HONOLULU (KHON2) – It was in 1915 when the Godfather of Modern-Day Surfing Duke Kahanamoku first shared surfing with the world in a place called Freshwater Beach in Australia where interesting enough, there is a statue of the Duke overlooking the beach there. 

Today, surfing continues to be an international phenomenon and this year is the return of Duke’s Ocean Fest right here in Waikīkī.

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Let’s track down the team to find out more. 

So, I am now joined by a couple of members of the team of Duke’s Ocean Fest. 

Please let me introduce Chris Colgate who is the founder of the festival as well as Billy Burger who is the executive producer. 

Chris, I’ll start with you. 

It’s been 2 years since the festival has been put on hiatus due to the pandemic but finally coming back out and bringing a lot of the events back out in terms of celebrating and honoring such a man as Duke Kahanamoku. 

Tell us what we can expect this year.

“Well, this year is going to be a great year,” said Colgate.

“We’ve got 9 days.  We start off with the Red Bull Party Wave on Saturday, and on Monday we start our longboarding competitions.  And we have excellent, excellent competitions going all week long from longboarding to foiling to tandem, we have legend surfing over the weekend, and on the weekend, we have the Menehune.  The Menehune, we have over 250 kids who will be surfing on Saturday and Sunday, the 27th and 28th., ages 3 years old to 13 years old. It is really exciting. And dogs are going to be surfing on Tuesday, so everyone loves the dogs,” said Colgate.

There are two different films that will be featured throughout this festival. 

So, Billy, can you share with us what these films are?

“So, Wednesday night, we’ve got a story about the life of Joey Cabell who is one of the original Duke Kahanamoku team surfers,” said Burger. 

“What we’ve got is a movie of the life of Joey Cabell that is going to be showing at the Hawaii Theatre on Wednesday night, really capturing not just as a surfer, but as an entrepreneur and restaurateur of Chart House. And then on Thursday night down here on the beach, we’ve got an event called Waikīkī Nights which is a movie night that we show to the public for free. But this year, we are doing something really special. We are going to show the film “Waterman” which is the life and legacy and importance of Duke Kahanamoku which really is down at the highest level,” said Burger.

Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation is very important because it helps events such as this to continue. 

Why is it important that the community continues to support such an organization?

“Well, the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation really, their mission statement is to provide grants and scholarships to students and organizations in Hawai’i that have financial need,” said Colgate.

“Since 2002 which is when Ocean Fest was started to the current day, they have provided grants and scholarships in excess of 2.9 million dollars. So, they have helped a lot of the kids make it to school, to get to school, to fund their airfare.  They have a scholarship, but they don’t have enough money to fly there.  They don’t have enough money for books and housing and what not. So, they will apply it to Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation for grants and again they are very, very supportive of the community and really Duke’s legacy, giving back.  Giving back, that’s what it is about,” said Burger.

Again, this is Duke’s Ocean Fest. 

The 20th year of this going on, kick off this Saturday, August 20th, lasting to the 28th. 

Take note Duke Kahanamoku’s birthday is on the 24th.

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For the schedule of the event for this year’s festival, click here.