Duke Kahanamoku: a surfing icon

Every surfer should drop into the life story of Duke Kahanamoku. Fortunately, "Waterman: The Life and Times of Duke Kahanamoku" has been published.

Duke Kahanamoku is one of the most influential people in the history of surfing. He is widely recognized as the father of modern surfing, and he is the man responsible for introducing surfing to Australia, in 1915.

David Davis, the author of "Waterman: The Life and Times of Duke Kahanamoku," is an experienced sports writer and he instantly understood why the "Ambassador of Aloha" is such a prominent character in heart and soul of Hawaiian culture.

Duke Kahanamoku and Viola Cady: tandem surfing at Laguna Beach

"If you spend any amount of time on Oahu, the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands, you cannot help but notice the name Duke Kahanamoku everywhere. There's Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon, Duke Kahanamoku Beach, and the Duke Kahanamoku Aquatic Complex," Davis writes in his prologue.

True. It's impossible to wipe out "The Big Kahuna" from the spirit of the island. The author of the first comprehensive biography of Duke Kahanamoku puts it simply: "His life was one epic ride," around Hawaii's most enduring and beguiling feature: water.

The Duke truly is a worldwide surfing idol and, in nearly 300 pages, we are carefully driven through his most memorable moments in 35 chapters. There are still friends and relatives who refuse to speak out because they're angry about how the family was treated after his death.

Duke Kahanamoku's (un)official biography is a must-read. You'll find multiple side notes, and some will lead you to several future discoveries. David Davis has made an exhaustive research, and the final result is undoubtedly a bright and up-to-date profile of the ultimate surfing icon.

Explore the best Duke Kahanamoku quotes.

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