Duke Kahanamoku Statue

Duke Kahanamoku Statue
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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

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.