Aloha Authentic: The Sport of Hawaiʻi

Aloha Authentic

HONOLULU (KHON2) — KHON2’s weekly “Aloha Authentic” segment highlights various roadways across the pae ʻāina so the meaning of their names can be uncovered.

It is time to bring attention to the beach.

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In the ahupuaʻa of Hōlualoa, which lies in the moku of Kona on the island of Hawaiʻi, stands a roadway named after the action of surfing.

That roadway is Heʻenalu Road.

The word Heʻenalu can mean “to surf” or “surfer,” but is literally translated to “wave sliding.” 

Heʻe can mean “to slide” or can refer to a squid or octopus.  

And nalu means “wave.” Sliding on a wave means surfing.

Stories share that in ancient Hawaiʻi, surfers would pray to their gods and utilize the beach morning glory, Pōhuehue in Hawaiian language, to slap the surface of the ocean to encourage large surf when the waves were small.

By looking in the Hawaiian Dictionary, anyone can learn different terms used to describe surf. 

Poʻi refers to the crest of a breaking wave.

Kai piʻi means “high waves or rising tide.”

ʻŌhū refers to swells, especially those that rise without breaking.

And if someone wants to surf a wave in a canoe, that is called Pākā.

Did you know?  Now you do!

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