Duke Kahanamoku: an inspiring man and surfer

Duke Kahanamoku is the father of modern surfing. "The Big Kahuna" won multiple Olympic medals and spread the Aloha Spirit throughout the world.

Kahanamoku has several nicknames. "The Duke" was also the "Dook" and "The Big Kahuna."

He was a quiet and peaceful man, always ready to help others. He introduced surfing in Australia and helped get surfboards into lifesaving.

Duke Kahanamoku lived 77 years to the fullest.

His spiritual legacy is well alive, but his quotes, thoughts, and reflections also add up to the future of swimming, surfing, and sports in general.

Get ready to be inspired and enchanted by Kahanamoku's words:

A funny thing about my swimming is that from the time I was a kid, I used a modern crawl kick. That's supposed to be a modern invention, but I used it naturally - always used it. Nobody ever showed it to me.

Before I left that fabulous land, the Australians had already turned to making their own boards and practicing what I had shown them in the surf.

Don't talk - keep it in your heart.

Every day of the year, where the water is 76, day and night, and the waves roll high, I take my sled, without runners, and coast down the face of the big waves that roll in at Waikiki.

I always eat whatever I feel like eating. I eat fruit, vegetables, steak - anything. I eat pie and ice cream if I want it. I eat fish. Sometimes, I eat fish raw, in our ancient way.

I hardly remember whether I learned how to walk or how to swim first. One of the first things I remember is taking a cracker box board and pushing it ahead of me to swim out into the surf, using it like a surfboard. You can take a small board and go a long way. I used to swim out, turn around, and come back through the surf. Afterward, I used a surfboard, of course.

I have never coasted down a hill of frozen rain.

I have never seen snow and do not know what winter means.

I have no doubt the ancient Hawaiians used every stroke we know and perhaps had better swimming form than we'll ever have.

I like the feel of the fresh air and the salt water. I believe in keeping active.

I swim all year round in Honolulu. The water doesn't change much.

I think we have to teach a lot of these kids to first be gentlemen. Try to help one another and not hog the doggone waves.

I was fired up with a mania for improving the boards and getting the most out of the surf. I was constantly redoing my board, giving it a new shape, new contours, and new balance.

I was introduced to one as a prince but told him I was no prince, and then another asked me if I was a real duke, but I told him only my name was Duke.

It was in 1925 when I accidentally introduced another kind of surfing [lifesaving] to California. Good sometimes comes from the worst of tragedies. Boards became standard equipment on the emergency rescue trucks as well as at the towers.

Just take your time - the wave comes. Let the other guys go; catch another one.

My father and my uncle just threw me into the water from an outrigger canoe. I had to swim or else.

Our water is so full of life; it's the fastest water in the world. That's all there is to it.

Out of the water, I am nothing.

Surfing is the greatest thrill of my life.

Training? Why? I never did go into real training for a race, but once, and that time I overtrained and went stale.

When I wasn't at school, I was in the surf.

Discover the best surfing quotes of all time.

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