By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (August 24, 2022) – In Issue 2022-150 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps, today we celebrate a special “surfer dude” on his birthday- Aloha!


The “Father of Surfing” was born on August 24, 1890, in Hale’akala, Maui, Hawaii.

Duke Kahanamoku was a competitive swimmer who popularized the sport of surfing. 

As a swimmer, he represented the United States in 3 Olympics – 1912, 1920 and 1924 – and won 5 Olympic medals.  He was even an alternate for the 1932 water polo team.

Travelling for exhibitions after his Olympic stint, Kahanamoku incorporated surfing as part of his exhibition swim and was responsible for taking the Hawaiian sport to Southern California and beaches worldwide.

Returning to Hawaii in 1932, he served 13 terms as Sheriff of Honolulu.  He lived there until his death in 1977.

Immortalized on a US postage stamp on this date in 2002, what would have been his 112th birthday, Kahanamoku was the first person to be inducted into both the Swimming Hall of Fame and the Surfing Hall of Fame.

His statue with a surfboard is at Waikiki, Oahu.  In honor of that, here is White’s pictorial map of Oahu from 1930.

Map of Oahu – 1930 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.