicably arranged by swimming or surfing enthusiasts or through an “old-boy-network.”
The expenditure incurred by the NSW Swimming Association, or the income generated by the Kahanamoku tour has never been, even vaguely, estimated.

In this era, swimming races could be chaotic, with large numbers of swimmers and often with cases of interference.
Concerned that such problems may detract from the importance of the upcoming Kahanamoku carnivals, in a letter to the Sydney Morning Herald, “Swimmer” proposed a novel solution:
“A new scheme might also be tried by roping the course as in foot running, where each competitor has his own track.”

Sunday 20 December 1914: Not Manly (but Freshwater?) and the ukulele.

During the first week in Sydney, Duke shaped his board and visited north of the harbour, in particular, Boomerang, one of several basic shacks built on the frontal sand dune at Freshwater Beach shortly after the turn of the century.
It was now owned by Donald McIntyre, a founding member Freshwater Life Saving Club, who had served as club secretary, and now held that office for the New South Wales Surf Bathing Association
Given his appearances at carnivals and social events, Duke’s visits may have been short, but as with the construction of the board, there was certainly at least one fleeting visit between the 17th and  21st December 1914.
As discussed above, the Sydney Morning Herald announcement of the 22nd could only have been made once the board was finished and Duke had tested the waves at Freshwater, with or without the board, but probably both.
The most likely scenario is one visit to shape, varnish and body surf, with a return a couple of days later to test-ride the board.

While Freshwater was a surfboard riding beach, it was clearly second to Manly.
As clearly stated in the official 1910-1911 NSW Surf Bather's Guide, Manly is “the original home of the surf bather.”
Whereas Freshwater had one surf life saving club,  by 1914 Manly had four.
Most had some connections back to the harbour side Manly Swimming Club, formed in 1905, whose objectives included “proficiency in life-saving on the Ocean Beach.”
The first club on the beach-front was the the Manly Surf Club, with its star Olympic swimmer, current journalist and soon-to-be Duke competitor, Cecil Healy.
This was followed by North Steyne Life Saving Club, with surfboard shaper, Les Hinds, and C. D. Paterson, serving as president of both North Steyne and the Surf Bathing Association of New South Wales.

Claims that Paterson brought, or procured, or was gifted, a full-size surfboard from Hawaii, sometime between 1908 and 1912, have never been substantiated.
Several accounts note that the board was unable to be mastered by the locals; which, in light of other evidence, appears highly unlikely; and was then retired to the family home as an ironing board, which appears to be a fable.
Next was the Manly Life Saving Club with Fred Notting, a pioneer of canoe surfing, which was later to influence, and be eclipsed by, Harry McLaren’s surf-ski, first tested in the surf at Port Macquarie in the mid-1920s.
The most recent club was the South Steyne Life Saving Club, with W. H. Walker as the honourable secretary, a position he had held in the now defunct Manly Seagull Surf and Life Saving Club, who had their “membership restricted to residents of Manly.”
The Seagulls had started at the same time as Manly LSC, both recruiting disaffected members from Manly Surf, which refused to register with the newly formed state body.

Besides W. H., the Walkers (some of the connections are unclear) were a prominent force in the surf along Manly Beach.
As well as George and Monty Walker, of Manly, there was Tommy Walker of the Seagulls and Yamba.
Tommy did travel to Waikiki, did buy a surfboard there, did bring it back to Australia, and by 1912 was able to ride it upright like the Hawaiians, both on his feet and on his head.
In early 1912, Tommy Walker, on his “Hawaiian surfboard” and Fred Notting, “in his frail canoe, The Big Risk" gave demonstrations at carnivals at Freshwater and Manly.
They repeated these the following summer, however, this time Fred was “accompanied his dog, Stinker.” In the early 1920's, Russell Henry 'Busty' Walker, following Fred Notting, was invaluable as a judge at the buoys at Manly Surf Carnivals and around the same time, W, H. Walker’s son, Ainslie "Sprint" Walker, introduced board riding to Torquay.

Tommy Walker was an inspiration to other locals and in early 1913, while enacting another ineffective ban, one Manly Councillor claimed to have “seen no fewer than 10 surfboards in the thick of bathers,” but “Dumper, an old hand on the board,” later suggested this was a considerable exaggeration.

The next summer records the first surfboard injury in Australia, not surprisingly at Tommy Walker’s, second home, Yamba, and later the same year Harald Baker crowned  “young Walker the surf board king."
With board riding “a practice at Manly for some years past ... Young McCracken is (Tommy Walker’s) closest rival,” followed by G. H. Wyld of Manly and “Champion Sprinter Albert Barry.” In the new year both Wyld and Barry were to compete against Duke in the pool. Baker, an outstanding swimmer and a captain of the Maroubra Surf Club, considered “Miss (Isma) Amor is the best lady exponent so far,” a view supported by other accounts.
As well as Manly and Freshwater, by the winter of 1914, surfboards were known to be in use at Coogee, Maroubra and Cronulla.

With the status of Manly as Surfboard-City, why did Duke go to Freshwater?
Donald McIntyre accommodated Duke in a shack at Freshwater, while he could have, more comfortably, done so at his family home, of the same name, in Manly.
And if not the McIntyre residence, there were undoubtedly several other families in the village who would have warmly welcomed their visitor.
In the lead-up to the tour, Manly’s Cecil Healy was an enthusiastic champion of Duke, devoting considerable column space to his achievements in the pool and strongly encouraged the staging of surf-riding exhibitions.

At the end of November, three weeks before Duke’s arrival, Healy wrote that the North Steyne Surf Club had initiated negotiations with the NSW Swimming Association for Duke to “give a display of surf-board shooting at its carnival, to take place about the middle of December.”
A precedent was set, and a brisk exchange of opinions and options between managers and officials would play out over the following weeks.

By the 21st Duke had his surfboard and by the 19th he had a ukulele, just in time to perform several numbers, with Cunha and Evans, at the dinner party following the Sydney-Melbourne Carnival.
“The three visitors were delighted when the instrument was produced ... procured in Sydney through the courtesy of George Walker, Manly.”
This was not the first exchange of important gifts between the Walkers and Duke Kahanamoku.
In notes prepared for, but not used by, C. Bede Maxwell in her Australians Against the Sea (1949), the talented Palm Beach board rider and the president of the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia from 1933 to 1974, Adrian Curlewis, recalled that Duke’s Freshwater board was handed over to George and Monty Walker of Manly.
Later, “because of the fine work Claude West had done in popularising surfboard riding, (they) eventually gave it to Claude West, and he still has it, a prized possession.”

At the end of the1930s, Harry McLaren’s surf ski made its first excursion outside Australia when “the Walker Brothers sent a surf ski to Duke Kahanamoku at Honolulu and members of the Australian Pacific Games Team which visited Honolulu in 1939 say Duke was often seen paddling around on his ‘ski from Australia’.”
Brief footage from around this time of Duke riding the ski at Waikiki, while standing with two women passengers and a beach-boy steering at the tail, is remarkable.

Monday 21st December 1914:  A tour of the South Coast, meanwhile, Freshwater contacts the SMH.
The highlight of the day for the Kahanamoku party was intended to be a motor-tour of the South Coast.
However, while they were in transit, a brief conversation with Sydney Morning Herald by someone from the Freshwater club would prove to have significant ramifications.
This would suggest that the board was already completed at least the day before, Sunday 20th.

The touring party consisted of Duke, George Cunha and Francis Evans with representatives of the Association and friends including swimmers Freddie Williams, Jack Longworth, Redmond Barry, and Miss Fanny Durack.
The “South Coast” was probably the road from Stanwell Park, possibly going as far as Bulli and the cars were provided “by Messrs. Phiffer, M’Lachlan, Sam Smith, and F. Stroud.”

The day served as trial-run for Mr. Stroud of the Cronulla Club, some members of which were known to have experimented with surfboards.
Stroud was one of the drivers who transported the Hawaiian swimmers from Sutherland station to Audley on 7th February, before they proceeded to Cronulla by ferry for their last appearance in the Australian surf.

While Manly had a long history as a tourist attraction, ideally by the ferry from Circular Quay, the northern beaches were slower to develop. Just far enough away from Manly to avoid the scrutiny of the officials who were charged with enforcing bathing restrictions, Freshwater’s other attractions were cheap real-estate, protection from the prevalent summer Nor-Easter, and an escape from the “suburbanites.” (For east coast surfers, this often indicates residents of any suburb located to the west of their own; invert this for west coast surfers).

Fred Notting, in an early example of “surf rage,” recalled the days of his youth:
"We used to abuse the living daylights out of those we brought in (rescued).
Put them off coming back to 'Freshie' pretty often. Suited us!"

Freshwater demonstrated its support for surfboard riding as early as 1911, the club secretary, W. R. Waddington, wrote to the local council to protest against the imposition of a ban and applied “for authority to regulate the use of surf boards on Freshwater Beach.”
Although a ban “would deprive many of the members and visitors of the full enjoyment of the exhilarating surf,” the council “unanimously agreed not to permit the use of the boards at Freshwater.”
As in many cases of prohibition, the ban was impossible to rigorously enforce, and complaints about surfboards to the press and the passing of council motions continued.
Boomerang, was owned by Donald McIntyre, a founding member Freshwater Life Saving Club, who had served as club secretary, and now held that office for the New South Wales Surf Bathing Association.
Recall that the current president of that body was C. D. Paterson, who was also president of North Steyne.
For Duke, staying at Boomerang provided relatively secluded access to the sea to become familiar with Australian conditions.
It was probably also a respite from the consistent attention of fans and the press.
The rudimentary facilities of the shack may have replicated his early days at Waikiki, but, this may, or may not, have been an attraction.
Over the past two years Duke had visited the largest cities of North America and Europe, and, in comparison, the facilities on the tour of Australia were probably fairly average.
New Zealand  was still to come.

As North Steyne had already made an approach about hosting a surfboard riding exhibition by Duke well before his arrival, the prospect such an event was likely to be raised with some of the other Sydney clubs.
Of course any appearance would have to be with the consent of the Swimming Association and at a suitable time in the schedule.
Don McIntye, distinctive in a white suit, is prominent in many of the photographs, indicative of his central role in organising the exhibitions and over-seeing Duke’s needs at Freshwater. These duties may have included contacting the Sydney Morning Herald on this day with the details of an exhibition by Duke to be held in two days time.
However, regardless of who made the call, the situation was only made possible courtesy of W. H. Hill, undoubtedly the prime conduit in securing Duke’s appearance at Freshwater.

As the secretary of the Australian Swimming Association, Hill was privy to all the plans and deals in organising the tour, beginning twelve months earlier when he meet with Duke, and negotiated and his management, in Honolulu.
Secondly, he was a founding member of the Freshwater club, serving as the “starter” at the inaugural carnival in 1909, and familiar with the aims and available resources of the club. Aware that an exhibition on one of Sydney’s beaches was a realistic possibility, Hill was keen to secure the event for his club, and the prospect of shading their rivals over the hill, North Steyne, was a further encouragement.
If any more incentive were necessary, the fact that North Steyne was the club of C. D. Paterson, Hill’s president at the NSW Surf Bathers Association, possibly added a personal element. W. W. Hill had recognised that the club which first presented Duke in Australia would achieve incontestable prominence in surfboard riding, a view that has proved to be remarkably accurate.

Within the first days of Duke being in the country, Freshwater a club had probably already made an arrangement directly with Francis Evans, possibly at his suggestion, in the belief that this would be independent of any contract with the Swimming Association.
However, as it was likely that the date of the surfing exhibition was initially unspecified; as it would, at the least, depend on procuring a suitable board; the speed in which the first exhibition was arranged may have surprised  Hill, along with many others.
The Hawaiian managers were familiar with such difficulties, and the income generated by Duke’s surfing, initially surfboard shaping but also exhibitions, was a consistent threat to his amateur status as an Olympic swimmer in the eyes of US authorities.
In 1922, his endorsement for Velspar marine varnish raised the amateur issue once more some for American administrators.
As noted above, any appearance by Duke would require the consent of the NSW Swimming Association and at a suitable time in the schedule, and the will of the board would prevail, although they also recognised the need to negotiate a suitable compromise.

Tuesday 22nd December: Surfboard Exhibitions Announced.

This morning the Sydney Morning Herald announced :
“The New South Wales Swimming Association has arranged for a display by Duke Paoa Kahanamoku at Freshwater on Wednesday morning, at 11 o'clock.
The famous swimmer will give an exhibition of breaker shooting and board shooting."

As discussed above, this information could only have been passed to the Herald for publication on the previous day (Monday, 21st) and once Duke had shaped his board and assessed the Freshwater surf as suitable.
The notice undoubtedly originated from Don McIntyre, secretary of the Freshwater L.S.C., however a proxy may have made the contact with the Herald.
At the Freshwater club on Tuesday morning, in eager anticipation, the members would have been busy preparing for the next day’s events, with realistic expectations of a considerable crowd.
However, when the officials of the NSW Swimming Association became aware of the event, there was consternation. In their view, the announcement clearly contravened their contract with Duke, specifying his first public appearance in Sydney as 2nd January.
While the managers and officials were under considerable pressure, the swimmers were probably largely shielded from most of the contractual intricacies, and Duke could have been relatively relaxed.

In respect of the upcoming exhibition, by now he had several years of experience in appearing before the public, both at swimming and board riding events.
On the surfboard he had competed and given exhibitions many times in Hawaii and had demonstrated his skills on both coasts of the United States.
While the waves of Freshwater were definitely different from those of Waikiki, Duke had undoubtedly encountered similar conditions, perhaps worse, at some of the beaches of North America.
Of all the officials, it is to be expected that the pressure on W. H. Hill was extreme.
While he was likely the initial contact between Duke’s management and the Freshwater club, as secretary of the Swimming Association he was now required to protect, and enforce if necessary, the terms covering their considerable investment.
The accusations, condemnations, and negotiations continued all day, and only on the following morning was the difficulty finally resolved. To his credit, Hill probably had a major role in negotiating the alternative proposal that was accepted, if somewhat reluctantly, by all the interested parties.
That is, except a hugely disappointed public.

It appears that Duke Kahanamoku did not meet with Australia’s best board rider, Tommy Walker, in the summer of 1914-1915, as he had probably steamed north to work at Yamba before Duke arrived in the country.
In a remarkable case of coincidence, on the very day the Duke notice was published in the Sydney Morning Herald , the Clarence and Richmond Examiner reported that the program for the Yamba Surf Life-saving Brigade Carnival, scheduled for New Year's Day, was to include:
“An exhibition of shooting the breakers with the aid of a board is to be given by Mr. T. Walker, who has had considerable experience on other well-known beaches.”
Fortunately for the Yamba club, the announcement of Tommy’s Yamba exhibition did not embroil it in a series of complex machinations between managers and officials, such as was now taking place in Sydney.

Wednesday 23nd December: The Exhibition that Wasn’t.
Having read or heard of the Herald’s announcement published yesterday, the vast majority of the spectators making their way to Freshwater on this morning were completely unaware of the general consternation behind the scenes.
Even most of the locals and club members were probably only aware of rumours of certain difficulties.
Although only two sentences, the announcement built on a swell of anticipation as Duke’s surfing skills had been highlighted in many of the articles appearing in the lead-up to the tour. Furthermore, it is possible that some copies of posters, prepared by the Swimming Association to promote Duke’s appearance at the Domain Pool in January, were already in limited circulation.
These featured an impressive illustration of Duke riding his surfboard at Waikiki. It is reasonable to assume that these were highly collectable, and they may have often disappeared mysteriously when posted in a public place.

The design was lifted directly from the poster for the Mid-Pacific Carnival at Honolulu in early 1914.
However, for the Domain poster the illustration had been hand-coloured.
It was based on a photograph by A. R. Gurrey Jr., taken in 1910 and, thereafter, it was extensively reprinted or referenced. Its first commercial appearance was on a large bill board advertising “CYKO, The Modern Photographic Paper,” available from Gurrey's Developing and Printing, Honolulu.
In 1911, the photograph was on the front cover of the first edition of Alexander Hume Ford’s The Mid-Pacific Magazine.
That is, the Alexander Hume Ford who surfed with Jack London in1906, was told surfboard riding was banned in Sydney in 1907, and then returned to Waikiki to help found the Outrigger Canoe Club in 1908.

Sydney’s response of to the announcement was swift and one journalist suggested that the crowd that morning at Freshwater numbered almost 3000.
(To this day, well-meaning and enthusiastic journalists greatly over-estimate the number of spectators at a surfboard riding events)
The crowd was to be severely disappointed and by 11 o’clock, it was clear that the there would be no surfboard riding to be seen today.
By the evening, the news of the cancelled exhibition was all over the Sydney, as reported by W. F. Corbett in the later editions of The Sun. Corbett noted that the Swimming Association confirmed that Duke's" first appearance in public will take place at the Domain” and it was “controlling his visit to this country.”
Furthermore, “the announcement of any other arrangement with Kahanamoku as the central figure has not that body's authority."

A week later in The Referee, Cecil Healy suggested that, rather than an uncomfortable conflict between the Swimming Association and Freshwater, the postponement of the event was the result of a simple miscommunication.
Healy seemed to imply that the event had been organised jointly by the Association and Freshwater, and their intention was to present a strictly “a private exhibition” for the press.
The announcement forwarded to the Herald, and presumably to the other newspapers, was meant to encourage it to send a reporter, and not intended for publication.

This is highly plausible, the only difficulty being that as it appeared several days after the crisis had passed.
As such, Healy had the benefit of hind-sight and this explanation may have served to dispel any residual ill-feelings, at least between the officials and managers.
Whatever the facts, this was of little consolation for an inconvenienced and disappointed public.
The use of the word “postponement” by Healy was critical. Corbett’s article had strongly implied that the situation was emphatically resolved, and any appearance by Duke before the swimming carnivals was virtually impossible.

The negotiations probably continued well into the morning.
As the announcement had appeared in Tuesday’s Herald, the option of submitting a retraction that afternoon, to be published on the Wednesday morning, does not appear to have been considered.
The compromise position was to first, cancel today’s event. Secondly, without any public announcement, another exhibition was scheduled for the following day.
And finally, a public exhibition at Freshwater was to be held on the morning of 10th January, with possibly a visit to Manly in the afternoon.
As this day was immediately after the last carnival at the Domain, the prominence of the NSW Swimming Association was confirmed.

The negotiations, claims and counter-claims over the surf riding exhibitions strongly imply that at some stage that there was an exchange of money.
The tendency of US administrators to see Duke’s surfing income as impinging on his amateur status as a swimmer has been noted above.
On this day, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that:
“The Australian Swimming Union received a cable message from the secretary-treasurer of the Amateur Athletic Union of United States, through the Hawaiian Athletic Association, vouching for the amateur standing of George Cunha and the Duke Kahamamoku, and granting them permission to compete in Australia.
A similar statement asked for by the United States Athletic Union regarding the understanding of the Australian swimmers, was cabled.”

To look slightly ahead- over the following days the surf riding performance at Freshwater was lauded by those reporters who were lucky enough to attend.
For any members of the public who had followed Duke’s story in the papers and had travelled to Freshwater on the Wednesday to see the exhibition, the knowledge that they had missed out the next day probably induced a wide range of responses and opinions.

Thursday 24th December: Duke’s First Exhibition.
Some of Sydney’s surfing enthusiasts became aware that they had missed out on Thursday afternoon when The Sun published W. F. Corbett’s account of the morning’s events under the title: “Wonderful Surf Riding - Kahanamoku on the Board – A Thrilling Spectacle.”

Corbett, who the previous day had had broke the story of the aborted exhibition, noted that the small number of spectators with “only a few pressmen, some members of the New South Wales Amateur Swimming Association, and the casual Freshwater bathers present.” Had it been held on the previous day, “the roars of applause (of) thousands of Australians might have greeted Kahanamoku 's display at Freshwater.
Clearly based on interviews, probably before and after, as well as observing the surf riding, Corbett notes the antiquity of surfboards and surf-riding, although throughout the article the term surf board is not used.
It is variously referred to as a board, a surf riding board, a canoe, and a raft.
Boards were to be found in “the Honolulu (Bishop) Museum  - narrow ones, 20ft. in length, and hoary with age”  having been ”used in his (Duke’s) native islands from time immemorial.” Such information should have readily come to hand; surfing’s ancient history covered in Riding the Surfboard, attributed to Duke Kahanamoku and published over the first two editions of A. H. Ford’s Mid-Pacific Magazine in 1911.
The shape of the board was “almost that of a coffin lid, with one end cut to very nearly a point,” and Corbett gave a good approximation of the dimensions, “about eight or nine feet long, 2ft. across.”
He was the first to note that sugar pine was substituted for redwood, preferred for its light weight, because a suitably sized blank “could not be procured in Sydney.”
Whereas, at Waikiki boards were about 68lb., “the board used by Kahanamoku weighed 78lb.”

 The difference in weight was later noted by others, however the discrepancy between the two timbers could vary considerably, with one reporter suggesting Hawaiian boards could be “less than 25lb,” certainly an exaggeration.
As some sort of guide, one 10-foot board shaped of Californian redwood board is said by its Newcastle owner to weight about 80 pounds.
Duke’s board, at 8.5 feet and, a close 78 pounds, suggests the sugar pine is approximately 20% heavier.
Although surfboards in Hawaii were occasionally built of sugar pine, in this case, its use was clearly a function of the haste in which the board was constructed, and, undoubtedly, the success of the exhibitions initiated an intensive search to obtain supplies of suitably sized redwood blanks or billets.

Upon launching, Duke paddled the board with amazing speed, easily out-pacing swimmers W. W. Hill and Harry Hay, who attempted to accompany him.
Up to this point, W. W. Hill, secretary of the Swimming Association and Freshwater stalwart, had played an integral role in the tour, and it was unlikely that he would stop now. (For a digression on Harry Hay, and some bloke called Kenneth Slessor, see below.)

All the reports, and photographs of the day, indicate the surf was a least four to five foot (Bascom, 1964), perhaps larger, choppy, and certainly with no hint of an off-shore breeze.
The waves tended to break quickly without form, and not with “long roll (of) 300 and 400 yards” of Waikiki that “Kahanamoku would have preferred.”

Duke seems to have paddled , with little difficulty, to the outside break, “fully a quarter of a mile,” and proceeded to ride green faces; in itself something that only the most skilled Australians may have attempted, or even contemplated,  on waves of this size.
In this era it is probable that most local riders, particularly in waves of this size and breaking a considerable distance from the beach, would launch on the already broken wave and mostly ride the white-water (technically, a wave of translation) shoreward.
Today, riding the white-water is often disparaged today as a rudimentary skill, however, over millennia this part of the surf-zone has served as a relatively safe arena for the development surf skills.
Also note, that in some instances, the white-water can “reform” and present the rider with a new, though smaller, clean wave face.

Paddling for “the breaker he wanted, (Duke) rose to one knee first, then became gradually erect, and reached the crest to shoot foreword with astonishing speed and marvellous balance considering the troubled condition of the motive power.”
Several times he rode facing backwards and while balanced on his head, and, what might have been described as a “360" - while riding prone, Duke the rotated the board, from nose-to-tail-to nose, underneath him (?).
Corbett noted that “Kahanamoku does not profess to be a champion when in his island home, but "he is, he says as good as the very best there.”
At Waikiki, Duke had plenty of competition.
When Duke and Curtis Hustace appeared at an exhibition at California’s Venice Beach in 1912, "Hustace came in on the surf -board standing on his head about twenty times, and twenty thousand people went wild."
This was, surely, another example of a journalist over-estimating the number of spectators at a surfboard riding event.

A digression, or an aside, or a footnote, or simply thinking too much: Harry Hay and Kenneth Slessor, 1931.
According to Corbett, Harry Hay was an accomplished swimmer, able to “throw a100 yards behind in little more than a minute.”
In 1920 he represented Australia at the Olympic Games in Antwerp and later became a recognised swimming coach.
Hay’s Swimming and Surfing, published in Sydney by Jantzen, the swimsuit company, in1931 is probably the first book with specific instructions for surfboard riding, unless one wants to count Jack London’s flamboyant account, A Royal Sport.
Initially a magazine article in 1906, A Royal Sport was re-published in book form as a chapter of Voyage of the Snark in 1911.

The other candidate for “the first book with specific instructions for surfboard riding” was also published in Sydney and around the same time, Surf- All About It.
The book has no indication of the date of publication; furthermore it lacks any acknowledgement of the author, editor, publisher, or printer. However, the copy held by the Mitchell Library, Sydney, has a pencil annotation on page seven which appears to attribute copyright or contribution to "Slessor 26.2.31."
This was Kenneth Slessor, a noted Australian poet of the period, and a copy is included in Slessor’s papers held by the National Library of Australia.
It is likely Slessor had the book published through the printery of Smith's Weekly, where he worked, with illustrator Virgil Reilly, from 1927 until 1940.
Reilly is the artist likely to be responsible for the book’s numerous black and white illustrations.
The elegy Five Bells, prompted by the drowning of Joe Lynch in Sydney Harbour in 1927, is generally regarded as Slessor’s  finest poem.
It is perhaps not surprising that, compared with Slessor, the surf-riding instructions Harry Hay are far more basic, concise and effective.

Friday 25th December: The Day after Duke’s First Exhibition.

The Daily Telegraph Friday 25th December 1914, page 7.

If any of Sydney’s surfing enthusiasts were unaware W. F. Corbett’s article in Thursday’s Sun, by Christmas morning Duke’s appearance at Freshwater was widely known with articles in both morning papers.
And by now, along the northern beaches, the message went out from the Freshwater locals-  “you really missed it, you should have been here yesterday.”
The Sydney Morning Herald carried an unaccredited account on page 4 and The Daily Telegraph had an impressive photograph and a brief and concise report on page 7, also unaccredited.
Note that the standard practise at this time was to print the bulk of the advertising over the front pages, with the news starting inside.
As such, these articles were “front page news.”

The piece in the Herald could have been, to be kind, “summarized” from Corbett’s piece in The Sun of the day before
As the Herald had, perhaps inadvertently, made the first exhibition public, they may not have been effectively notified of its postponement to the following day.
On the other hand, the article did indicate that a public exhibition was already scheduled (for the 10th January):
“If the condition of the water is favourable when Kahanamoku makes his public appearance in surfboard riding in Sydney it is sure to be keenly appreciated.”
The Telegraph’s journalist reported only one head-stand, but added that:
“Several enthusiastic surfers amoungst the spectators endeavored to emulate the feats of the Hawaiian, but mostly the board either shot from under them or turned over.”
Despite the brevity of the Telegraph article, under the header Acrobatics in the Surf, the dramatic photograph of Duke cutting hard-left on his board was worth a thousand words.
Only the newsprint copy of the photograph has ever been reproduced, the original negative and/or print appears to have been lost.

On the weekend, further photographs were published in the Sunday Times, one carrying the board on his right shoulder and another riding in the shore break, where at the end of a ride Duke poses for the camera with his hands-on-hips.
Both have been reprinted widely, with the latter occasionally accredited as Cronulla.
The Sunday Times began “there is one man only in Australia at the present time who can get aboard a breaker,” which would have been news to Tommy Walker and his mates at Manly and Yamba.
Indicating that the advertising poster, based on Gurrey’s photograph of 1910, was in already in wide circulation across Sydney, the reporter suggested that “the man on the poster is the Duke all right, but the picture errs on the side of modesty.
It should have shown him balancing himself on his head on the board.”

The article notes the dimensions of the board, reasonably accurate at “8ft. 6in. long, 2ft. wide, and three inches (thick),” the “coffin lid” shape, and that it was “made locally from sugar pine.”
While “Kahanamouku's (Waikiki) board is made of redwood, about 10lb. lighter, he is immensely pleased with the local production.”
The board is said to be sealed with “shellac, (the) surface is as slippery as a dancing floor,” but before surfing, Duke “rubbed sand into its surface liberally that it will be equal to his own.” 
The conditions were inferior to those of Waikiki, where Duke was famed for taking “a boy out to sea, and mounting his board allows the youngster to climb on to his back.”
The extreme difficulty of this was obvious and “of course, it would be a rare occasion when he would be able to perform this feat round the Australian coast.”
The feat would be demonstrated at the Dee Why exhibition in February.

There were several advantages in surfboard riding and “once one has become expert  ... he forsakes body surfing for ever.”
The article claimed that “it is faster in every respect, is not nearly so tiresome, and as for exhilaration, well there is the same difference as between cycling and motoring.”
Noting that “ there is a good deal of danger in the sport, the solution suggested by the journalist has proved  to be an practical and effective prophesy:
“ (if) various portions of the beaches round Sydney are set apart for the express purpose of surf- board riding, there is no reason why it should not become popular locally. “

The exhibition saw the demand for surfboards sky-rocket.
Whereas serious enthusiasts were franticly searching Sydney’s timber yards for slabs of redwood, the article quoted one of the local swimming enthusiasts, who referenced the traditional canoes of the Australian Aborigines: "I'm giving up (body) surfing; I'm going to duck into the bush right now to search for a piece of bark;" Undoubtedly, “he wasn't the only one in the vicinity filled with the same ambitions.”

On Christmas morning, the Hawaiian party, Freshwater L.S.C. and the Swimming Association should have all been delighted with the impressive press coverage.
Duke now had time to relax from the frantic activity of his first week in Sydney, his next  appearance was an exhibition for school children on the 30th, with the first Domain Carnival two days later.
Although limited by a reoccurrence of “swimmers ear,” he probably completed a number of training sessions and there may have been some time for recreational surf-riding.
For Duke, these may have equated to the same thing. When touring California in 1912, it is recorded that Duke gave an exhibition at the beach during the day, and then competed successfully in the pool that evening.

Saturday 26th December: Boxing Day.
As noted earlier, Duke’s next appearance was an exhibition for school children in six days time, followed by the first Domain Carnival on the 2nd January.
This week was likely to be spent relaxing, some training, and a round of social occasions with officials, press and fans.
There was also possibly time for some surfing, and in far better conditions than those dictated by the late-morning exhibitions.

Given the demand, the search for redwood billets continued and by the end of the week Duke may have had time to shape a surfboard, or two.
The importance of the surfboards cannot be underestimated.

With respect to the question of Duke’s amateur status, it was easy for Francis Evans to arrange, and disguise, the sale of boards, probably via a proxy, to the direct benefit of Duke.
The significance of these boards to Australian shapers will be discussed  later.

On Boxing Day, the Yamba Surf Life Saving Brigade advertised their fourth annual carnival, with the seventh event on the program:
“Shooting the Breakers, with and without surf boards, by members of Yamba Surf Life Saving Brigade.”
One member of the Yamba Surf Life Saving Brigade, with a surfboard, was definitely the Manly’s Tommy Walker, with a slight implication that there may have been, at least, one other.
“Shooting the Breakers” was on the program the first inter-club surf carnival at Manly in 1908, but this strictly referred to, what is now termed, body-surfing.
Introduced at Manly in the 1890s by Tommy Tana, from the Pacific island of Tana, it was later popularised by Fred Williams, who was invited to give demonstrations at beaches north and south of the harbour. Williams appeared, along with Tommy Walker, at the North Styene Carnival in 1911, in a body-surfing demonstration, or what may have been a competition.
Other shooters included C.D. Bell, E. Notting and R. Bowden, all later to be known board riders.
Following the board riding exhibitions of Duke Kahanamoku, these events gradually faded out from the surf carnival programs.

The carnival also included a surf-boat race.
This is also significant, and I intend to discuss this tomorrow.

Sunday 27th – Tuesday 29th December: Kahanamoku School Day.
In the days leading up to Kahanamoku School Day, the press maintained a consistent flow of stories about Duke.
 On the 27th, the Sunday Times published a long account of the surf-riding at Freshwater, with the details very familiar to the previous accounts.
Titled “The Human Motor Boat,” importantly, it also included photographs, previously discussed.

The school exhibition was scheduled for the Domain Pool at 3 o'clock on the 29th, with the +5000 invitations apparently only “issued to schoolboys.”
It was planned that “Duke and George Cunha (Hawaii) will demonstrate the kick, and local champions will show the Australian crawl.”
This was intended to illustrate “the points in which the two methods of propulsion differ will clearly be shown.”
It is unlikely these distinctions were easily identified or appreciated by the schoolboys.

The history of development of the, so-called, Australian and/or the American Crawl is complex, and many swimmers, coaches and theorists are claimed to have a contributed in some manner; eventually leading to its domination over the widely-used breast-stoke.
 In reality, the combination of the alternate over-arm stroke and scissors-kick, commonly known as the “crawl”, had been used by native swimmers for millennia, directly replicating the mechanics of propelling a surfboard, or float-board, by paddling and kicking.
It’s antiquity and superiority to other strokes was confirmed by the untrained “native swimmer,” Duke Paoa Kahanamoku at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.

An article published in The Evening News that day noted Duke’s preference to swim in open water, ideally at Waikiki, and he was not happy “in the short baths of America.”
As such he was looking forward to “the straight course for the hundred provided at the Domain Baths.”
On the other hand, George Cunha, “is purely a tank swimmer, as those who shine best in a small bath are called in America, and visits the bath every day for his tryout.”
Cunha, Longworth and Stedman, appeared at the Schools exhibition,  but Duke failed to show.
The Herald reported that ”since his exhibition at Curl Curl (sic), he has developed what is known as ‘swimmer's ear’.''
While, as of “yesterday his medical advisor was against him taking to the water,” this “will not interfere with his subsequent engagements.”

Wednesday 30th December 1914: Freshwater Reprised
Cecil Healy published a report in The Referee of the first exhibition at Freshwater held for the press, but the article indicates that he, like many others had “really missed it.”
Healy wrote: “A number of our leading surfers were spectators of the display, and from what I can gather the general impression amoungst them was that he did wonderfully well under the circumstances.” (my emphasis)
News of the surf-riding exhibition had also begun to spread around the country.
The “Special Correspondent” of Melbourne’s sporting paper, Winner, praised the performance, and, suggesting that W. W. Hill was well-know to his readers, noted the presence of “The popular secretary, Billy Hill.”

Thursday 31st December 1914: Duke’s Lost Films (and The Charge of the Australian Light Horse).
(For Albie Thoms and Jack McCoy)
As reports of Duke’s exhibition at Freshwater spread across the Australian press, by New Year’s Eve, he was appearing on-screen.
At Goulburn’s Empire Theatre, the multi-feature program included the weekly edition of The Australian Gazette

"The Australian Gazette presents Duke Kahanamoku, the swimmer, who is at present visiting Australia, and the Light Horse manoeuvres at Liverpool recently which resulted in damage to the camera and operators.”
The Australian Gazette was a package of recent news events and novelty items filmed by the local production unit of Union Theatres and Australasian Films, formed in 1913.
Largely through their distribution of imported films, the company dominated cinema in Australia until the late 1920s.
The Duke films, along with all the Gazettes, were screened nationally.
Although Australia Screen, previously the National Film and Sound Archives, has some material from the Australian Gazette, it has only a miniscule portion of the catalogue of over 1,000 weekly instalments.
Regrettably, none of the Duke films have survived.

Apart from appearing in the amusements section of the classifieds, no other contemporary report indicates that movie cameras were at any of the events on the Duke tour.
It is possible that this reflected company policy, with some newspaper proprietors aware that this new media, the first being radio, could be a potential threat to their business.
Their fears appear to have been realised, even if the process has required lots of new media, and about a hundred years.

Duke’s first appearance on Australian screens at the end of December could have been film of the arrival of the steamer in Sydney and the reception at the wharf.
Or it may have been footage shot during the inspection of the Domain Pool on the following day; or a combination of both; or something else.
Certainly, they would be all outdoor shots as cameras of the era could not operate effectively indoors.

However, the recording of the “Light Horse manoeuvres at Liverpool”, the other event in this release, is well documented.
The footage was shot on Saturday, 12th December, two days before Duke’s arrival.
This indicates that production, from filming to processing, cutting and adding the captions, normally took about two weeks.
Still 15 years before the introduction of sound, and although these films are usually referred to as “silent,” in most cinemas there was musical accompaniment.
Usually this was an in-house pianist, with some of the larger theatres featuring a small band.

At Liverpool, where the Light Horse was encamped, the Australian Gazette was there to record “the chief feature of the day, a cavalry charge.”
The plan was for the troops to diverge to each side of the “three cinemato-graph photographers,” secured behind a barricade of bags and boxes.
Two of the riders (and/or their horses) failed to turn in time. Fortunately the camera crew “escaped with a few scratches and bruises,” for one, merely “injuries to his leg and a slight wound from a bayonet in the head.”
Most importantly, ”although the camera was smashed to pieces, the film was not damaged.”

By Saturday 23rd January the Australian Gazette was showing “Kahanamoku winning the 220yds. Championship,” filmed at the Domain Pool during early January.

During March, after Duke and George Cuhna had left Sydney for further rounds of exhibitions and competitions in New Zealand, film of Duke riding his board appeared in the Australian Gazette, teamed with footage from the State Championship Swimming Carnival held in Melbourne on the 17th February.
The most likely surf carnival would be Dee Why on 7th, the last of the surf riding exhibitions in Australia with the most promotion and the largest attendance.
As previously noted, all this invaluable footage has been lost.
Shown all around the country, some of the more rabid enthusiasts along the coast could have arranged to see the surfing footage several times.
When the program announced for  9th March at Grafton’s Theatre Royal included  “the great swimmer Kahamanoka (sic)  at a surf carnival giving an exhibition on the surf board”, no doubt Tommy Walker’s mates at Yamba made sure they had a ticket.
Australian Screen holds copies of a limited number of programs from the Australasia Gazette of this era, see:

The earliest known surfing film is by Mr. Bonine for the Edison Moving Picture Company in 1906, unfortunately this does not appear to be available online.
There is film of Waikiki in the 1920s with William and David Kahanamoku (and Dave's dog, Spot) riding solid wood boards, preceded by a unique sequence of Waikiki with a large swell running.
Note that the three guys flopping around in the foreground (Canoes?) are
Sons of the Surf, Waikiki Beach, Oahu, circa 1920
Duke is shown winning a second Olympic gold medal at Antwerp in1920 at:
In 1931, he appeared in an episode of Douglas Fairbank’s travel series, giving the film star a lesson in surfboard riding.

Friday 1st January 1915: New Years Day
The Sydney Moring Herald and the Evening News presented a detailed outline of the competitors and events for tomorrow’s championship carnival to be held at the Domain Pool and featuring Duke Kahanmoku and George Cunha.
As indicated in the classified section, the carnival started at 2.30 pm and reserved seats were 5/-, with general entry at 3/-, 2/- and 1/-.

Saturday 2nd January 1915: Duke Dominates the First Domain Carnival.
The competitors In the final of the100yd championship of New South Wales were Duke Kahanamoku (Hawaii), George Cuhna (Hawaii), A. W. Barry (Sydney), B. J. Page (Randwick and Coogee), W. Longworth (Rose Bay), and L. Stedman (Melbourne).
Duke dominated the race, winning by over a body-length with, and his time for the straight 100 Yards was 53 4/5seconds.
Cuhna was second, followed by Barry, W. Longworth, Page and Steedman.
Official Souvenir and Programme: Municipal Baths, Domain, Sydney,  January 1915.


Reading from the left:
W. Longworth, Duke Kahanamoku, I. Steedman, B. G. Page, A. W. Barry, G. Cuhna.

Photographs: The Sun
3 January 1915, page 5.
Some of the spectators at the Domain Carnival may have had a copy of the Saturday Referee or the Arrow, in which, over a week after Duke’s first surf riding exhibition, Cecil Healy reported , somewhat remarkably, the following scene:
"‘What's the boat for,' queried the Duke, in a surprised tone, when he espied the Manly L.S. Club's surf boat putting into Freshwater on Thursday last.
'We got them to bring it round to pull your board out for you,' replied Don Mclntyre, beaming with pride and delight at the thought that his favorite haunt was to be the scene of the famous Kahanamoku's first exhibition in Australia."

This is remarkable because Healy was not actually there, and it demonstrates the speed and enthusiasm with which “Duke Stories” were generated.
McIntyre was surely aware, if only through W. W. Hill, that the paddle-out is an integral component of surfboard riding, let alone distinct possibility that Duke had already test-ridden the board before the press arrived, even if it was only early that morning.
If the Manly surfboat was there, and Healy’s is the only report of this, it is possible that, rather than being “summoned,” someone at the club was aware of the demonstration and a quick trip up to Freshwater and back in the surf-boat was not unknown.

 It measures 8ft 6in by 2ft. is 3in through at its thickest part, and weighs over 70lb.


Duke Kahanamouku, world's champion swimmer, standing on his surf board shooting the breakers at Freshwater.
 -"Sunday Times," photo.

The Globe and Sunday Times War Pictorial, Sydney, Saturday 2 January 1915, page 3.
The record for the most outrageous “Duke Story” is his “terrific battle with a high-powered, man-eating eel" of January 1913, which was quickly dismissed with considerable ridicule. Healy’s story, however, regularly appears in accounts of the day, and then often dated as sometime in January 1915.

Healy also noted that the supplement to the Surf-Bathing Association's handbook was now available and there had been contact with clubs from Wollongong, Port Macquarie and the Maranui Surf Club, in New Zeland.
The Rev. Mr. Purnell, of Gerringong on the south coast, had requested “a complete life-saving outfit as a first step towards the formation of a local club.”
Following a recent carnival at North Steyne, plans were being made to regulate club colours and the wearing of caps as the “colors worn in several instances were calculated to cause confusion to officials.” (my emphasis)

Sunday 3rd – 10th January 1915:
World’s Press notes: World’s Record Smashed!

Duke’s time of 53 4/5 seconds reduced the world record for the straight 100 yards by a full second, previously set by Duke himself in Honolulu earlier in the year.
In 1915 this was seen as a remarkable achievement, in 2019 it is inconceivable.


Kahanamoku leads from G. Cuhna (2), A. Barry (3), W. Longworth (4), B. G. Page (5), and K. Steedman (6).
Photograph: THE REFEREE 6 January 1915, page 16.

By the end of the week, news of the record was reported by papers across the country, and then around the globe.
Duke had certainly made his mark in Australia, and the swimming officials could have only dreamed of such a performance, even if it saw their local heroes thrashed.

However, they were competitive with George Cunha and clearly Duke was an exceptional athlete.
The fact that the carnival was a sell-out, with the gate receipts totalling over £600, erased any previous misgivings about the financial viability of the tour.
A full-house and a world record also gave further impetus to complete the negotiations for an appearance in Melbourne.
For Duke, the pressure was largely “off,” and there could be no expectation that he could, or should, improve on his first appearance in the pool.

Tuesay 5th January 1915: Tommy Walker, New Year’s Day at Yamba.
During the first week of the 1915, the local press covered Yamba Surf Life Saving Brigade Carnival held on New Year’s Day.
One paper wrote of Tommy’s “interesting exhibition of shooting the breakers on a redwood surf board 11 ft. long and 3 ft. wide,” while another reported that “it was fine to see him standing (sometimes on his head) on the board, sailing in at a fast rate of speed.”
Aware of events at Freshwater widely acclaimed by the Sydney press, they commented:
 “We can safely say that in Sam (sic) we have a great rival of ‘Duke’ Kahanamoukua (sic), who is at present creating such a sensation  amoungst the surfing fraternity of Sydney."

Wednesday 6th January 1915: The Second Domain Pool Carnival – Duke Can Be Beaten (Just)

Australian pride was somewhat restored with the final of the 440 yard championship, hotly contested between Duke and Tommy Adrian, of Manly.
In the final lap, Adrian was ahead, but Duke stormed back to force an exciting finish with Adrian winning by the narrowest of margins.
However, the time was slow, considerably above the world record set by Frank Beaurepaire, of Victoria, in June, 1910.

There was some disappointment in the crowd that Cunha and Barry would not compete head-to-head in the final of the 110 yards Inter-Club Handicap, both being eliminated in the heats. However, George Cunha did set a new Australian record for the distance.
At 1 minute: 3 3/5, this took two-fifths of a second off the previous record, set by Duke four days earlier.

During the first Domain Carnival the program was adjusted, probably due to time constraints, and some of the scheduled high diving events were dropped.
This prompted a letter of complaint to the Herald, the writer hoping that the diving would feature prominently at the next carnival.
His wishes were answered, and the carnival of the 6th had a full program of diving exhibitions and competition, one reporter commenting that “there was a good deal of diving- a little too much in fact.”

Tommy Adrian wasn’t the only winner from Manly on the day.
F. Lough, also representing the Manly Club, was victorious in “the chase the glow worm.”
While this was clearly a novelty event, the actual rules or method are unknown.

Thursday 7th January 1915: “Money, Money, Money”(Apologies to ABBA)
The Evening News gave details of the success of the first two carnivals, “takings on Wednesday night's carnival amounted to £160, a total of £750 for the two fixtures.”
The unaccredited journalist went to some lengths to quash any rumours questioning the amateur status of Duke and Cunha.
Those who “stated that Kahanamoku is to receive a big percentage of the receipts ... are making a huge blunder.”
He confidently reported that “the visitors do not handle a single penny (and) Kahanamoku is not even allowed any pocket money.”

When questioned, W. W. Hill, who would have been fully aware of all the tour’s financial arrangements, noted that the American authorities had guaranteed Duke's amateur status.
They also requested that the Australian organisations ensure this was not compromised, and he stated “We said we would do that, and we intend to keep our word.”

Friday 8th January 1915: Duke Interviewed.
In an interview with the W. H. Corbett, of Sydney’s Sun, Duke commented on the antiquity of surfboard riding, and noted that, contrary to some theories:
“Shooting on a board and in a canoe must have started further back than body shooting.”

Corbett attributed the introduction of body-surfing (“surf-shooting”) to “Mr Fred C. Williams (who) picked up the art from a South Sea Islander and spread knowledge of it amoung the surfers on the favored beaches of the time.”
The un-named “South Sea Islander” was Tommy Tana, who began body-surfing at Manly before the turn of the century.

Duke compared the waves and the body-shooting techniques of Sydney and Waikiki.
He insisted that he was not the Hawaiian champion surf shooter, “because we had no competitions,” which may not strictly have been the case.
From the early 1900s, surfboard events were scheduled at the annual Waikiki Regatta and by 1908 they came to be conducted by the Outrigger Canoe Club, although, as any contest director knows, there was always the chance that the swell may not arrive as required.
Duke was listed as an entrant in the surfboard contest for the Waikiki Regatta scheduled for New Year’s Day 1907.
The other competitors included Harry Steiner, Curtis Hustace, Dan Keawemahi, William Dole, Keanu, Dudy Miller, Atherton Gilman, Lane Webster, and James McCandless; all were noted for their skill on the surfboard and in the out-rigger canoes.
The swell conditions on the day were of little consequence, the whole regatta was cancelled with the arrival of “a storm in full blast.”
The Regatta was re-scheduled to February, and there was sufficient swell to swamp two of the sailing out-riggers.
The surfboard riding contest was won by Harold Hustace, with honourable mentions for Harry Steiner and James McCandless.
The surf riding contest in canoes, was won by Dr. A. C. Wall's Hanakeoke.
Most importantly, Duke was secure in his reputation as a surfboard shaper, as “there were none around Honolulu (who were) able to shape better than me.”
Finally, Corbett asked about his ear infections and Duke replied that “three or four times he had to seek medical attention, and found filling his ears with rubber plugs, which are procurable in Sydney, or using wadding saturated with oil, every time he swam till a cure was effected, helped him a great deal.”
To ensure that he heard the starter's signals, he had plugged only one ear for his record breaking swim at the Domain Pool.

Saturday 9th January 1915:  An Easy 220 Yards, with a Sweet Turn, and a Ukulele “Serenade.”
While the weather was not ideal, with consistent showers, the attendance at the last championship carnival in Sydney was healthy.
In the 220 yards final Duke cruised to an easy win in conservative time of  2 minutes 32 2/5 sec, four seconds shy of the late B. B. Kerian’s record of 1906.
Duke took the lead after the first three stokes and was a full length ahead before the turn.
This was accomplished with so quickly that many in the crowd missed it, and on the way home his only potential competitor was Cunha, who swam off course and opened up the way for Page to come in second, although still three yards behind the winner.
As Duke commented, “You can't smash records every time you go into the water.”

Following the carnival, the Hawaiian swimmers were entertained at dinner at the Fresh Food and Ice Company cafe, King Street, Sydney, where there were a number of speeches and many toasts were proposed.
When it came time for Duke to respond, he did so by presenting a musical number, accompanying himself with the ukulele that had been provided by Manly’s George Walker.
With Cunha and Evans in harmony, they performed Meliana e, and, for an encore, By the Sea.
Although the performance earned a wonderful reception, one reporter found it unusual, “something between the high pitched notes of a mosquito and the angry hum of a swarm of bees on the wing.”
Back at Waikiki, the local surfers were engaged with a fight to preserve their environment , mounting opposition to an application before the Harbor Commissioners for the construction of an amusement pier.
While some saw the project as a considerable financial asset, the surfer’s were concerned that “it will mar the beauty of Waikiki and interfere with bathing and surfing.”

Sunday 10th January 1915: Surf-Shooting  at Freshwater and Manly.
Unlike the surfboard exhibition for the Sydney press at Freshwater two weeks earlier, on this morning there was a sizable crowd, evidenced by several widely reprinted the photographs of the day.
One long-shot depicts Duke leaving the water and another standing with S. Mound, the club captain in front of the Freshwater clubhouse indicate a crowd of approximately three hundred.

Duke was also photographed with his board standing in front of the clubhouse, the crowd parted around him and with Don McIntyre prominent in the background.
There are a number of these, with Duke’s right arm in different positions, and some copies have been roughly cropped.
There are several shoots of Duke at Boomerang with, not surprisingly, Don McIntyre along with Fred Williams, Harry Hay, and others.
These were possibly shot after the morning’s exhibition and before the surfers travelled south to Manly in the afternoon.
Strangely, there are no images of Duke riding the board on the day.
One, which Tim Baker accredits to Don McIntyre, has only two bathers in the foreground and it is most likely that this was shot on some other day during a “free-session.”

The most significant photograph is one of Duke returning to the clubhouse with his board on his shoulder, surrounded by spectators and enthusiasts.
This shows the surf as relatively clean and the swell about four feet, breaking about two hundred metres from the beach and with three lines of white-water.
Most of the crowd are in swimming costumes including four juvenile enthusiasts carrying small hand boards and one with a prone board.
Meanwhile, in the shore break a local is attempting to ride a large board.

Duke Kahanamoku and Board Freshwater Clubhouse,Sunday 10th January 1915.
Extensively reproduced, compare and contrast the nose template of this board with Duke's 1912 Waikiki board, above.

According the, not wholly reliable, recollections of Isabel Letham and Claude West, it could be expected that they might appear in some of the Freshwater crowd shots.
However, their presence has yet to be detected.

Apparently Duke gave an exhibition of his body-surfing skills before he used the surfboard, however most journalists gave all their attention to the later.
The surf was considerably better than in December and Corbett reported:
 "The Hawaiian spent the morning at Freshwater, where he had a favorable easterly roll, and what he did there in the way of board and surf shooting surprised every spectator.
He, as he put it himself, 'got it right' several times, and consequently was, on each occasion, seen at his best."

After the exhibition, Duke gave Fred Williams and H. M. Hay instruction in the use of the board, going to “considerable trouble explaining the how and why of his pet pastime.”
Both novices were enthusiastic, telling Corbett that “we've already ordered a board each.”
It is clear by now that reliable supplies of redwood billets had been located, but as he was about to leave for Queensland it probably wasn’t until Duke returned to Sydney at the end of the month that he would have been able to satisfy the demand for his boards.
The surf at Manly in the afternoon was not as good as the waves at Freshwater, but the crowd on the beach was significantly larger, some suggesting around a thousand.
The crowd in the water was also larger, and Duke had to compete for the attention of the spectators with “local surfers, who wished to give exhibitions of their own at the same time.”

A number of photographs of Duke's second appearance at Freshwater were printed in several retrospective books, notably in
Margan and Finney's Pictorial History and Myers' Freshwater LSC (1983).
Myers: Freshwater LSC (1983) page 17.
Duke (centre) and crowd 

Freshwater Clubhouse, 

Club Captain S. Mound,
with F insignia,

standing next to Duke.

                and Finney: Pictorial History (1970) page 112.
Duke apres surf,
note his swimsuit drying on rail, left.

Fred Williams, first local bodysurfer (moustache), Harry Hay, Olympic swimmer (to his right).
Don McIntyre, far left.
'Boomerang' camp.
                Freshwater LSC (1983) page 17.

Duke carrying board in the traditional
solid wood manner. 

Myers: Freshwater LSC (1983) page 17.

Duke sliding left.

Don McIntyre,
Olympic swimmer Harry Hay and Duke.
Boomerang  Camp.

Lifesaver (2000) page 16.

Incorrectly accredited as Cronulla.

On his return from Queensland, Duke would give two further surfing exhibitions in February, one at Cronulla and on the following day at Dee Why where he demonstrated tandem surfing with a young girl from Freshwater, Isabel Letham.

While I intend to further cover the rest tour, it will now be at a more leisurely pace.
Evening News
Sydney, 5th February 1915, page 2

Saturday 6th February 1915: Duke and Isabel at Dee Why
Isabel Letham appears
only in the newspaper reports from the Dee-Why exhibition; and not in any of the reports of those given at Freshwater, or Manly, or the next day at Cronulla.
However, with Dee Why such a widely anticipated event, it seems almost inconceivable that they did not have at least one practise session before appearing in public, and most likely at Freshwater Beach.
It appears the demand for a tandem exhibition was ignited by a Sydney reporter writing that Duke's accomplishments at Waikiki included riding tandem with a young boy on his shoulders, and doubting that he would be able to do something similar in Sydney.

A photograph of this feat appeared in the first edition of Alexander Hume Ford's
Mid-Pacific Magazine in 1911, included with an article Riding the Surfboard, attributed to Duke Paoa Kahanamoku.
It was stamped Copyright 1910 A.R. Gurrey Jr.

In one account of the demonstration, a reporter (the same one?) complained that the tandem part of the demonstration was hindered by having a "passenger", and implied Duke would have caught a lot more waves by himself.

Sunday 10th January 2015: Duke's Day at Freshwater
Sepia-tinted footage by Craig Baird, ANSM, Torquay: I had my camera on a tripod but people just kept jumping in front of it so most was recorded hand held, and with an old school filter:

Everyone associated with the event deserves congratulations for their immense amounts of time, effort and enthusiasm that made it such a success.
Firstly, whoever was responsible for ensuring the excellent weather and the 4 foot easterly swell deserves everyone’s sincere thanks.
In particular, the efforts of Eric Middledorp (Don McIntyre) in the restoration of Duke’s board and the construction of the replica, Jack McCoy’s presentation of historical surfboards and the Surf Talk seminars organised by John Ogden, were outstanding.

Apologies to those subjected to my numerous faux pas.
Fred Hemmings- the 53 states of America (and yes Fred, I did get your resume)
Jack McCoy- for some ill-timed and  ill-considered remarks on the status of replica surfboards.
Jodie Holmes – daughter of Darryl, not Paul.
Terry Fitzgerald- 
Special thanks to the person who found my camera and handed it in to the office.

The Duke Team.
The word legend is often over-used, however as the only surfer to have a manoeuvre named after him, the Strauch Crouch, the status of Mr. Paul Strauch Jr. is unique (in the absolute strict sense of that word).
Mr. Fred Hemming’s water-skills and contribution to surfing is indisputable.
Mr. Joey Cabell ... sorry, I am simply lost for words.
Simply being in the presence of these three gentlemen was a humbling experience.
My personal fetish - It was some trepidation that I asked Mr. Cabell my question:
On the North Shore in the winter of 1967-1968 you rode a Hobie surfboard with a yellow bottom with a blue foil on the deck.
This has been variously reported as 9ft 3” and 9 ft 5’’ and as shaped by Dick Brewer?
Joey responded that the board was about 9ft 5” and that he shaped it.

Digression: I have also note the comment (question?) posted by Slobadan Madicubich, above.
If The Duke was white I wonder if this would still read like he was an owned commodity, being used for the benefit of his hosts capital return/ financial gain & ego.

Slobadan raises the issues of race and commoditisation.
From another medium, the issue of sex has also been canvassed.
In addition there is the matter of death; that is The War.
By 1915 the first Australian troops had embarked for Europe and while columns were devoted to Duke’s exploits, despatches from the front consumed whole pages of newsprint.
The honour- rolls of those who would not return would soon appear, and, before the conflict ended, they would include Duke’s competitor and enthusiastic supporter, Cecil Healy.
These are complex issues and I am attempting to allocate some time to think about these.
I may comment more fully in the future.
11th February 1915

To Mr. E.S. Marks
Aloha Nui

Duke P. Kahanamoku
'Hui Nalu' Swimmer
Honolulu, Hawaii

Sydney N.S.W.

Feb 11, 1915.

From a private collection.

George Cunha

George Cunha, Lyall Bay New Zealand, March 1915.
João Macdonald: George Cunha: Portuguese surf started with him in Honolulu

English Translation


Mid-Pacific Magazine
Volume 20 Number February 1921.

Duke Kahanamoku, the world's champion swimmer, is a full-blooded Hawaiian.
Hawaiians are a vital race and the plan for their rehabilitation on the land
was once theirs, appeals to the strong men of their race, as it does to
many of their
white brothers.


Mid-Pacific Magazine
Volume 20 Number March 1921

Duke Kahanamoku. the world's fastest swimmer‘ makes his home in
Honolulu and he may be seen daily in the surf at Waikiki on his
surf board speeding before the waves that roll in at the Honolulu
beach resort.


Catalogue Entries:#100
Home: Haleakala, Honolulu, Oaha
Beach : Waikiki, Oaha
Competitive Record
Olympic medalist swimmer (two gold, one silver), Olympic water polo representative,Swimming Hall of Fame Inductee, First Inductee Surfing magazine's Hall of Fame 1968, Surfer magazine's Surfer of the Century 1999.
waterman,surfer, shaper, canoe paddler, sailor, introduced surfing to Australia, New Zealand and East Coast USA, multiple surf rescues, founder of first surf club, Ambassador of Surfing, Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surf Contest 1968 - 1975?
See Duke Kahanamoku in Australia

Kahanamoku, Duke With Brennan, Joe: 
Duke Kahanamoku’s World of Surfing
Angus and Robertson Publishers Sydney , Australia  1968
2nd Edition  A&R Paperbacks, Sydney , Australia 1972

1. Brennan, Joe : Duke - The Life Story of Hawai'i's Duke Kahanamoku
 Ku Pa'a Publishing Incorporated Honolulu, Hawaii 1994

2. Hall, and Ambrose, : Life With the Duke

Note : Duke Kahanamoku's name appears in almost every general surfing book.
Listed are main references.
1. Blake, Tom : Hawaiian Surfboard
Paradise of the Pacific Press, Honolulu, Hawaii  1935
Reprinted as Hawaiian Surfriders 1935
Mountain and Sea Publishing, Box 126 Redondo Beach California 90277. 1983. Pages 51 -58.

2. C. Bede Maxwell : Surf - Australians Against the Sea
Angus and Robertson Sydney  1949  pages 235 - 237.

3. Walter Forbes : The History of the Freshwater Surf Lifesaving Club 1908 - 1958  page 18.
Reprinted in  Myers, K. (Editor): No Lives Lost :
The History of the Freshwater Surf life Saving Club 1908 -1983
Printed by A. Windsor and Son Pty Ltd, 4 James Street, Wateroo. 699 2829. 1983

4. Bloomfield, John :  Know-how in the Surf
Angus and Robertson  89 Castlereagh Street, Sydney 1959.  page 61.

5. Reg S. Harris in Heroes of the Surf – Fifty Years’ History of the Manly Life Saving Club 1961
records the date as '15th February, 1915', pages Fifty-three to Fifty-five.

6. Pollard, Jack (ed.) :  The Australian Surfrider
K.G.Murray Publishing Co.P/L,142 Clarence Street ,  Sydney Australia 1964
Introduction by Duke Kahanamoku page 7, also pages 27 -28 and 55 - 56.

7. Farrelly, Midget. As told to McGregor, Craig :  This Surfing Life
 Rigby Limited, James Place, Adelaide 1965 pages 108 - 111.

8. Hemmings, Fred : Surfing
Grossett and Dunlap, New York
Zokeisha Publications Ltd.  5-1-6 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106.  1977 pages 18 - 20.

9. Warwick, Wayne  A Guide to Surfriding in New Zealand
Second Edition  Viking Sevenseas Ltd  Wellington, New Zealand  1978
Chapter : The Early Days/Introduction of surfriding into New Zealand.

10.Young, Nat ; Photographs by McCausland, Bill:  Nat Young’s Book of Surfing
A.H. & A.W. Reed Pty. Ltd. 53 Myroora Rd, Terry Hills, Sydney.1979 Page 65

11. Wells, Lana: Sunny Memories - Australians at the Seaside
Greenhouse Publications Pty Ltd 385 - 387 Bridge Road, Richmond, Victoria 3126 1982
pages 150 - 152 and 159.

12. Myers, K. (Editor): The History of the Freshwater Surf life Saving Club 1908 -1983
Printed by A. Windsor and Son Pty Ltd, 4 James Street, Wateroo. 699 2829 1983
Chapter by Alf Henderson, page 56.

13. Young, Nat with McGregor, Craig :  The History 0f Surfing
Palm Beach Press, 40 Palm Beach Road,  Palm Beach NSW 2108  1983. page 43 - 47.

14. Barry Galton : Gladiators of the Surf:
The Austalian Surf Life Saving Championships - A History
AH & AW Read Pty Ltd, 2 Aquatic Drive Frenchs Forest NSW 2086 1984 pages 25 - 26.

15. Lueras. Leonard : Surfing - The Ultimate Pleasure
 Workman Publishing 1 West 39 Street New York, NY 10018.1984  pages  71 - 101

16.Young, Nat : Surfing Fundamentals
Palm Beach Press, 40 Ocean Road, Palm Beach NSW 2108 1985 Page 97.
Same text as Nat Young's Book of Surfing, above.

17. Carroll, Nick (editor):  The Next Wave : A Survey of World Surfing
Collins Angus & Robertson Publishers Pty Ltd
4 Eden Park, 31 Waterloo Road, North Ryde NSW 2113 1991. pages 22 - 29.

18. Stell, Marion K. : Pam Burridge
 Collins Angus & Robertson Publishers (Australia) Pty. Limited
 A division of Harper Collins Publishers (Australia) Pty. Limited
 25 Ryde Road, Pymble NSW 2073, Australia. 1992  pages 6 - 8

19. 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 pages 65 - .81

20. Warshaw, Matt :  Surfriders – In Search of the Perfect Wave
Tehabi Books, Inc.  Collins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022.1997 page 19.

21. Kampion, Drew. Forward by Bruce Brown : Stoked : A History of Surf Culture
General Publishing Group Los Angles 1997
Second edition Benedikt Tashen Verlag GmbH, Hohenzollernring 53,D-50672 Koin.1998.pages 37- 43.

22.Thoms, Albie: Surfmovies
The Blue Group  PO Box 321 Noosa Heads Queensland 4567  2000
pages 20 - 23, 31, 43, 45,64 - 65, 69, 88, and 94.

Web Pages
Legendary Surfers.
Duke Kahanamoku - The Dawn of Australian Surfing History - 1915 : by Peter Brown.
Article and photographs of Duke Kahanamoku at Boomerang Camp, Freshwater, Summer 1915 and his introduction of surfing.Also incudes article on Freshwater SLSC and a comphrensive links page.Australia.

International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach -Oceanside, California. Well presented with  historical data, a few interesting features but the page is not regulary updated, eg Current Exhibit has been current for the last 18 months. Also see Surf Culture Orange County site, above?
Duke Kahanamoku : surfboards by Kahanamoku Sons:commercial site with some historical information.Hawaii?

Sandra Hall : The Million Dollar Surfboard in Longboard magazine April/May 1996 pages
Surfing magazine 1968
Surfer magazine 1999

Film (Appearances)
From  Thoms :Surf Movies, 22.above.
Image , top :

"What is it, Duke?"
Answer : "The stuff that dreams are made of."
Reference : Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon, paraphasing William Shakespeare.
Duke Kahanamoku and Australian Olymic swimmers, Dawn Fraser and Lorraine Crapp, Honolulu 1957.

1957 'AUSSIE STARS SHINE IN HONOLULU.', The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), 7 August, p. 8, viewed 27 August, 2013,

Johnny Weissmuller, Duke Kahanamoku and Buster Crabbe
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 1965.

Duke Paoa Kahanamoku arrives in Sydney
yesterday to launch
The Australian Surfrider.

The Canberra Times
22 November
1963, page 40.

 Duke Paoa Kahanamoku at Surfers Paradise.

The Canberra Times
6 December 1963, page 28.

Duke Kahanamoku Statue,
Freshwater Beach Headland.

Freshwater SLSC.

Alfred Roy Horden

"1915 Kahanamoku 10' Redwood Surfboard
Duke Kahanamoku presented this board as a gift of Aloha to Alfred Roy Hordern."
- Winnimam, Jim: Vintage Surfboards 1
- A photo history of surfboards and surfing collectables.
 US Vintage Surf Auction, November 2008, page 11.
Photograph by Caprice Nicole Photography.
"Found in Australia at the Hordern estate, the board pictured here is perhaps one of the most astonishing surfing relics to ever surface.
This solid ten foot wood board was presented by Duke Kahanamoku in 1915 to Alfred Roy Hordern as a gift of Aloha in appreciation for his family's hospitality during a visit to Australia."
- Winnimam, Jim: Vintage Surfboards 1 (2008) page 10.
"Following the formation of the Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club in November 1921, letters were sent to a number of prominent weekend and permanent residents invititing them to be Vice-Presidents of trhe Club. Amoungst those that accepted the invitation were ... A.I. Hordern."
Brawley: Palm Beach SLSC (1996) pages 12-13.
Note A.I. Hordern should read A.J. Hordern, see page 26.
Alfred James Hordern (1859-19 ) was the father of Alfred Roy Hordern (1892-1935).

"While the house was being built Alf and Carrie lived in a small cottage nearby, and it was here that their first son, Alfred Roy, was born in 1892.
Six years later they had a second son, Bruce Alexander.
These boys were to become the enfants terribles of the family in their time.
Perhaps Carrie devoted more care to the culture of her plants than to her children, who were said to be spoilt and wild and who, together with Lebbeus Hordern, son of Sam, were the legendary scene-stealers of the fourth generation.
Roy and Bruce grew up handsome and charming with an exuberance and recklessness which was the antithesis of their father's timidity, and, indeed, of the caution of most of their Hordern cousins.
Roy was among the first of these young Horderns to go on active service in World War I; Bruce followed as soon as he was old enough, and on their return they showed little inclination to settle to the draper's life, or to any other mundane existence.

Roy, in particular, assumed a flamboyant role, and after his death in Perth as the result of a motor-cycle accident in 1935, was described by the West Australian press as an 'extraordinary' and 'picturesque' personality-a man of 'magnificent build... deep-chested' and with a 'rugged he-man sort of handsomeness':

When he came to Perth ten years ago, he quickly made himself conspicuous by his mania for speed in a powerful left-hand steering car which he bought from America, and his huge Alsatian dogs, which accompanied him into city offices and hotels... Dress was another of Hordern's odd whims. Usually he was to be seen wearing an open neck lumber jacket, riding breeches and Canadian lace-up boots. This, in fact, was how he was dressed when he died.
According to this obituary, there was one aspect of his life in whicli he resembled Sam Hordern's family:

Though he had no special need to work, at odd times he would become infected with the craze for 'raising' live-stock of some kind. Once it was pigs. ..another time he went in for a duck 'ranch' ..."

- Horden, Lesley: Children of One Family.
The Sory of Anthony and Ann Hordern and their descendants in Australia 1825-1925.
Retford Press, Sydney, 1985, page 219.
Roy Horden with his parents
Caroline ("Carrie", -1938) Doig and Alfred James Hordern,
circa 1925.

Horden, Lesley: Children of One Family.
The Sory of Anthony and Ann Hordern 
and their descendants in Australia 1825-1925.
Retford Press, Sydney, 1985, page 219.

"Carrie was a well-known and popular figure in Sydney until her death in 1938.
A keen supporter of charities, she frequently opened her gardens to the public for worthy causes, and 'garden days' were as much a feature of Highlands (Waitara, Sydney) life as were 'quiet days' at Chiselhurst for the spiritually inclined.

AIf's enthusiasm for gardening was not as great as Carrie's, and while the Sydney Morning Herald of 17th August 1932 described him as a 'kindly tree and flower lover', he is said to have sought refuge from the intensity of horticulture at The Highlands in his holiday home, Kalua, at Palm Beach.
This cool, spacious bungalow overlooking the surf became his favourite retreat from domestic pressures and the cares of retailing."

- Horden, Lesley: Children of One Family.
The Sory of Anthony and Ann Hordern and their descendants in Australia 1825-1925.
Retford Press, Sydney, 1985, page 220.
"New Hordern faces were also appearing in the two city stores still operated by members of the family.
Only two of the third generation - Edward Carr and Alfred - remained in retailing and they had been joined in Hordern Brothers by the former's three sons, Edward Dryland ('Ward'), Maurice and Stewart, and by Alfred's elder son, Roy."
- Horden, Lesley: Children of One Family.
The Sory of Anthony and Ann Hordern and their descendants in Australia 1825-1925.
Retford Press, Sydney, 1985, page 313.
"Enlistment in the services now required a new commitment, since the pre-war forces had been required to defend home territory only, and it was the adventure-seekers, spurred on by the prospect of overseas travel, and anxious not to miss the excitement of a war which might end before Christmas, who were the first to join up. Arthur, one of the 'wild' sons of Annie Matthews, and a grandson of William Hordern I, enlisted in Melbourne on 24th August 1914, and Cecil Hordern's eldest son, Cecil Anthony, in Sydney the following day.
The dare-devil Roy, Alfred's son, having returned from Europe when war was declared, followed them one month later."
- Horden, Lesley: Children of One Family.
The Sory of Anthony and Ann Hordern and their descendants in Australia 1825-1925.
Retford Press, Sydney, 1985, page 334.
"Roy Hordern, injured in the eye on Gallipolli, returned to Sydney in 1916,"
- Horden, Lesley: Children of One Family.
The Sory of Anthony and Ann Hordern and their descendants in Australia 1825-1925.
Retford Press, Sydney, 1985, page 338.
"The return of Edward Dryland, Stewart, Roy and Bruce to Australia brought these disagreements to a head. Not only was there competition for positions of responsibility, but the ill-feeling between the fathers was matched, if not by unfriendliness, at least by incompatibility between the sons, and the spirit of rivalry common in such situations was aggravated by divergences in attitudes and lifestyles which made it almost impossible for them to be yoked together.
In this unhappy state the store struggled on until 1922, when the partnership between Edward Carr and Alfred was finally dissolved, and an embittered Alfred retired-together with his sons-from retailing.
Edward Carr founded a new falllily firm, Hordern Brothers Limited, with his three sons, and continued to trade on the same site."
- Horden, Lesley: Children of One Family.
The Sory of Anthony and Ann Hordern and their descendants in Australia 1825-1925.
Retford Press, Sydney, 1985, page 342.
"The second clubhouse on Hordern Reserve in the 1920s showing its proximity to the Hordern residence (Kalua) which ajoined it, a little too closely for good neighbourly relations."
Brawley: Palm Beach SLSC (1996) Photograph caption page 22.
"Upon moving to the new premises the Club sought further balterations and contracted a Newport builder to begin work.
As a courtesy the club informed the Council of its plans to establish a surfboard locker under the building (to house the reputed 16 boards of members held in the club), and to build a fence.
On both counts the Council refused, leading to yet more acrimony."
Brawley: Palm Beach SLSC (1996) page 30.
In celebration of Collaroy SLSC's victory in the Alarm Reel Race at Australian Championships at Manly 1922, swimmer Ron "Harris' family commissioned Buster Quinn (a cabinet maker with Anthony Hordens) to make a surfboard.
Quinn made the board from a single piece of Californian Redwood at the Dingbats' Camp.
Before it was completed, however, Harris' father died and the family left Collaroy.
Chic Proctor acquried the board in Harris' absence and it remains in the clubhouse to this day as the Club's Life Members Honour Board."
- Brawley: Collaroy SLSC (1995)  page 48.
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Geoff Cater (2000-2019) : Surfer : Duke Kahanamoku.