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5 Dec 2010

Mauli Ola Celebrates Its Surfing Roots...

5 December 2010

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Mauli Ola Celebrates Its Surfing Roots at Queens Surf Beach in Waikiki.


Waikiki, Hawaii is known as the birthplace of surfing culture, where it was first popularized in the 1930s by Olympic swimmer and legendary surfer Duke Kahanamoku. As a result, Waikiki Beach and Hawaii, in general, holds special meaning for Mauli Ola Foundation and the Surf Experience Days they produce on Queens Surf Beach at Waikiki each year.

“What makes Waikiki a special place for surf instruction is that it’s where the original beach boy and that whole lifestyle was born,” explains MOF Surf Experience Director Bobby Serna.  “When we go to Waikiki there is a lot of pride at those events, because that is where the sport first gained prominence, and Duke Kahanamoku took that experience and traveled around the world demonstrating the joy of surfing to people. He introduced that whole ‘Aloha’ beach boy lifestyle to the general public.”

On Sunday, December 5, 2010, Kahanamoku’s spirit and legacy was smiling on Mauli Ola Foundation as their Queens Beach Surf Experience Day event boasted an outstanding turnout of 15 Cystic Fibrosis patients and their families, who were blessed with a warm sun-filled day and two to three foot waves for ideal surfing conditions. The talent pool of pro-surfers who attended the event was no less spectacular. “All of the top pros from Hawaii were there!” exclaims Serna. “2000 World Surfing Champion Sunny Garcia, Shawn “Barney” Barron, Gavin Beschen, Buttons Kaluhiokalani, our Vice President of Operations Kala Alexander and Tai Van Dyke.”  

Kaluhiokalani’s surf school, Buttons Surf School, provided surfing lessons for the Waikiki surfing event and Uncle Brian Surratt’s surf school also pitched in, providing extra surfboards to accommodate the large turnout. All 15 students received three hours of surfing instruction.
CF patients at the Queens Beach surf experience day in Waikiki, Hawaii were from Kapiolani Children’s Hospital and from Tripler Army Medical Center. “The military is a large part of the Hawaiian culture going back to Pearl Harbor and World War II. A lot of military personnel and military families live on the island,” explains Serna.  

MOF Surf Experience Director Bobby Serna feels a particular connection to Waikiki, explaining, “Mauli Ola Foundation is taking Duke Kahanamoku’s legacy of spreading the joy of surfing and we are sharing surfing with CF patients and helping them on medical level. In Waikiki, Hawaii we get to share the gift of surfing with these kids where it all started, and I just love that alignment.”

The event was documented with the help of professional surfing photographer and videographer Pete Hodgson who mounted his go pro cameras onto surfboards. “Thanks to Pete, we got water footage of the kids on their boards,” expresses Serna.

At the end of the MOF Surf Experience Day event at Queens Beach, everyone gathered around for a group shot next to Waikiki’s famous Duke Kahanamoku statue and everyone got their Flexfit Mauli Ola camo hats. “Because of the large turnout from Tripler Army Center, when Mauli Ola passed out the Flexfit MOF camo hats, they really loved it because that camo hat represents the fight against CF. Being that they are military, they really loved those hats and what they represent,” concluded Serna about the day’s festivities.

For more information about Mauli Ola Foundation’s Surf Experience Day events to create awareness for Cystic Fibrosis, and to sign up for 2011 events, visit www.mauliola.org

Photo Credit Christina Tyler Wenks.  Thanks!