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Beachboy Life

David Kahanamoku
Dad Center, right
Beachboy, 1927
Waikiki, around 1910
Chick Daniels. Photo: Jim McMahon

While Freeth spread the surfing gospel in California, Waikiki became packed with true believers. By 1910, the huge aquamarine field of surf breaks spread out between Honolulu Harbor and Diamond Head had been mapped and named, starting with the nearshore spots like Queen’s Surf and Canoes, moving on to Cunha Surf,  Public Baths, and Papa Nui, and then out to Castle Break, Waikiki’s most distant surfing reef, located a glittering half-mile offshore. The era’s heavy wooden boards required a part...

Riding waves was as important to these barefoot troubadours as their sexed-up, easygoing, empty-pocket deviancy. By combining the two, beachboys laid a foundation for what would later be called the surfing lifestyle.