HONOLULU (KHON2) — In the ahupuaʻa of Waikīkī, which lies in the moku of Kona here on Oahu, stands a roadway given the name that translates as “the worn-out soil.”
We are talking about Kapahulu Avenue.
Named after the section of land, Kapahulu Avenue leads you straight to a popular place known as Kapahulu Groin.
Nicknamed “Walls,” this is a seawall that extends out into the Waikīkī ocean where people like to jump in and swim.
But surfing is what these waters are truly known for.
Though it has been called “the sport of kings,” everyone surfed.
However, there were areas that were kapu, or reserved, specifically for royalty.
There once was a temple on the slopes of Diamond Head where priests would fly a kite announcing surf conditions.
By the turn of the 20th century, surfing nearly died out in Waikīkī.
It was a group of Honolulu residents who helped revive it when they established the Outrigger Canoe Club, the world’s first organization dedicated to “preserving surfing on boards and in Hawaiian outrigger canoes.”
One man in particular who helped shape surfing into what is it today was Duke Kahanamoku, the Godfather of Modern-Day Surfing.
History shares the longest ride on a wave was recorded in 1917.
The Duke caught a 35-foot wave known as a “Blue Bird,” from in front of Diamond Head for a distance of a mile and a quarter into shore.
In those days, the stream Kuekaunahi, one of three once in Waikīkī, flowed into the ocean near Kapahulu Groin.
Those streams were taken away when the Ala Wai Canal was created in the 1920s due to unhealthy conditions.
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