Montgomery Buttons Kaluhiokalani: a legend has many surfboards

Montgomery "Buttons" Kaluhiokalani, one of the most influential surfers of all time, has passed away at 54, after a long battle against cancer.


Montgomery Ernest Thomas Kaluhiokalani was born on the 30th March, 1959, in Honolulu, Hawaii. His first contact with surfing only occurred when he was already seven years old, in Waikiki.

After experiencing the first waves in a paipo board, Buttons tried the first tricks, as his famous easy switch foot.

With his famous African hair, "Buttons" blew the 1970s with a set of innovative surf lines and maneuvers. He was the first to perform a carving 360 on film.

In 1973, at the age of 13, Buttons traveled to the US Championships in Malibu, California, as an amateur, where he placed second. Seven years later, Buttons won the Sunkist Open at Malibu.

Eddie Rothman has called him the "innovator of modern day surfing". In fact, he was also a true ambassador of Aloha.

Later, Montgomery Ernest Thomas Kaluhiokalani would experience the terrible world of drugs and addiction, which he fortunately defeated in 2007.

"Buttons" is a surf legend. At 51, he was towed into a Teahupoo bomb, in Tahiti. In the last years, he dedicated his life to the Buttons Surf School, where he introduced surfing to many groms.

Montgomery "Buttons" Kaluhiokalani is survived by his wife Hiriata Hart, eight children and nine grandchildren. The surfer of the crazy African hair died on the 2nd November, 2013, exactly three years after the loss of Andy Irons.