Waikiki surfboard rack fire causes hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — More than 24 hours after a massive fire ripped through the surfboard racks near the Moana Surfrider hotel, the smell of smoke is still in the air and bystanders can clearly see what’s left in the aftermath.

Sunday’s raging blaze left behind ash and rubble of what was once the Kuhio Beach Surfboard Lockers. Longtime surfers came by on Monday to see if any signs of their boards were left.

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“We came back, and we’re incredibly devastated,” said Bruce Rogers, Waikiki resident who lost two surfboards in fire. “I mean, your surfboard is a part of your life and we surf here practically everyday.”

For these avid surfers, it was a costly loss.

“I would say about $1,500 to $2,000 is my guess,” said Sky, a Waikiki resident who lost surboards in Sunday’s blaze.

“Probably $3,000 worth with my surfboard for both of them,” Rogers said.

The surf racks are operated by the City Department of Enterprise Services. The City estimates about 575 boards were destroyed, including three City and County of Honolulu lifeguard boards. The City says it’s not responsible for any damage and will not issue reimbursement, but it will issue refunds to renters for the remainder of their payment period. The Department of Budget and Fiscal Services will issue checks by mail.

However, surfers say their boards are irreplacable and they want change.

“I want them to fix it up as much as possible and make it more secure or gated or something, but I don’t know if they’re going to reopen it or not,” said Sky.

Honolulu fire officials also confirmed Monday that the fire was intentionally set and caused $100,000 in damage to the lockers and $250,000 in damage to nearby structures.

It’s deja vu for many whose boards were lost in the first fire. On Feb. 27, 2020, a massive two-alarm fire ripped through the same racks.

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The City is assessing the damage from Sunday’s fire and future plans for the site are unknown at this time.

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