Duke Kahanamoku Statue

4.5 stars from 5 reviews
Address 2424 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
This statue is a memorial to Duke Kahanamoku, credited as "The father of modern surfing". Many honor him by placing leis on his statue, commonly known as the "Duke Statue".

• General: Educational • Cultural & Historical: Memorials / Statues

Full Description
Born August 24, 1890, Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku was a Hawaiian competition swimmer who was also known as an actor, lawman, early beach volleyball player, and businessman credited with spreading the sport of surfing. He was also a five-time Olympic medalist in swimming.

His nicknames are "The Duke" and "The Big Kahuna".

He competed in the 1912, 1920, and 1924 Olympic games in swimming events. Duke Kahanamoku made surfing popular in Australia and mainland America in the 1910s. He was the first person to be inducted into both the Swimming Hall of Fame and the Surfing Hall of Fame.

Many restaurants and bars have been named after Duke Kahanamoku. While serving as sheriff of Honolulu, Hawaii from 1932 to 1961 he appeared in many television programs and films. He died on January 22, 1968 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

There is a webcam watching the statue and allowing visitors to wave to their friends all over the world. Click the Hawaii.gov link on the right to watch it now.

After Duke Kahanamoku's death, his wife Nadine pushed forward an effort to create a statue commemorating him in Waikiki. The city allocated funds to have sculptor Jan Gordon Fisher create a 17 and a half foot statue of "The Duke" with with his arms outstretched as if to greet visitors to Hawaii. The statue can be found at the entrance to Kuhio Beach Park.

Jan Gordon Fisher's work can also be seen at at the corner of Kuhio Avenue and Kanekapolei street in Waikiki. There she created a Princess Kaiulani Statue in a small triangle park which was once the grounds of her childhood home. For more on the legend of Duke be sure to read Duke Kahanamoku - The Original Beach Boy.

Rebecca R
Joined: Jan 2018
Reviews: 15
Likes Received: 2
Love seeing the Duke statue in Waikiki. Unfortunately, the photo of me in front of it didn't come out. Guess that means I'll have to come back for another!
deborah c
Joined: Oct 2016
Reviews: 21
Likes Received: 0
A must see.
Joined: May 2016
Reviews: 67
Likes Received: 2
You can't go to Waikiki and not walk by this statue. While it's kind of anti-climatic, it is nice to see and take a few pictures. I have a picture of my brother and me here, and my only regret is that I didn't get a second one the second time I was there. There is also a live webcam on the duke statue. I don't remember the website, but it's entertaining to watch what tourists do from the comfort of your own couch. Maybe it will even give you ideas for poses when you get to visit!
Joined: Apr 2016
Reviews: 237
Likes Received: 33
We saw the Duke on our first trip walking along the beach. When we return to Honolulu later this month, I'm sure we will stop and say hi. I'm sure that he hasn't aged at all. It is just so amazing that this guy did so much for the sport of surfing.
Joined: Mar 2016
Reviews: 426
Likes Received: 12
Duke Kahanamoku statue is right in the head of Waikiki it's beautiful around there and a lot of tourists stop to get their photos with duke Kahanamoku. The trees are amazing around there a very nice area. Waikiki beach behind the statue crystal clear beach. Worth checking out and gorgeous photo opportunities.
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