is a Waikiki BeachBoy?
Waikiki beachboys were water sports instructors who worked on the beaches
fronting the Royal Hawaiian and Moana Hotels from the 1920's to the
late 1950's. These beachboys taught the wealthy visitors who traveled
to Hawaii how to surf, catch waves in an outrigger canoe, and enjoy
the Hawaiian culture. Because these tourists usually vacationed in Hawaii
for long periods of time, the beachboys developed close friendships
with their patrons. The beachboys were known for their charm and their
love of Hawaii, which they instilled in the tourists they befriended.
As a result, the beachboys became a symbol of Aloha, and helped to draw
tourists to the islands.
As air travel made access to Hawaii more affordable, more tourists began
visiting the islands, and stayed for shorter periods of time. These
changes to the tourism industry affected the relationships the beachboys
were able to cultivate with tourists. Today, Waikiki beachboys still
work the beaches with concession stands, surfing lessons and canoe surfing
rides. Taking over where the original beachboys left off, this new generation
of watermen exposes tourists to the Hawaiian culture and spreads Aloha
to all who visit Waikiki.
Formation and History of the Waikiki Beachboys Canoe Club
The Waikiki Beachboys Canoe Club (WBBCC) was formed in 1973 by a group
of beachboys who belonged to other paddling canoe clubs. This group
of beachboys decided to form their own club in order to be free of the
“paddling politics” and traditions established by the other canoe clubs.
This group also wanted to promote the image of the original Waikiki
beachboys, which was of men who respected the ocean and mastered the
skills of surfing and outrigger canoe paddling, while spreading the
Aloha spirit of Hawaii.
The original founders of WBBCC were: Kimo Makua, Ted Bush, Bob Nagatani
and Moku Kamaka. These beachboys walked up and down Waikiki beach, collecting
$25 from friends and tourists to help finance a canoe for the club.
Each person who donated money was deemed an honorary member of the club,
and received a certificate from WBBCC. The first canoe purchased with
this donated money was blessed in 1974 by the Reverend Abraham Akaka
and named the Kai Kane. Soon to follow were the Kai O Wahine and the
Kai O Keiki in 1975, the Kai O Kapoe in 1976 and the Malolo II in 1978,
all fiberglass, malia molds. The WBBCC's Koa wood canoe was created
in 1980 by Ray Bumatay and Alec Apo and named the Kamoho Ali'i. WBBCC
also acquired two Hawaiian Racers, the Ana Koa in 1983 and the Kalele
O Nalani in 1984. The most recent purchases were the two Bradley canoes,
the Kahu Moku Kamaka and the Kai Pi'i.
In the mid 1970's, WBBCC began sponsoring the WBBCC Invitational race,
a long distance pre-season race. Today, the race, which consists of
a triangle course from Magic Island to Diamond Head Buoy, is the most
popular pre-season race and attracts over 100 crews from all over the
In 1979, WBBCC created and hosted the WBBCC Waikiki Invitational Regatta.
Added as an unofficial race during the Hui Wa'a regatta season, this
sprint in and out of the surf in Waikiki is a popular event. Due to
the limited lane space, crews must qualify for an invitation to the
race by placing in the prior regatta races. WBBCC has hosted this event
continuously since 1979, canceling only twice due to high surf conditions.
In 1995, WBBCC created and promoted the WBBCC's Choose Your Weapon Race.
In contrast to other WBBCC races, the Choose Your Weapon Race consisted
of a downwind course from Hawaii Kai to Waikiki with participants competing
on paddleboards, surf skis or one-man canoes. In 1999, 6-man canoes
were added to the race, and over 300 people participated in the event.
WBBCC continues to promote the image of the original Waikiki beachboys
and the spirit of Aloha through its paddling events and members. A number
of the men's open crew are currently employed as lifeguards, who patrol
the beaches of Hawaii, making the waters safe and enjoyable for residents
WBBCC's first long distance crew and coach:
Ted Bush, Ben Garces, Kimo Makua, Aki Akiyama, Mel Mau, Mel Pauole,
Ricky Lam, Herman Koa, Steve Elliot, Grant Glissold, David Petersen,
George Waikoloa. Coach: Moku Kamaka, with assistance by Ray Bumatay,
Bob Nagatani and Pete Adams.
Past Presidents of WBBCC:
Polo Simeona, Alex Apo (longest term), David Kalu, Billy Kamaka, Blackie
Kalua, Kuumomi Ho, Derrick Uyema, and Dolan Eversole
Officers of WBBCC:
Carol Torgerson-Kuahulu, Ginette Huddy, Ted Bush, Linda Liese, Rae Kamaka,
Cindy Summers, Neil Peltier, Jo Clark, Mimi Donnelly, Sandi Beauregard,
Tom Allen, Kevin Allen, Ian Forester, Cory Beall, Joanna Stark, Malia
Eversole, Trevor Orr, Guy Pere and Kirsten Smith
Moku Kamaka, Alex Apo, Dukie Kuahulu, James Koko, Blackie Kalua, Moana
Huddy, Kimo Makua, Blue Makua Sr., Ginette Huddy, Bob Nagatani, Keith
Keillor, Donna Aukai, Frenchy Luttgau, Ted Bush, Junior Kaai, Derrick
Uyema, Neil Peltier, Gail Tomita, Billy Reese, Kalani Coito, Kuumomi
Ho, Ed Whaley, Paul Merino, Ronald Lopes, Kala Judd, Ian Forester, Tom
Allen, Trevor Orr, Guy Pere, Eric Chun, Cory Beall, Darryl Hara, Tom
Damon, Jennifer Bossert , Meredith Takaraand Sean Monahan.