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history : duke in australia, 1914 

Duke Kahanamoku's Australian Tour, 1914-1915
Surfboard riding in Australia was given massive impetus with the tour of Hawaiian expert, Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, in the summer of 1914-1915.
Although Australian surfers were enthusiastic in their early surfing adventures, Kahanamoku's contribution was immense with widespread exposure in the press and establishing some of the defining elements for an emerging Australian surfing culture:

1. Surf riding is not something new but has an ancient tradition, historically comparable with the Greek Olympics.
2. Surfboard riding is not limited  to the benign waves of Waikiki.
3. Duke Kahanamoku provided a full critique of the mechanics of surfing, including
- wave knowledge, safety and rescue.
- instruction, including tandem lessons.
- surfboard construction and design.
- the principles of the hand shaping.
and demonstrated by a surfing performance that would not be eclipsed in Australia for 40 years.
4. Apart from breaking several current world swimming records, the tour had a significant impact of the continuing development of modern swimming technique.
5. For Australian society, Duke Kahanamoku's visit brought into question some commonly held views of racial superiority.

Note that for many commentators it has been all too easy to date the beginnings of surfboard riding in Australia to Duke Kahanamoku's 1914-1915 visit, whereas the previous chapter demonstrates that this was not the case.

-see Before Duke 1900 - 1914.

Probably the most influential work has been Nat Young's History of Surfing where he noted the arrival of C.D. Paterson's board in 1912 which "a few local body surfers had tried to ride, but couldn't" (page 42), and accredits a photograph on page 47 as "15th January 1915 Duke Kahanamoku introduces surfboard riding to Australia."
The book has had numerous editions, the latest in 2009, each new edition adding an extra chapter, without the  early chapters ever being revised.

- Young: The History of Surfing (1983) and subsequent editions.

As is often evident in recording history, the story teller may have a vested interest in securing a position of prominance for a compatriot, a family member, their club, their association, or themselves.
For example Manly surfboard champion, Claude West, confidently proclaimed in 1939:

"I was the first Australian to  take up surf-board rlding. ...
I Iearnt on Duke Kahanamoku's board, which he left here after introducing surf-board riding to Australia before the war."

- Daily Telegraph Thursday, 9 February 1939, page 7.

Illustrating the racial attitudes of the period, four years before Duke Kanamoku's arrival, the Manly surf carnival featured a item, somewhat less than flattering to Pacific islanders:

"A spectacular event was the arrival of a raft from the sea manned by supposed survivors of a shipwreck.
As they came in on the surf, they were attacked by a band of cannibals from the beach and just in the nick of time were rescued by a man-o-war crew in the surf boat.
There was much firing of guns and several of the niggers dropped as though shot.
The proceedings were -julie (?) realistic and the event brought forth rounds of cheers from the spectators."

- Unaccredited: Manly Surf Carnival.
Sydney Morning Herald, 21 March 1910, page 10.

1912 Olympic Games, Stockholm, Sweden.
Following his victory in the Olympic 100 metre sprint in 1912 over Australian swimmers Cecil Healey (second place) and William Longworth, the manager of the Australian swimmers, Mr. A.C.W. Hill,  approached Duke Kahanamoku (as well as several other world class swimmers) with the prospect of a future competitive tour of Australia.
Hill reported that:

"Kahanamoku ... was willing to come, indeed anxious to make the trip to Australia."

- Merman (W. F. C. Corbett): Wonderful Hawaiian - Duke Paoa Kahanamoku.
The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 30th October, 1912, page ?
This document was provided courtesy of Ray Moran at the Australian Surfing Museum and Manly LSC.

Duke's enthusiasm to tour Australia was perhaps in no small way enhanced by an outstanding act of sportsmanship by his closest rival, Cecil Healey, who along with others, consented to a 100 metre repercharge after Duke Kahanamoku and other members of the American team had failed to show for their event.

In October, 1912, a meeting of the NSW Amateur Swimming Association initiated a formal invitation to Kahanamoku  to compete in various state championships and demonstrate his progressive swimming style.
A newspaper article reported on Duke's unusal first name, education, his rise to competitive prominance and swimming technique.
Duke's surfriding skills were also noted.

“Should Kahanamoku come to Sydney (he is claimed to be the world champion surf-shooter in Honolulu), he will surely astonish local surfers with is(sic, his) evolutions in the breakers.”

- Merman (W. F. C. Corbett): Wonderful Hawaiian - Duke Paoa Kahanamoku.
The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 30th October, 1912, page ?
This document was provided courtesy of Ray Moran at the Australian Surfing Museum and Manly LSC.

Image right:
The Hawaiian Swimmer
World record holder 100 metres,
Time 1 min. 2 3/5 secs.

The Daily Telegraph,
30th October, 1912, page ?

Unfortunately the invitation presented administative and logistical difficulties, and tour did not eventuate for another two years.

Duke's Olympic success had created a demand for demonstrations of his skills and in the following years he appeared at several events in America, on occassions demonstrating surfboard riding and setting a precedent for the events later organised in Sydney.
Following a swimming competition at the Los Angeles Athletic Club in July 1913:

"The great Hawaiian swimmer and six members of the Hawaiian team spent several hours in Long Beach yesterday.
They came upon the invitation of Pete Lenz.
They couldn't resist the surf and the Duke gave a thrilling exhibition of surfboard riding.
Thousands of people enjoyed watching him."

 - Unaccredited: Local Boy Races Champ.
Daily Telegram, 12 July 1913.

At the end of 1913, negotiations regarding an Australian tour by Kahanamoku were still being persued:

"Mr. W. W. Hill, secretary of the New South Wales Rugby Union, Australian Swimming Union, Olympic Fund Committee, and general all-round sporting enthusiast, returned to Sydney yesterday by the R.M.S. Niagara, after a brief visit to California."
Mr. Hill visited Honolulu, on his way home, to interview Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, the famous Hawaiian world's champion sprint swimmer, in regard to a visit to Australia.
Unfortunately, the "Duke" has some urgent private business to attend to.
When at Honolulu, Mr. Hill mastered the art of surf-board riding, and canoeing in front of the wave; which sport is made possible by the formation of the Waikiki Beach, which brings in a long easy roll.
'There are some fine swimmers at Honolulu besides Kahanamoku,' continued Mr. Hill, 'and the Hawaiian Athletic Union wants to send a team to Australia next season.
George Cunha is the best, and has swam 100 yards in 57 seconds.' "

- Unaccredited: Football in America - Mr. Hill Returns.
Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday 23 December 1913, page 4.

The next week, the Sydney Morning Herald published an extended article on Waikiki Beach and Kahanamoku's swimming acheivements, which although unaccredited, was probably by W. W. Hill.
It described board and canoe surfing in glowing terms:

"The experience is very pleasant; and, once the art is mastered, everything is forgotten in the keen enjoyment of the exercise."

After an account of the derivation of Duke's name, details of his current seven world swimming records, and a report of shark fishing, the author predicted the probable breaking of further records by Kahanamoku during his projected Australian tour due to the suitability of Sydney's Domain Baths and:

"He should easily acclimatise and the temperature of the water and surroundings generally, should be in the champion's favour when he visits us in December next."

- (W. W. Hill): The Home of the Board Surfer - An Australian's Impressions.
Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 31 December 1913, page 5.

It is likely that Hill's surfriding experiences at Waikiki and these newspaper articles, to some extent, contributed to an expectation that Duke would replicate his boardriding skills when he arrived in Australia.

To Australia, November-December 1914.
With arrangements formalised for a tour of Australia and New Zealand, Kahanamoku left Honolulu aboard RMS Ventura on the 30th November 1914, accompanied by 19 year old surfer/swimmer George Cunha and manager Francis Evans.

- Cecil Healey: Swimming.
The Referee, 2 December 1914, page 11.

George Cunha was possibly a member of the Outrigger Canoe Club and/or the Haui Nui Club, Waikiki.
Obliquely, one of the many surfing breaks at Waikiki is called Cuhna Surf.
Unfortunately, despite accompanying Kahanamoku on several American tours, a substantial competitve record, and significant swimming performances while in Australia, there are no Australian reports of his boardriding skills, although Cuhna did compete in an alarm reel race in the surf at the Cronulla carnival on the 7th February 1915.

- Unaccredited: Cronulla Surfing.
The St. George Call, 13 February 1915, page 5.

Before departing for New Zealand, there was a brief report that suggested Cuhna may have shaped surfboards in Australia:

"the Hawaiian party were to ... auction(ing) several surf boards made by themselves.”

- Unaccredited: Swimming - Kahanamoku v Longworth.
Sydney Morning Herald, 26 January 1915, page 10.

Retrospectively, New Zealand's Poverty Bay Herald recalled in December 1915 that at Lyall Bay both Cunha and Kahanamoku gave an "exhibition of the art of riding the surges".

- Unaccredited: Untitled.
Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLII, Issue 13875, 24 December 1915, page 2.

The role of George Cunha remains an untold story in the surfriding exhibitions of 1914-1915.

Francis Evans replaced Mr W.T. Rawlins, president of the Hawaiian Amateur Athletic Union, who was initially to lead the tour.

- Unaccredited: Kahanamoku and Party.
Sydney Morning Herald, 9 December 1914, page 6.

The arrival in was eagerly anticipated, Kahanamoku's 1912 Olympic rival and now a journalist for The Referee (Sydney's premier sporting newspaper), Cecil Healey, wrote:

"As the due date of his arrival (Monday next) draws nigh, so does the excited state of enthusiasts' feelings become more apparent."

- Cecil Healey: Kahanamoku, World's Swimmer Expected in Sydney Next Week.
The Referee, 9 December 1914, page 1.

Not only swimmwers, but local surfriders had reason to be excited about the Hawaiian's visit.
Aware of Kahanamoku's world wide fame as a surfboard rider, probably aware of Duke's surfboard riding exhibitions in California and possibly enhanced by the experience of W.W. Hill at Waikiki in 1913, while the Hawaiian visitors were in transit arrangements were already in motion to have Duke Kahanamoku perform similar feats while in Sydney.

"An arrangement is being completed by which opportunity will be given to surf patrons to view his work with the board on our ocean beaches."

- Unaccredited: Swimming - Kahanamoku's Visit.
Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 2 December 1914, page 6.

The New South Wales Amateur Swimming Association prepared advertising posters promoting his appearance at events on the 2nd, 6th and 9th January, 1915, which featured Duke Kahanamoku's surfing prowess and were variations on the surfriding image used on advertising for the Mid-Pacific Carnival at Honolulu in early 1914.
The original poster was based on a 1912 photograph by A. R. Gurrey Jr., see above.

Kampion: Stoked (1997) page 38.
 Credited to Bishop Museum

Thoms: Surfmovies (2000) page 22.

Arrival in Sydney, 14th December 1914.
A reception committee comprising James Taylor, E.S. Marks, W.W. Hill, C.D. Jones, and W.W. Scott was appointed to provide an official welcoming for the party.
As previously noted, Hill had met with Kahanamoku twelve months earlier in Honolulu.
A large number of officials, press and public were at the whalf when RMS Ventura docked in Sydney about 1 pm on 14th December 1914.
The party was transported to their accommodation at the Oxford Hotel, inspected facilities at the Domain Pool, and then attended an official reception at the Hotel Australia.

The day after the arrival of the Hawaiian competitors, the Sydney Morning Herald published profiles of Kahanamoku and Cunha, an account of the official welcome, and a projected itinerary.
At the Hotel Australia Duke made reference to the extended delay before he was able to visit Australia:

"Duke Kahanamoku said he had been looking forward to this visit for the last two or three years."

At this point, carnivals in Melbourne were not on the agenda:

"Victoria, on the score of expense, has declined a visit."

Following previous announcements (SMH, 2 December 1914, page 6) plans were in train to present surfriding exhibitions, but only after appearances at the swimming carnivals in Sydney and Brisbane.

"After the Sydney swimming carnival, the champion goes to Queensland, where he will appear at several towns.
Then he returns to Sydney, and will give a second display.
On this occasion the Swimming Union will probably in arrange for a surf display, when the champion will be seen on the surf-board.
Matters in this direction have not yet been finally arranged."

- Unaccredited: Kahanamoku - Champion Swimmer Arrives.
Sydney Morning Herald, 15 December 1914, page 4.

Cecil Healey reported on the official reception for The Referee.

"The tourists were officially welcomed at the Hotel Australia at 5 o'clock on Monday afternoon.
Followers of the sport congregated in great force.
It was the largest and most representative assembly of natatorial enthusiasts ever seen in Sydney.
The guests were recorded a magnificent reception, the hero of the occasion, Duke, of course, being specifically signalled out."

Healey specifically inquired about the prospect of surfboard riding demonstrations:

"Simultaneously, I exclaimed : 'Oh! Did you bring your surf board with you?', to which he replied:
'Why no, we were told the use of boards was not permitted in Australia.'
Evidently noticing the look of keen disappointment on my face, he quickly added:
'But I can easily make one here.'
This information, I am sure, both swimmers and surfers will be delighted to be acquainted with, as holding out prospects of the acquirement of the knack of manipulating them."

- Cecil Healey: The Duke Reaches Sydney.
The Referee, 16 December 1914, page 1.

The supposed ban on surfboard use was possibly communicated by Alexander Hume Ford, the founder of the Outrigger Canoe Club at Waikiki, who visited Australia in 1908 and apparently was given this impression.

"(At Manly) I wanted to try riding the waves on a surf-board, but it was forbidden."

- Alexander Hume Ford: Beach Culture in Sydney, Australia.
The Red Funnel, Dunedin, New Zealand.Volume VI, Number 5, June 1908, page 469.

Although often reported, there never was an outright  ban on using surfboards in Sydney, however there were government regulations restricting their use when considered dangerous to surf bathers.

-see Before Duke 1900 - 1914.

The fastest swimmer in the world, 
photographed at the Sydney domain Baths
two hours after his arrival in Sydney."
He secured second place in most of the 
Pacific Coast Championships, 
and can do 100yds in 57sec.
He is one of the Honolulu party now in Sydney."
- Unaccredited: Swimming Notes. The Referee, 16 December 1914, page 11.

Randwick and Coogee Gala, 16th December.
Two days after arriving, the touring party attended the  Randwick and Coogee Gala as guests, and were also scheduled to make a similar non-competitive appearance at the annual Sydney- Melbourne contest on Saturday, 19th December.

"They are members of the Hui Nalu Club, and the party will attend the Randwick and Coogee gala to-night, and the Sydney-Melbourne contest on Saturday."

- Unaccredited: Swimming- Kahanamoku's Arrival.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 16 December 1914, page 6.

Duke's Freshwater Surfboard, 20-21st December.
Duke Kahanamoku and 
Board Freshwater 
Sunday 10th January 1915.

Compare and contrast the nose template of this board 
with Duke's 1912 Waikiki board, above.

Image cropped from...
 i. Warshaw, page 31.
   ii. Thoms,  page 22.
      * Not the same photograph, but certainly taken within minutes of each other.
 i. Longboard Magazine April/May 1996 page 74
   ii. Warshaw, page 18.
  iii. Kampion, page 40.

Sometime during this week, with no competitive duties, Duke Kahanamoku was acquainted with Australian surfing enthusiasts at Manly and Freshwater Beaches.

He was accommodated at Boomerang Camp, Freshwater, were he could experience Australian beaches and hopefully exhibit his renowned surfing skill.

By this time body surfing had become common on Australian beaches, actively promoted by the Surf Life Saving movement, and although boards were being used in the surf there was some doubt that Duke would be able to replicate his Hawaiian performance in local conditions.

Whereas in ancient Polynesia the surfriding elite were largely members of the royal class who, presumably, rode surfboards built by artisan canoe builders; in the twentieth century, in a tradition beginning with Duke Kahanamoku, elite riders were at the forefront of board design and construction.

- Finney and Houston: Surfing (1996) pages ?

A surfboard billet in sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana) was hastily prepared, which may have had the template cut before Duke, “proving himself a fine craftsman”, prepared the rail and bottom shape, according to one report with a concave section in the bottom.

- Maxwell: Surf (1949) page 236.

This appears to be confirmed by Reg Harris:

“A timber firm, George Hudson’s, donated a piece of sugar pine 9 ft long, 2 ft wide and 3" thick.
The firm did the rough cutting to Duke’s instructions then he finished off the finer designing of the bottom of the board, to give it lift on a wave.”

- Harris: Manly LSC (1961) page 54.

After shaping, the board finished at 8 foot 8 inches long and 23 inches wide.

- These dimensions personally measured at the Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club, 2005.
The Daily Telegraph, Friday 25 December 1914 , page 7 reported:  “8ft. in length, 3ft. in width”.
In Nat Young's Book of Surfing (1979) and his Surfing Fundamentals (1985) the dimensions are noted as 3.6 m x 61 cm x 7.5 cm x 31 kg (11 ft 10" x 24" x 3" x 68.3 lbs.).
This is possibly a typographical error (twice?) as 2.6 m is close to the correct 8 ft 8".

For a full colour image of the board, see Phil Abraham: Hidden Valley
Longboarding Magazine, Edition 18, November - December 2001, page 35.
Photographs by  Nathan Smith.

Given the technology of the day, presumably, after cutting the template with a hand saw the board was rough shaped with an adze and a draw knife then finished with various grades of sandpaper.
It is also to be expected that several coats of a natural oil and/or marine varnish were added to the board to prevent the timber from becoming waterlogged.

- see Snow McAlister: Sprint Walker, Solid Wood Boards and Victorian Surfing.
Tracks magazine, Sydney, circa 1972.
Reprinted in The Best of Tracks, 1973, page 191.

Sugar pine was not the preferred timber for Hawaiian board building.

“The board used by Kahanamoku weighed 78lb, and was sugar pine.
He would have preferred redwood, but a properly seasoned piece of that particular timber, sufficiently long, could not be procured in Sydney.
The necessary shape is almost that of a coffin lid, with one end cut to very nearly a point.
The surf riding board is thicker at the bottom than at the top, tapering all the way.”

- W. F. Corbett: Wonderful Surfriding- Kahanamoku on the Board.
The Sun, 24th December 1914, Page 6.
Note there is considerable variation in the reported dimensions, for example the surfboard weight in this and the subequent reports.

In interviews with the press, Duke made it clear that light-weight was a critical feature that improved surfboard performance:

“Then too, Kahanamoku was at disadvantage with the board.
It weighted almost 100lb, whereas the board he uses as a rule weighs less than 25lb.”

- Unaccredited: Surf-Board Riding : Kahanamokus's Display.
Sydney Morning Herald, 25 December 1914, page 7.

The board appears in several photographs taken during the tour and the template is, compared with all the other boards associated with Kahanamoku, unusual.
Specifically, the narrow nose template is uncharacteristic of most boards produced after the tour despite the reported influence of Kahanamoku’s design:

“Sid 'Splinter' Chapman (at Coolangatta, Queensland) could still recall the dimensions sixty years later ‘because the design that the Duke used was the best.’ “

- Harvey: Surfing History of Queensland (1983) page 8.

The template is certainly different to the “surf shooting board” shaped by Oswald Downing of Manly in 1917, currently on display at the SLSA headquarters at Bondi Beach.

- see Catalogue #175

Downing, a trainee architect, may have also been responsible for drawing up plans for the solid wood board printed and widely distributed by the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia.

- SLSAA: Handbook (1932) page 169.

One reasonable explanation for this variation is that the template of the Freshwater board was not strictly Duke’s design, but was incorporated into this first effort by the tradesmen at Hudson’s.

While the board has immense historical significance, it is likely that other boards subsequently shaped in Australia by Duke were the actual models upon which local builders based their designs.
Following personal instruction by Duke Kahanamoku in surfboard riding at Freshwater, Fred Williams and Harry Hay commented :

"we've already ordered a board each … and we are going to master that game beyond any other."

- W. Corbett: Kahanamoku in the Surf.
The Sun, 12 January 1915, page 7.

There is an implication that these boards are to be ordered directly from Kahanamoku.
A report in the Sydney Morning Herald implies there were several boards built during January and may have included one shaped by Duke’s companion, George Cunha, although this is the only currently known reference to his association with surfboard riding during the tour.

“The executive had practically arranged another method of raising a sum for patriotic purposes for Friday 19th (February, 1915), at which the Hawaiian party were to be made the means of adding to the price of admission by auctioning several surf boards made by themselves.”

- Unaccredited: Swimming - Kahanamoku v Longworth.
Sydney Morning Herald, 26 January 1915, page 10.

Presumably, there were vigorous attempts to secure seasoned redwood billets of suitable dimensions to build these later boards, one of which made its way to Cronulla, the property of ex-Manly surf-shooter, Ron “Prawn” Bowden.

"The Duke's board later became the property of noted club member, Ron "Prawn" Bowden, who sold it to Fred Locke, who in turn, signed it over to the inimitable Jack McTigue."

- W.G. Marshall: The Cronulla SLSC Story, Part 2.
Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club: Cronulla Surf Scene
Volume 1 Number 2 January, 1968, page 7.

It is posssible that the board ridden by Kahanamoku at Cronulla, 7th February 1915, was not the Freshwater board, but another shaped from redwood for the occassion.

In 2008, a possible second board, the template substantially different to the Freshwater board, was unearthed:

"Found in Australia at the Hordern estate, the board pictured here is perhaps one of the most astonishing surfing relics to ever surface.
This solid ten foot wood board was presented by Duke Kahanamoku in 1915 to Alfred Roy Hordern as a gift of Aloha in appreciation for his family's hospitality during a visit to Australia."

- US Online Surf Auction 2008, item description and images subsequently printed in:
Winniman: Vintage Surfboards (2008), pages 10 and 11.

While Alfred Roy Horden was noted for his "exuberance and recklessness", there is no record of his surfriding exploits in the family's authorised history and it is reported that he enlisted in the army in September 1914, several months before Duke arrived in Australia.

- Lesley Horden: Children of One Family.
The Sory of Anthony and Ann Hordern and their descendants in Australia 1825-1925.
Retford Press, Sydney, 1985, pages 219 and 334.

If the board was not gifted, as claimed, certainly the Horden family were financially capable of paying the high price these boards no doubt fetched.
However, their connection with surfriding at Palm Beach is not established until 1921 and at this time they had the facilities to have surfboards constructed by in-house cabinet makers such as Buster Quinn.

- Brawley: Palm Beach SLSC (1996) pages 12-13.
- Brawley: Collaroy SLSC (1995)  page 48.

Ideally, this board’s provenience awaits further documentation.

It is possible that Duke the test rode his sugar pine board during the week before the first exhibition at Freshwater.

The Freshwater board was later handed over to George and Monty Walker of Manly who:

“because of the fine work Claude West had done in popularising surfboard riding, eventually gave it to Claude West, and he still has it, a prized possession.”

- Curlewis, Adrian: Notes on surfboard riding prepared by S.L.S.A., circa 1948, page 2.
Papers pertaining to C. Bede Maxwell’s Surf: Australians Against the Sea, 1949.
Mitchell Library, Sydney, ML MSS 196.

Claude West, a youth of 15 at the time of Kahanamoku’s visit, became the leading local surfboard rider.
Originally a member of Freshwater SLSC, he later moved to the Manly club.
He dominated SLSA surfboard events until 1924-1925, when West’s mantle as the premier performer passed
on to another Manly club member, “Snowy” McAlister.
Claude West donated the board to the Freshwater SLSC in 1953 where it remains to this day.

Alf Henderson: Boards.
in Myers: Freshwater LSC (1983) page 56.

The Non-Exhibition, Wednesday 23rd December 1914.
On 22nd December the following notice appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald:

"The New South Wales Swimming Association has arranged for a display by Duke Paoa Kahanamoku at Freshwater on Wednesday morning, at 11 o'clock.
The famous swimmer will give an exhibition of breaker shooting and board shooting."

- Unaccredited: Swimming - Surf Display by Kahanamoku.
Sydney Morning Herald, 22 December 1914, page 12.

Clearly the swimming officials were aware of the construction of the Freshwater board and its (probable) test riding in the previous week for such an announcement to be made.

While the NSW Swimming Association arranged this exhibition to promote the upcoming swimming carnivals on the back of the Duke surfriding image used in their promotional material (see above), it was intended to be a private demonstration for the local press, and not a public performance.
Since they had Duke Kahanamoku under exclusive contract and were promoting his first public appearance as 2nd January at the Domain Municipal Baths,  the press announcement was considered regrettable and the event was cancelled.
Duke and his board did not make an appearance, much to the disappointment the sizable crowd.
In that afternoon's The Sun, W.F. Corbett reported:

"The swimming authorities have heard that through the publication of a paragraph yesterday to the effect that Kahanamoku would give an exhibition in the surf at Freshwater, Manly, some 2000 or 3000 people who assembled there to watch the show were disappolnted.
The famous Hawaiian did not put in an appearance, and he was not expected to do-so by those controlling his visit to this country.
The association wishes it to be made known that the "Duke's" first appearance in public will take place on the opening day (January 2) of the championship carnival at the Municlpal Baths, Domain.
The announcement of any other arrangement with Kahanamoku as the central flgure has not that body's authority."

- W.F. Corbett: Fast Swimming - Kahanamoku Did Not Show.
The Sun, December 23, 1914, page 5.

Writing a week later Cecil Healy confirmed that the exhibition was only intended as a private demonstration and the public announcement that attracted a large crowd caused the event to be postponed.

"Representatives of the Press were invited to witness a private exhibition of surf-board riding by Kahanamoku at Freshwater on Thursday.
It was to have been the previous day, but the intention accidentally became public property, and as several thousand people were attracted to the vicinity, Association officials decided to postpone it."

- Cecil Healey: Swimming ... Kahanamoku and Surf Board.
The Referee, 30 December 1914, page 16.

The First Freshwater Exhibition, Thursday 24th December 1914.
Following the debacle of the non-demonstration on Wednesday, the event was  re-scheduled for the following day, Thursday 24th December.
However this was not widely publicised and as originally intended, was for the benefit of members of the press.
Since it was not promoted as a public demonstration and did not infringe on the exclusivity rights of the NSW Amateur Swimming Association it severed to mitigate any ill-feelings between the swimming authorities and press.
While it was a resounding success for the vested interests, those members of the public who had made the effort to attend on the Wednesday may have felt some displeasure when it was subsequently reported in the Sydney newspapers..

The Sun, published that afternoon, was first with the story, the introductory comments less than subtlety referring to the confusion created by the contractual difficulties:

"One could hear , in the imagination the roars of applause with which thousands of Australians might have greeted Kahanamoku 's display at Freshwater, Manly, this morning , had the fact that it was to take place been made public.
As it was there were only a few pressmen, some members of the New South Wales Amateur Swimming Association, and the casual Freshwater bathers present."

- W.F. Corbett: Wonderful Surfriding- Kahanamoku on the Board.
The Sun, Thursday 24th December 1914 page 6.

After describing the board, see above, Corbett noted that Duke's surfboard paddling speed cleary out-performed experienced swimmers:

"Kahanamoku's control of the improvisation was wonderful, he handled it like a toy and went out  fully a quarter of a mile, riding some breakers and dashing through others with such speed that he completely mystified Messers. W. W. Hill and Hoy (sic), who entered the water with him.
Not at any time in the race seaward did either of the swimmers hold the islander for a moment, and he soon away by himself."

- W.F. Corbett: Wonderful Surfriding- Kahanamoku on the Board.
The Sun, Thursday 24th December 1914 page 6.

"Hoy" is undoubtedly a printing error and refers to Harry Hay who would have a long term relationship with Kahanamoku.
Despite less than ideal conditions and an unfamiliar board, the exhibition was impressive:

"(He) ... caught the breaker he wanted , and paddling along for a while rose to one knee first, then became gradually erect and reached the crest to shoot foreword with astonishing speed and marvellous balance considering the troubled condition of the motive power.

When the force beneath him was spent, he plunged into the sea, and picking up his board went off to try again.
Always was the nose of the raft, if it might be so called, kept tilted upwards, whether while shooting or forced against the breakers.
When the surf rider found his board hanging he stooped and paddled till it darted forward once more.
Twice he managed to traverse 100 yards or more, and several times 20 or 30 yards were covered.
As showing how much second nature it was to him, Kahanamoku stood on his head a couple of times, and even turned his back to the direction in which he was going, and posed.
Lying flat on the board, the Hawaiian caused it to describe a half-circle or turn completely round without spoiling the shoot."

- W.F. Corbett: Wonderful Surfriding- Kahanamoku on the Board.
The Sun, Thursday 24th December 1914 page 6.

The next day similar enthusiastic articles appeared in the morning papers.
While The Telegraph article was brief, it was accompanied by a photograph of Duke cutting left on a substantially sized wave in what is clearly less than ideal conditions.
The report doubled the length of the longest ride and noted that several local surfers attempted to ride the board.

"On one occassion, however, Kahanamoku negotiated fully 200 yards before he turned.
He also performed some acrobatics, and once stood on his head on the board.
Several enthusiastic surfers amoungst the spectactors endeavored to emulate the feats of the Hawaiian, but mostly the board either shot from under them or turned over."

- Unaccredited: Acrobatics in the Surf.
Daily Telegraph, Friday 25th December 1914 page 7. Image below.

The article in the Sydney Morning Herald largely summarised that of the previous day's Sun, although it was slightly more detailed in describing the "spinning" manourve:

"On a couple of occassions he managed to shoot fully 100 yards and then he cleverly demonstrated what could be done.
He turned completely round, then lying flat on the board, he raised himself on his hands and swung the board from front to back and back to front, finally again standing straight up."

- Unaccredited: Surf-board Riding : Kahanamoku's Display.
Sydney Morning Herald, Friday 25th December 1914 page 7.

Importantly, the report held out the prospect of future public exhibitions:

"If the condition of the water is favourable when Kahanamoku makes his public appearance in
surfboard riding in Sydney it is sure to be keenly appreciated."

- Unaccredited: Surf-board Riding : Kahanamoku's Display.
Sydney Morning Herald, Friday 25th December 1914 page 7.

Six days after the Freshwater demonstration, another article appeared in the Referee (which was published weekly) but unfortunanely the Kahamamoku's Olympic rival and journalist, Cecil Healy, was not in attendence and his report is largely based on the previous accounts.
However it appears that he did discuss the exhibition with several spectators:

"A number of our leading surfers were spectators of the display, and from what I can gather the general impression amoungst them was that he did wonderfully well under the circumstances, but they feel sure it merely amounted to an indication of what he is capable of doing under more favorable conditions.
They have no doubt that when he has the opportunity to adapt himself to the vagaries of our surf, and strikes a suitable day, he will be able to do things of a really sensational nature."

- Cecil Healy: Swimming ... Kahanamoku and Surf Board.
The Referee, 30 December 1914, page 16.

In the many published accounts of the Freshwater exhibitions the correct dates have eluded most (all?) commentators, many adopting a flexible "summer of 1915".
In his excellent Surfmovies (2000) page 22, Albie Thoms came close by nominating "11.00 am Wednesday 23" for the first private exhibition, unfortunately based on the Sydney Morning Herald announcement for what proved to be the cancelled event.

Manly Baths, Friday 25th December 1914.
- Reference?29

Swimming Demonstration, Schoolboy's Carnival, Domain Baths, 28 December 1914?

- SMH, 23 December 1914 p ?,
- Daily Telegraph, 29  December 1914, p 3

Domain Carnivals, Saturday 2nd and 6th January 1915.
On the back of the widespead publicity generated by the Freshwater surfboard riding exhibition, the NSW Amateur Swimming Association continued to use Duke's surfing to promote their swimming events.

New South Wales Amateur Swimming Association: 
State Championship Carnivals.
First Appearance in Australia of the Olympic Champion
Duke Paoa Kahanamoku.
Municipal Baths, Domain, Sydney, 
January 1915.
Official Souvenir and Programme. Price 3d.
Caxton Print, Phone City 1419.

The swimming carnivals were an outstanding success, with the venue filled to capacity.

The Sun, 3 January 1915, page 5.

Despite Kahanamoku being defeated by Tommy Adrian in the 440 yards at the first carnival, on the 6th January his win in the 100 yards sprint was outstanding, creating a new world record of 53 4/5 seconds.

- The Referee, 6 January 1915, page 16.

The record was reported world wide, including an article in the New York Times.

- New York Times, 14 February 1915, Sports Section, page S3.

At the formal dinner following the Domain Carnival the Hawaiian swimmers made a strong impression, Duke honouring the occasion with a song accompanied with ukelele:

"The visitors were not such accomplished speakers as swimmers, though it is possible that Messrs. Kahanamoku and Cunha are gifted enough when they speak in the native tongue, for no one present was able to interpret the compliments they gave voice to with wreaths of smiles.
The Duke and his comrades introduced a novelty by substituting for the speech a song, with the Duke playing the accompaniment on his mandolin.
Though all present did not hear this clearly, it was a remarkably popular innovation and led to an encore."

-The Cynic: A Few Remarks on Swimming.
The Referee,13 January 1915, page 15.

Interview with W. F. Corbett, Thursday 7th January 1915.
Following his world record performance, Duke had an extended interview with W.F. Corbett, which was printed the next day in The Sun.
He indicated the ancient tradition of surfriding:

" 'Surf shooting is a new pastime here,' said he.
'With us it is old - as old as the hills, perhaps.
Shooting on a board and in a canoe must have started further back than body shooting."

He observed the great popularity of surf shooting in Australia, although noting the superiority of the skills of Hawaiians:

"You have hundreds more surf shooters at work in one day around Sydney than we see in a week, or perhaps a much longer stretch of time, at Honolulu, but I think the old island has the pastime at greater perfection, which is only to be expected considering its antiquity with us."

Duke was enthusiastic and technically astute about the thrills of surfriding, commenting on outrigger canoe and board surfing:

"(At Waikiki) the facscinating sports of surf-canoeing and surf-board riding are indulged in by man, woman, and child, who insist that they have the most exhiarating and fascinating pastime known.
The canoe is cunningly turned  before a breaker near the edge of the reef till it is picked up like a feather on the inclined plane of the front of the  wave, and borne with remarkable  speed - frequently  right to shore.
The  board is worked on the same principle, but its control calls for much greater skill."

and modest when assessing his own ability:

"There are numbers of high class surf-shooters in Honolulu, and some white people amoung them, but, as with every other game, a few can do better than the great majority.
It was with the few I delighted to be."

The interview concluded with a discussion of Duke's ear problems, which required the use of ear plugs and occasionally medical attention, however:

"Before starting for the 100 yards championship of New South Wales last Sunday afternoon     Kahanamoku  could only plug one ear.
It would not have paid to be deaf  to the starter's signals."

- W.F. Corbett: Kahanamoku Talks.
The Sun, Friday 8th January 1915 page 6.

Freshwater and Manly Exhibitions, Sunday 10th January 1915.
With the completion of two highly successful swimming carnivals, Duke was again in residence at Freshwater and on Sunday 10th January gave two exhibitions comprising both surfboard riding and body surfing.
In the morning he appeared at Freshwater and in the afternoon at South Steyne, Manly.

"Kahanamoku, the Hawaiian swimmer visited Freshwater yesterday morning, where he gave some fine displays of surf-shooting.
In the afternoon be treated the thousands of spectators on the South Steyne Beach to a highly interesting and clever exhibition of board and ordinary surf-shooting."

- Unaccredited: Kahanamoku in the Surf.
The Sun, 11th January 1915, page 6.

 Duke Kahanamoku (centre) and crowd 
Freshwater Clubhouse, 
Sunday 10th January 1915.

S. Mound, club captain with F insignia
standing next to Duke.

   Myers: Freshwater LSC (1983) page 17.

Given the generally smoother surf conditions of morning, the Freshwater exhibition was spectacular with Duke expressing some satisfaction with his performance.

"The Hawaiian spent the morning at Freshwater, where he had a favorable easterly roll, and what he did there in the way of board and surf shooting surprised every spectator.
He, as he put it himself, 'got it right' several times, and consequently was, on each occasion, seen at his best."

- W.F. Corbett: Kahanamoku in the Surf.
The Sun, 12th January 1915, page 7.

As well as body and board surfing, Duke gave instruction to two noted surf swimmers, Fred Williams, who had learnt his surf-shooting skills from Manly's Tommy Tana, and Harry Hay, who was also present at the previous Freshwater exhibition.

"Messrs. Fred Williams, our champion surf shooter, and H. M. Hay, the speedy Manly swimmer, who 'did fifty-nine' in his heat of the inter-club handicap on the first day of the recent carnival, were invited by Kahanamoku to 'get aboard' with him, and they speak of the experience as thrilling.
'Now stand up!' ordered the controller of the frail craft when the proper moment arrived, and then - 'well we've already ordered a board each,' said the pair of enthusiasts yesterday, while talking of what occurred, 'and we are going to master that game beyond any other.'
Kahanamoku is not anxious to keep his secret to himself.
He went to considerable trouble explaining the how and why of his pet pastime, and it will not be his fault if we do not have Fred Williams instructlng all desirous of learning the mysteries of this new to us surf play, as he taught so many the art of body shooting.

- W.F. Corbett: Kahanamoku in the Surf.
The Sun, 12th January 1915, page 7.

 Duke Kahanamoku apres surf, with 
Fred Williams, first local bodysurfer (moustache),
Harry Hay, Olympic swimmer (to his right).
Don McIntyre, far left.
'Boomerang' camp, Freshwater Beach,
Sunday 10th January 1915. 

Note swimsuit drying on rail, left. 
Margan and Finney: Pictorial History (1970) page 112.

Duke Kahanamoku
Harry Hay, Olympic swimmer, to his left.
Don McIntyre, far left.
Boomerang  Camp, Freshwater, 
Sunday 10th January 1915.

Longhurst: Lifesaver (2000) page 16.
(Accredited as Cronulla).

The crowd of onlookers was apparently much larger for the afternoon exhibition at South Steyne, although Corbett noted that the conditions were not as suitable:

"The change in the afternoon to go to South Steyne did not suit board-work so well, and the performer was consequently not seen to the same advantage  as in the morning, still he gave an exhibition which apparently delighted the great crowd looking on."

- W.F. Corbett: Kahanamoku in the Surf.
The Sun, 12th January 1915, page 7.

Futhermore, the display was mared by the appearance of a number of local surfers, most probably surfboard riders, eager to share some of the public recognition.

"The breakers were favorable for the pastime, and the Honolulu champion made some magnificent returns to the shore standing on his big surfboard.
He was however, greatly impeded on this occasion by local surfers, who wished to give exhibitions of their own at the same time.
Nevertheless, his performance was a revelation to the big crowd in the vicinity."

- Unaccredited: Kahanamoku in the Surf.
The Sun, 11th January 1915, page 6.

Given the earlier contractual confusion in respect of the Swimming Association, the status of this day's events is unclear.
While well attended and extensively covered by the press, they do not appear to have been promoted in the Sydney press, although there may have been some notice in the local papers.
(Unfortunately copies of The Manly Daily are not available for this period.)
Critically, it is unknown if the Freshwater and Manly clubs, who no doubt played a significant role in organising the exhibitions, charged a fee to the spectators for what the Swimming officials would consider a "public performance", as was the case at the Dee Why and Cronulla carnivals in early February.
For these appearances and Kahanamoku and Cunha's attendence at interstate swimming competitions the Swimming Association extracted a payment of £25.

"During the Queensland, Melbourne and New Zealand visits the New South Wales Association is to receive £25 for each show taklng place."

- W.F. Corbett: Kahanamoku in the Surf.
The Sun, 12th January 1915, page 7.

As the Dee Why carnival was described as the "first public appearance in the surf", it is possible that the exhibitions at Freshwater and Manly resulted from a combination of the enthusiasm of Duke and the local life saving clubs, and a desire by swimming officals to mitigate any residual public ill-feeling following the cancellation of the display of the 23rd December 1914.

- Announcement of the upcoming Dee Why Exhibition.
Unaccredited: Swimming - Kahanamoku's Return.
Sydney Morning Herald, 3rd February 1915, page 3.

Duke Kahanamoku carrying board in the traditional
 solid wood manner, January 1915.
 Myers: Freshwater LSC (1983) page 17.
Duke Kahanamoku sliding left, 
Freshwater Beach, January 1915.
 Myers: Freshwater LSC (1983) page 17.

Reg  Harris, Manly LSC (1961) page 66, and Nat Young, The History of Surfing (1983) page 47, record the date as "15 January 1915".
This is not possible, on the 15th January the Hawaiian party was already in Brisbane preparing for a series of Queensland swimming carnivals.

"Duke Kahanamoku, the celebrated swimmer from the Hawaiian Islands, and his swimming companion, George Cunha, and the manager of the tour arrived in Brisbane last night by the Sydney mail train."

- Unaccredited: Swimming - Duke Kahanamoku - Arrival in Brisbane.
The Brisbane Courier, Friday 15 January 1915, page 3.

The original board at the Freshwater Surf Lifesaving Club bears a plaque noting the date as "February

One of the earliest published retrospective accounts of the Freshwater exhibition on the 10th January was by C. Bede Maxwell in 1949.
Her account of the offered assistance by the crew of the Manly surfboat has often been repeated, however there is no confirmation in any of the contemporary newspaper accounts and must be considered likely to be an embellishment.

"... one Sunday morning, he was ready.
A crowd came down to the beach and sighed to see that, with its usual perversity, the sea was big.
Manly surfboat was making heavy weather of the trip around by way of Queenscliff.

'But why do we have the boat?' asked Kahanamoku curiously.
When officials told him the boat was to tow his board out for him the Hawaiian threw back his handsome head and roared with laughter!
He picked up his new board, ran with it down the beach, slapped it down on a wave and made his way out through the break."

- Maxwell: Surf (1949) page 236.

Maxwell's account also included tandem riding, the un-named companion likely to have been Isabel Letham.

"Lastly he picked up a local girl to bring her in before him, tandem, to the shore.
That, too, was something which had dismayed the orthodox when he had been the first at Waikiki to venture it; the feat involved the violation of the old taboo which denied boards and canoes to women."

- Maxwell: Surf (1949) page 237.

Similarly, this is not confirmed by contemporary newspaper accounts of either of the two Freshwater exhibitions or the one at South Steyne.
While Letham did ride tandem with Duke in 1915, the only newspaper record of a public performance is at the Dee Why Carnival, a month later on 6 February 1915.

- Unaccredited: Dee Why Carnival.
Sydney Morning Herald, 8th February 1915, page 13.

However it is highly probable that Duke and Isabel did, at the least, practice their tandem technique at Freshwater before venturing to make a formal public appearance.
This is implied in one announcement for the upcoming Dee Why Exhibition:

"Another achievement, so far alone mastered by him, is to take a passenger on the board with him."

Unaccredited: Swimming - Kahanamoku's Return.
Sydney Morning Herald, 3rd February 1915, page 3.

Also note that Maxwell's comment that  "the feat involved the violation of the old taboo which denied boards and canoes to women" is strictly incorrect.
Polynesian women were noted for their swimming and surfing abilities.
Furthermore, Hawaiian legends suggest that a male and a female sharing a wave may have been considered a preliminary to courtship.

***This section needs to be cross checked with ...
Letham, Isabel: Making Waves : Isabel Letham 1899 - 1995 (1996)
-can not find my copy of this at present.
(Marion Stell  gives the same date Isabel Letham when recalling her tandem riding with Duke Kahanamoku in an interview with  circa 1991.
records the  date as ' 6 February 1915'  after interviews with Isobel Lathem.
- Stell: Pam Burridge (1992) page 7.) ????
- Certainly Duke Kahanamoku and Isobel Lathem surfed together on this day, but at Dee Why and not for the
first time.)

This was not Letham's first public appearance in front of a large number of spectators.
Twelve months earlier at the first annual Dee Why Carnival, before crowd of 3000, she competed in a ladies surf race that ended with a touch of drama, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald:

"Only two competitors- Miss Leatham and Miss Abrahams- started in the ladies surf race.
The latter however gave up before the shore was reached, and had to be rescued."

- Unaccredited: Dee Why Carnival.
Sydney Morning Herald, 16 February 1914, page 13.

According to the Manly Daily, Abrahams considered her "rescue" unneccessary:

"She afterwards denied that she had required the services of a life saver, stating that, having obtained a bad start, she was leisurely swimming ashore, and was rather annoyed at the attentions paid her by the life savers."

- S.&G. Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) page 197.
Citing Manly Daily cuttings February 1914 in the Dee Why LS&S Club minute book.

Maxwell largely "confirmed" Claude West's position as the first Australian expert surfboard rider:

"At camp 'Boomerang', ... Kahanamoku met enthusiastic youngster Claude West.
West was to become the Hawaiian's star pupil.
He learned how to balance his board in deep water and to develop skill in paddling, so necessary because a surfboard, like a surfboat, must take a wave at speed if it is to survive.
By the time the kindly, generous instructor had left Australia, Claude West had become the most proficient surf-rider on the coast.
Annexing the Australian championship in the same year, 1915, he successfully defended this until 1925, contemporaries swearing that surely young West had suckers on his feet."

- Maxwell: Surf (1949) page 237.

In 1915, there was no national surfboard riding championships, indeed any events in this period were best described as demonstration or display events.
The earliest confirmed contest success by Claude West was substantially later- at the North Steyne Surfbathers Lifesaving Club carnival on Saturday 6 December 1919, he won the surfboard display competition with S. Dowling, also from Manly, in second place.

- Unaccredited: North Steyne Carnival.
Sydney Morning Herald, 8 December 1919, page 8.

Despite numerous references to the surfboard riding exploits of several of those associated with the Kahanamoku exhibitions in the Sydney magazine The Surf (1917-1918), Claude West is not mentioned.

Click for detailed
                analysis - there are eight surfcraft in this photo.
Duke Kahanamoku leaving the water Freshwater Beach,
Possibly  10th January 1915.

Click image for detailed analysis.

i. Young:History (1983) page 47 
Accredited : 15 January 1915. 
Snow McAlister.

ii. Hall and Ambrose: Memories of Duke (1995) page 40.
Accredited : Courtesy Heather Rose.

The Queensland Carnivals
The Hawaiian tourists left Sydney on the 11th January to travel north by train to commence a series of swimming carnivals in Queensland.

"A change was made in the Australian itinerary arranged for Kahanamoku who is now well on his way to delight Queensland folk.
He left by the Brisbane express yesterday afternoon to fufill eight engagements, which include shows at Allora and Rockhampton."

- W.F. Corbett: Kahanamoku in the Surf.
The Sun, 12th January 1915, page 7.

Three days later, the journey presumably broken with an appearance at Allora, the party arrived in Bisbane on the 14th January.

"Duke Kahanamoku, the celebrated swimmer from the Hawaiian Islands, and his swimming companion, George Cunha, and the manager of the tour arrived in Brisbane last night by the Sydney mail train."

- Unaccredited: Swimming - Duke Kahanamoku - Arrival in Brisbane.
Brisbane Courier, Friday 15 January 1915, page 3.

The tour extended the length of the state, beginning with three carnivals in Brisbane.
Brisbane First Carnival, Saturday 16 January 1915.
- SMH 18 January 1915 page 5.

Between the carnivals, an excursion by boat was arranged for the visitors where:

"On reaching the destination a large number enjoyed a delightful swim, which was enlivened by the use of a polo ball.
The remainder enjoyed themselves with a football on the flat.
The "Duke" preferred the latter pastime, at which he is no mean adept."

- Unaccredited: Swimming - River Trip to Kahanamoku.
Brisbane Courier, Tuesday 19 January 1915, page 3.

Brisbane Second Carnival, Wednesday 20 January 1915.

"The second of the Kahanamoku carnivals will be held in the Dock, South Bribane, to-morrow evening.

- Brisbane Courier, Tuesday 19 January 1915 page 7.

Brisbane Third Carnival, Saturday 23 January 1915.

"Owing to the dock not being available the third and last of the Kahanamoku carnivals this will be held in the South Brisbane Baths this afternoon, commencing at 2.30"

- Brisbane Courier, Saturday 23 January 1915, page 6.

Rockhampton, Thursday 29 January 1915.

"A successful swimming carnival was concluded to-night, Duke Kahanamoku, George Cunha, Eric Pearce, and Sewell participating."
- Unaccredited: Hawaiians at Rockhampton.
Brisbane Courier, Friday 29 January 1915 page 6

Mount Morgan

The party returned by train to Brisbane on Wednesday 3 February and the following day embarked on a coastal steamer for Sydney.

"The members of the Hawaiian party, Duke Kahanamoku, George Cunha, and Francis Evans (manager) - arrived by yesterday's mail train from Mt. Morgan and  Rockhampton, and spoke appreciately of the treatment given them.
They continued their journey south by the Osterley, which left the New Farm Whalf at 11 o'clock yesterday."

-Unaccredited: Swimming - Depature of Kahanamoku.
The Brisbane Courier, Thursday 4 February 1915 page 3.

While there some unaccounted days in the itinerary during the ten day stay in Brisbane, there does not appear to be any indication that Kahanamoku travelled to the coast to experience the Queensland surf.

Return to Sydney from Brisbane, 5th February 1915.

"Messrs. D. P. Kahanamoku, George Cunha, and Francis Evans, the Hawaiian Swimming Team, who have been touring Queensland, returned to Sydney yesterday morning by the Osterley."

- Unaccredited: Swimming - Kahanamoku returns.
Sydney Morning Herald, 6th February 1915, page 18.

While Duke Kahanamoku was touring Queensland, his boardriding exploits in Sydney continued to have an influence, sometimes not without controversy.

"Despite the continual outcry against surf-boards, the dangerous aids to shooters are still being used, and one last night at Coogee hit Mrs. Martha Green, aged 60, with such force that she is now in Prince Alfred Hospital with her right leg  broken in two places."

- Unaccredited: Surf Board Injury.
The Sun, 24 January 1915, page  4.

"Last night Alderman Railton drew the Manly Council's attention to the dangers resulting from the careless use of surf boards at South Steyne."

- Unaccredited: Dangerous Surf Boards.
The Sun, 29 January 1915 page  2.

Meanwhile, Duke's swimming feats while in Australia were noted by the international press:

"A new mark for the 100 yard swim has been set by Duke Kahanamoku, the Honolulu champion, according to word received here today from Sydney, N.S.W."

- Unaccredited: New Swim Record.
New York Times, January 26, 1915, Tuesday, page 9.

The Dee Why Carnival, 6 February 1915.
Surf Carnivals were already established as fund raising events for the Surf Life Saving movement and the Duke's appearance at Dee Why, which attracted a huge crowd, included the standard fee of £25 paid to the NSW Swimming Association.

"Dee Why Club ... spent a lot of money to engage Duke Kahanamoku ... proving such an attraction to the paying public that in the thirty years afterwards the club did not succeed in matching that day's takings."

 - Maxwell: Surf (1949) page 207.

An announcement of the upcoming exhibition noted that it would include a tandem surfing display,  with Isabel Letham.

"The champion sprinter and surf-board exponent will make hls first public appearance In the surf at the Dee Why Club's carnival, and if the waves be at all suitable, his exhibitlon of board-rldlng in various attitudes should be worth witnessing.
Kahanamoku stands upright on the board, and is also at home standing on his head  and balanclng in various positlons as the board shoots towards the shore.
Another achievement, so far alone mastered by him, is to take a passenger on the board with him."

- Unaccredited: Swimming - Carnival Activity.
Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 3rd February 1915, page 3.

The Dee Why carnival was covered by all the Sydney papers.
The Daily Telegraph rported on Duke's skills, including tandem riding.
It also estimated the size of the crowd of spectators and the length of the demonstrations, but apparently over-estimated the length of the board.

"Duke Kahanmoku treated something like 4000 persons to a fine exhibition of surf board shooting at Deewhy on Saturday afternoon.
Taking a board something like 10 feet in length, the champion swimmer made out towards the open sea.
When "the Duke" stood up the sight was grand.
Later Kahanamoku came in standing on his head, and at another time carried a lady passenger.
For more than an hour exhibitions were given."

- Unaccredited: Kahanamoku in the Surf.
The Daily Telegraph, 8th February 1915, page 4.

The reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald was similarly impressed and named Duke's tandem partner.

"He came out with his surf board, plunged into the water and continued to swim out until those watching from the beach soon wondered when he would stop.
After covering nearly half a mile, Kahanamoku turned and prepared for a roller, which came along a moment after; he caught it, and as the wave carried him shorewards he performed all kinds of acrobatic feats on the board, and finally dived into the water as the roller broke.
The crowd showed their appreciation in a very hearty manner.
Kahanamoku remained in the surf for nearly an hour, and he was accompanied at intervals by Miss Letham, of Freshwater, and it was a rare sight to watch both swimmers on the surf board."

- Unaccredited: Kahanamoku and His Surf Board.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 8th February 1915, page 13.

Ten days after the Dee Why event, Cecil Healey wrote a glowing report for The Referee, the heading proclaiming:

"Dexterity and Skill Win the Title 'Blondin of the Surf' "

Blondin, also known as Chevalier Blondin, was born as Jean Francois Gravelet in France in 1824, and gained a world-wide reputation as a tightrope walker when he successfully crossed Niagara Falls in June 1859.
In 1874 he made highly profitable and much acclaimed tour of Australia, performing in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

He detailed the surfing performance at length, with some missgivings about the suitablity of the conditions:

"At the time the Hawaiian put out to sea with his surf-board, which he seems to worship almost as much as a child its doll, the waves, unfortunately, were not particualy good for shooting purposes, merely an occasional one having any length of run.
The rapidity with which he took the weighty plank out through the breakers was not the least amazing feature of the display.
On sighting a likely-looking wave, he commenced to paddle vigorously, still lying prone as before.
After a few ineffectual attempts he succeeded in catching one properly.
Instantly the board seemed to leap forward like a fiery steed when the spurs are driven into the rowels.
Immediately afterward the Duke rose upright, and assumed the attitude of ancient chariot drivers.
And no sooner had he done so than he appeared to exercise some subtle influence over the madly careering craft : in fact just as if he had taken reins in hand.
He altered its direction so as to steer a course diagonal to the beach.
Although the prow pranced and bounded over the crest of the onrushing billow, the Duke stood like an ebony statue, immovable save for the deft movements of his feet, and remained so until a few of the shore, when he leisurely dropped off.
It was a thrilling sight to watch, and such balancing skill and dexterity entitles him to the designation of a surfing Blondin."

Healey was less impressed with the display of tandem surfing:

"A young lady acquaintance then emerged and accompanied the Duke seawards.
It occured to me at once if the Duke found it difficult to to get going by himself with the not-by-any-means good waves at his disposal, obviously his chances of doing so would be greatly minimised when hindered by a novice.
Such proved to be the case.
A considerable time elapsed before he managed to get a move on with his partner.
It must be admitted, however, that the duel (sic, dual) shoot, when it did come off, was the the more sensational spectacle of the two while it lasted.
It served to show more conspicuously the Duke's wonderful facility for maintaining his equilibrium under these exacting conditions, as although his passenger was toppling backwards over the lattter part of their journey, the extra burden failed to dislodge him until they had negotiated about three-parts of the distance he covered when alone.
But the question arises whether the onlookers, many who had come from distant suburbs, would not have been better pleased to have been treated to a greater number of performances like the first, rather than have to submit to the wearying wait that occurred before the Duke found it possible to bring off the more difficult stunt."

- Cecil Healey: Duke in the Surf.
The Referee, 16 February 1915, page 1.

Duke Kahanamoku's board in transit,
courtesy of The White Creamy Ponies.

 circa January - February 1915

 i. Warshaw:Surfriders (1997) page 18.
 ii. Kampion:Stoked (1997) page 40.

The White Creamy Ponies was apparently a "taxi" company serving the Manly area, with a long association with the local surf lifesaving movement.
At the parade preceding the Manly carnival in 1910:

"The white creamy ponies and carriages of Manly took up the van of the procession and were occupied by Mr F. W. J. Donovan (president), Mr A. W. Relph (secretary) and the committee of the club."

- Unaccredited:Manly Surf Carnival.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 21 March 1910, page 10.

Cronulla Exhibition, 7th February 1915. #1 TO EDIT
The next day Duke Kahanamoku and George Cunha were at Cronulla Beach.
Their attendence was publicised in the Sutherland Shire newspapers:

"Duke Kahanamoku, the 100 yds. world's champion swimmer, will visit Cronulla Beach on Sunday afternoon and will give an exhibition at 3 o'clock.
At the invitation of the Cronulla Surf Club he will visit the beauty spots of the Sutherland Shire."

- Unaccredited:The Surf Expert.
The Propeller, Friday 5th February 1915, page 1.

There was a similar announcenent the following day in The St. George Call, Saturday 6th February 1915, page 5.

The Cronulla Club  undertook extensive preparations to ensure the day was a success and to suitably honour their guest.
Upon leaving the steam train at Sutherland, Duke Kahanamoku, George Cunha and Francis Evans accompaned by Harry Hay, W.W. Hill and Don McIntyre, were welcomed to the district by Club members and then transported in members' cars to Audley via Waterfall and Lady Carrington Drive.
After lunch at Audley, the party travelled by ferry to Cronulla for the surfing activities.

"An alarm reel race was held, between the Duke, Cunha and Hay, the linesman being made up of the clubmen.
There was much guessing as to who the winner would be as the two Hawaiins (sic)had never been in the belts before, and Hay is one of the fastest beltmen in the State.
However, the Duke made good use of his long legs in the wade out and beat Hay by a yard.
Cuhna could not get use to the belt and line at all, swimming a crawl stroke he nearly wrenched his toes off, catching them on the line.
The Duke then adjourned to the big beach as there was more roll on there, and gave an exhibition with his board that will be long remembered by those who saw him.
Standing upright, standing on his head, diving off, twisting the board.
It all looked so ridiculously easy, and so it was to the Duke, but local men who tried after came to the conclusion that they had a lot to learn about the game.
One wants to try and stand on that unstable piece of wood, even in smooth water, to appreciate fully the sight of that bronze statue tearing in through broken and choppy seas."

The day concluded with further social activities:

"Tea was held in the new pavillion and the party adjourned to the captain's house for a couple of hour's music, the Duke and George Cuhna rendering an item in Hawaian (sic), the Duke providing the accompaniment on his eucalalia (sic, ukulele)."

- Unaccredited: Cronulla Surfing.
The St. George Call, 13 February 1915, page 5.

According to W. G. Marshall, one of the boards shaped by Duke after the sugar pine Freshwater board made its way to Cronulla, the property of ex-Manly surf-shooter, Ron “Prawn” Bowden.

"The Duke's board later became the property of noted club member, Ron "Prawn" Bowden, who sold it to Fred Locke, who in turn, signed it over to the inimitable Jack McTigue."

- W.G. Marshall: The Cronulla SLSC Story, Part 2.
Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club: Cronulla Surf Scene
Volume 1 Number 2 January, 1968, page 7.

Duke Kahanamoku, Cronulla Beach 7th February 1915. 
 i. Warshaw:Surfriders (1997) page 30 
Accredited as Freshwater, 1914.

 ii. Kampion:Stoked (1997)  page 40. 
Freshwater, inferred.

 iii. Thoms:Surfmovies (2000) page 22.

Possibly Cronulla SLSC Newsletter, circa 1960.

One of the first famous international visitors to the Club (Cronulla) was Duke Kahanamoku, the world famous exponent of surfboard riding and at present a prominant civic dignitary of Honolulu.

Exacting preparations for his 1915 visit were undertaken by the club in an effort to make him feel at home. (1.)
The Duke and his party were welcomed to the district by the club on leaving the steam train at Sutherland.
Through the generosity of club members, F. Stroud, J. Hallet, J. Munro, L. Giddings, N. Bouffier and J. Hill Sr. making their cars available the visitors were transported to Audley via Waterfall and Lady Carrington Drive.

After lunch at Audley, the party joined the ferry to Cronulla, hence to the beach for surfing.

Tea was arranged in the Park Pavillion after which the party returned to Sutherland for the farewell ceremony.
The Duke brought with him a surfboard (one of at least three made in Australia) which he presented to the Surf Bathing Association of NSW. (2.)

While there were already surfboard exponents on our own and other metroplitan beaches, Duke Kahanamoku first focused public attention on surfboard riding in NSW. (3.)

The visit of this famous surfer also had effect on the local talent.
The Duke's board (the one noted above) later became the property of noted club member, Ron "Prawn" Bowden, who sold it  to Fred Locke, who in turn signed it over to the inimitable Jack McTigue. (4.)

Jack, chivalrous character that he was, gave it to a certain beautiful surf siren but alas she married another (ungrateful hussey, recalls Jack).

Duke Kahanamoku, board and Cronulla SLSC members
Cronulla NSW  6th February 1915
Image cropped from Warshaw : Surfriders (1997) page 16.
Notes :
1. Indicates the importance of the visit to club members.
2. Confirms the existence of more than one Duke Kahanamoku board in 1915
3. Indicates Sydney "surfboard exponents"  existed on the southern beaches before 1915.
4. Duke Kahanamoku's Cronulla board was subsequently ridden by at least three other riders.
This uncredited commentary  is copied from a framed article and photograph (see version above)

displayed at Cronulla Surf Design Surf Shop, Cronulla Street Mall, Cronulla NSW. circa 2000

The article is probably taken from a Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club history, printed circa 1960 for the club's 50th anniversary (started 1909).
Similar publications, jointly published/funded with the ASLA, are known for  Manly (Harris), Freshwater (Myers), Deewhy (Thomas) clubs and the Illwawarra branch (Middleton).
It is less probably from retrospective article in a small print run Club magazine or newsletter.

The detail and familiarity of the author with the participants indicate the text was probably transcribed within 50 years of the events, Duke Kahanamoku entered public office in 1934, and left in 1960, he suffered  heart problems in 1956 and 1962 and died in 1968.
Hence the document is dated circa 1960.

Duke visits Cronulla,6 February 1915 - Map
Train  from Central station, 
Sydney to Sutherland
Official welcome and departure, 
Club Members' Cars, Sutherland to Audley via Waterfall  Lunch, Audley
Ferry, Audley to Cronulla  Surfing demonstration followed by tea at the Pavillion,Cronulla. Return by ferry.
Map by, 2002

Sutherland station, circa 1900.
Hiferty page 35.

audley boatshed
Audley Boatshead and Weir, circa 1900.
Hiferty page 35.
Duke Kahanamoku and Party,
Audley, Royal National Park, 7 February 1915.
On the way to the Cronulla exhibition.

The handwritten caption reads:
Charge your glasses
Here! Here!
National Park 
Feb 7 1915.
Duke P. Kahanamoku
"Nui Nalu"
Honolulu, T.H.

Image reprinted in
Mackie: Pacific Portal - Pictorial Cavalcade
Souvenir of the Sutherland Shire.
Unpaginated, 1950.


The image is on a page titled "going places! Knights of the Surfboard" and is printed below a doctored photograph by Doc Ball of Tom Blake, Johnny Gates and Gard Chapin at Palos Verdes, circa 1945.
The Kahanmoku photograph has the printed caption:
"SURFING during the first World War hits a new high,
As the years rolled by, the sport gained momentum.
Cronulla was the mecca for aquaticians of all countries.
Here is the famous Hawaiian champion, Duke P. Kahanamoku (centre) with friends at National Park.
Mr. Jack Hallett, famous Cronulla motor-boatman and aquaplanist:, took "the Duke" under his wing during his visit to the Shire in 1915."
Duke Kahanamoku: 
Cronulla Beach, 7th February 1915.

1. Warshaw : Surfriders (1997) page 30
(credited as Freshwater, 1914)
2. Kampion: Stoked (1997) page 40.
(Freshwater, inferred)
3. Thoms: Surfmovies (2000) page 22.

Cronulla beach, circa 1905.
Longhurst: Lifesaver (2000) page 17.
Drummoyne Carnival, 8th February 1915.

The Drummoyne Carnival was the last official performance by Kahanamoku and Cunha in Sydney before finishing the tour with events in Newcastle, Melbourne and Goulburn.

- Cecil Healey: Duke in the Surf.
The Referee, 16 February 1915, page 1.

- SMH 9 February 1915 p 12

Newcasle Gala, 10th February 1915.

- The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday 11 February 1915, page 13.


To Mr. E.S. Marks
Aloha Nui
Duke P. Kahanamoku
'Hui Nala' Swimmer
Honolulu, Hawaii
Sydney N.S.W.
Feb 11, 1915.

 E. S. Marks was a prominant figure in many Sydney sports.
Sydney's premier athletic track is named The E.S. Marks Field.
The card was signed following the return to Sydney from the Newcastle carnival.

Postcard reproduced from private collection.

Melbourne Visit,  12 - 13  February 1915.
Duke Kahanamoku was interviewed (most probably with Cecil Healey) before leaving for the Melbourne carnivals, the journalist noting:

"The Duke looked very fit as he left for Melbourne.
He had just returned from the surf at Bondi, after some hard battles with the rough breakers, which he explained, were vastly different from those of his beloved Honolulu, which roll in with a long, steady, sweeping roll.
The Duke likes the surf play here; though it is different to carvorting on the waves at Honolulu."

- Unaccredited: (Swimming)
The Referee, 17 February 1915, page 16.

The visit to Bondi was most likely for body surfing.

On Saturday 13th February 1915, while the Kahanamoku party was in Victoria, at the Freshwater Club's Carnival, Manly Seagulls' Tommy Walker, who brought a surfboard from Hawaii in 1909-1910, was continuing with his exhibitions:

"The display given by T. Walker on a "Duke" surf board was very good indeed.
The canoe and surf boat competitions provided some good exhibitions."

- Unaccredited: Swimming - Kahanamoku's Records.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 17 March 1915, page 8.

The reference to "a 'Duke' surf board" probably means a Duke Kahanamoku type board, at a remote possibility, a new redwood board shaped by Duke himself.

The same day The Referee published a surfriding photograph from Waikiki.


The Referee
13th February 1915, page 11.

Goulburn Carnival, 17 February 1915.

Patriotic Carnival and Surfboard Auction, 19 February 1915.
Early in the tour, swimming officials attempted to add a further Carnival to the itinerary, the funds to be contributed the the war effort, but due to the realignment of the dates in the New Zealand programme, it it not eventuate.
However, a newspaper report indicates that Duke (and possibly Cunha) made a number of, probably redwood, surfboards while in Sydney.

"The executive had practically arranged another of raising a sum for patriotic purposes for Friday 19th, at which the Hawaiian party were to be made the means of adding to the price of admission by auctioning several surf boards made by themselves; but the departure of the Wellington boat on Friday, 19th February, instead of Saturday the 20th, has also made this impossible."

- Unaccredited: Swimming - Kahanamoku v Longworth.
Sydney Morning Herald, 26 January 1915, page 10.

Departure, 19 February 1915.
The Hawaiian party left Sydney on the Moerake for New Zealand on the 19th February for a series of swimming carnivals.
With some expectation that the New Zealand tour may also entail public interest in surfboard riding exhibitions, it is possible that Duke took a redwood board with him from Australia, the sugar pine Freshwater board being left with the Walker brothers.

As Duke was arriving in New Zealand, at the Surf Bathing Association's gala at Bondi Beach on Saturday 20th March, his impact on surfboard riding continued:

"The introduction of a surf board exhibition during the latter competition was a good move, and brought out three very fine exponents."

- Unaccredited: Swimming - Surf and Other Carnivals.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 24 March 1915, page 8.

New Zealand, 20 February - 23 th March 1915.
The first week in New Zealand saw three swimming events held in Auckland.

"Kahanamoku, Cunha, and Evans will compete at Auckland three times this week, and they will leave New Zealand on March 23 by the R.M.S. Niagara for Honolulu."

- Unaccredited: Swimming - Kahanamoku's Records.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 17 March 1915, page 8.

There was also the first of Duke's New Zealand surfing exhibitions:

"... Hawaiian swimmer and surfer Duke Kahanamoku toured New Zealand in 1915.
He gave demonstrations at Muriwai on Auckland’s west coast, Lyall Bay in Wellington, and New Brighton beach in Christchurch.".

Nancy Swarbrick: Lifesaving and surfing - The rise of surfing.
Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand - updated 2-Mar-09.

The Grey River Argus, clearly following the reports in the Sydney press, detailed Duke's surfing exploits across the Tasman and indicated the prospect of a similar display in New Zealand following the first Wellington carnival at the Te Aro Baths, Wellington, on 24th February.

"On a surf-board Kahanomoku is supreme.
It is stated that in his native islands he has shot the distance of two miles upon one.
In Sydney he had a special board made 8 feet long, 22 inches wide and three inches.
It weighed 83Ibs, and on it he frequently travelled half a mile from out at sea to the beach.
At Deewhy, near Manly, he has often taken a lady passenger on board and shoots hundreds of yards.
He performs the same feat standing on his head.
Wellington swimmers will probably have an opportunity of seeing Kahanamoku on a surf-board at Lyall Bay on the Sunday following his appearance in Te Aro baths."

- Unaccredited: Duke Kahanamoku's Visit.
Grey River Argus, 3 March 1915, page 3.

The appearance in the surf at Lyall Bay was a resounding success:

"A record Sunday crowd attended Lyall Bay yesterday, in order to see the famous swimmer, Duke Kahanamoku, in the surf.
The people were well repaid.
The visitor entertained them with a truly wonderful display of shooting the breakers, which, after the spell of southerly weather, were fairly large.
His renowned standing shoot on the surf board was the particular feature.
He stood right up on the board, while the latter shot along at a great speed.
By careful steerlng he prolonged the shoot for a distance of 150 to 200 yards."

 - Unaccredited: (Lyall Bay).
Evening Post, Volume LXXXIX, Issue 56, 8 March 1915, page 6.

The Hawaiian party travelled to the South Island, for further swimming events and Duke gave another surfing demonstration at Brighton Beach, Christchurch.

"This photograph shows him either body surfing or preparing to stand on a board in the surf at New Brighton beach, Christchurch."

- Canterbury Museum, Canterbury Times Collection
Reference: 1923.53.434

As in Australia, the surfboard riding demonstrations by Duke Kahanamoku had an immediate impact on New Zealand surfers.
At the end of the year the Poverty Bay Herald reported:

"Surf-riding is becoming more and more popular at Lyall Bay, Wellington.
Since the visit of Duke Kahanamoku and his swimming partner, George Cunha, and their notable exhibition of the art of riding the surges, many swimmers have taken up the sport with entusiasm.
Now it is an every-day sight to see many bathers with surf-boards, disporting themselves more or less skilfully on the breakers."

- Unaccredited: Untitled.
Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLII, Issue 13875, 24 December 1915, page 2.

Remarkably, Duke Kahanamoku's surfboard riding displays in Sydney far exceeded their influence on local surfers.
One of the exhibitions was filmed for the cinema magazine Australasian Gazette and was presumably shown around the country, including at Spencer's Pictures at Launceston in March 1915.

"The 'Australian Gazette' embraces the following topical subjects:- Sydney-Delfosse Badgery, the Australian aviator, does some most sensational flying at Victoria Park, including bomb-dropping. Melbourne- The state championship carnival; Duke Kahanamoku gives exhibitions on the surf board; and cartoons by Harry Julius, which form an entertainment by themselves."

- Unaccredited: Amusements.
Examiner (Launceston), Tuesday 16 March 1915, page 6.

The segment is accredited as "Melbourne", probably because it was included with footage of Duke at the Victorian "state championship carnival".
Unfortunately, the film is apparently now lost.
Australian Screen - Australasia Gazette

Three years later, the impact of Duke Kahanamoku was still strong for Australian surfers:

"The members of the Bondi and North Bondi Surf Clubs have combined to hold a monster surf and beach carnival in aid of Jack's Day at Bondi Beach on Saturday afternoon next.
The programme will include exhibitions of surfboard riding by pupils of Kahanamoku, and sensational canoe races through the breakers."

- Unaccredited: Jack's Day.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday 29 October 1918, page 6.

Books About Duke Kahanamoku
Brennan, Joe :
Duke of Hawaii - The Father of Surfing.
Ballantine Books Inc.
101 Fifth Avenue New York, N.Y. 10003
Honolulu, Hawaii  1994. 
First printed May 1968.
Soft cover, 213 pages, black and white photographs (plates).
Somewhat disappointing work in that generally Duke Kahanamoku's swimming career is given more prominance that his surfing exploits.
See below.

Brennan, Joe :
Duke Kahanamoku, Hawaii's Golden Man.
Hawaii's Cultural Heritage Series
Hogarth Press Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96818, 1974. 
Soft cover, 61 pages, black and white photographs.
Extremely brief account of the life of Duke Kahanamoku featuring his achievements in swimming and surfing.
Essentially a heavily edited version of Brennan's book of 1968, see above.

Brennan, Joe :
Duke - The Life Story of Hawai'i's Duke Kahanamoku
Ku Pa'a Publishing Incorporated
Honolulu, Hawaii  1994. 
Reprinted 1995.
Hard cover, 280 pages, black and white photographs, Chronological index.
Somewhat disappointing work in that generally Duke Kahanamoku's swimming career is given more prominance that his surfing exploits.

Hall,Sandra  and  Ambrose, Greg :
Memories of Duke - The Legend Comes to Life
The Bess Press PO Box 22388 Honolulu, Hawaii 96823, 1995
Soft cover, 145 pages, 131 black and white photographs, Glossary, Index.
In-depth coverage of the many facets of Duke Kahanamoku's life story, including his Olympic career, film work in Hollywood and surfing around the world. Australian surfing exploits pages 36 to 45 - also note photographs on pages 12 and 13. Many of the images are found in a multitude of publications, though some are very rare. The historical format is slightly jumbled and there seems too much reliance on the input of wife, Nardine, who he did not meet and marry till 1940. Good, but still not the definite work on Duke Kahanamoku.
See also: 
Kahanamoku with Brennan:World of Surfing
Brennan: Duke

Hall,Sandra  :
Duke -  A Great Hawaiian
The Bess Press 3565 Harding Avenue Honolulu, Hawaii 96816, 2004.
Hard cover, 112 pages, 112 black and white photographs, Notes, Photo Credits, Further Reading, Index.
Expertly written chronological account of the major highlights of Duke Kahanamoku's life story, including his Olympic career, film work in Hollywood and surfing around the world. 
The author maintains a fine balance between historical detail and personal insights of contemporaries.
The first 30 pages outline Hawaiian history, Duke Kahanamoku's heritage and the resurgence of surfing. 
Australian surfing exploits pages 42 to 45.
Simple, but very effective, format of full page image (many previously unpublished) with paired with a page of text.
The beautiful design is complimented by the quality paper and binding.
Excellent, but still not the definite work on Duke Kahanamoku.
See also 
 Kahanamoku with Brennan:World of Surfing (1968) 
Brennan: Duke (1994) 
Hall and  Ambrose: Memories of Duke (1995) - above.
home catalogue history references appendix

Geoff Cater (1999 - 2015) : Duke Kahanamoku in Australia, 1914-1915.