Here’s a rare color film from 1939 showing surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku surfing Waikiki in a . . . kayak? Or should we call it a standup paddleboard?
The film shows a seated Duke paddling into a wave using a double-bladed paddle, then popping to his feet and riding the wave. The clip also shows a pair of 6-man Koa canoes surfing Waikiki, as well as plenty of old school board surfing and a unique diving dismount.
Though best known as a surfer and Olympic swimmer, Kahanamoku was also an accomplished outrigger canoe paddler with a popular OC-6 race named in his honor. Does this video mean that kayakers also can claim The Duke as one of their own? That’s a question for the historians. We’re happy just to share this wonderful clip of the man having fun.
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