Waikiki surfers suffer burned boards twice in 20 months

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Many lost expensive surfboards in Sunday morning’s fire in Waikiki, and for some, it’s not the first time.

The Honolulu Ocean Safety reported losing three rescue boards in the blaze, which cost $1,200 each.

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“I love surfing. I love my board, and now it’s gone again,” said Arlene Skillman, who also lost a surfboard in the February 2020 fire in the same board locker.

“I just went surfing this morning at 6 o’clock. I left right before eight, and this is the second time this happened,” Skillman added.

Steve Dulce grew up surfing in Waikiki and has been doing so since the 1950s. Now, his brand new board is gone.

“Just registered it with the city, everything ready to go having a new board made, and then I get the call, so everything is kind of still spinning,” he said. Dulce also lost boards in last year’s fire.

“You can say, ‘Yeah, it’s just a board,’ but it’s a loss and having to go through it for a second time — I have no answer for that,” Dulce said.

The cost is high for many.

“Total loss would be about $4,000,” Dulce said.

But for some, it takes away what they love: getting out on the water and being with their surfing community.

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“I want to cry because this is my recreation,” Skillman said. “That was the only thing we could do during COVID, and now it’s gone again. So I’m not keeping my boards here anymore because they can’t even keep our property safe.”

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