Surfing Like Ancients | Go Hawaii
Surfing Like Ancients

Surfing Like Ancients

Scroll to Continue

Tom Pohaku Stone Video

Tom Pohaku Stone Video
Tom Pohaku Stone handcrafts traditional Hawaiian surfboards to ride the waves of time on the windward side of Oahu.

Tom Pohaku Stone

Traditional Surfboard Shaper
It’s a peaceful morning at Kahana Bay on Oahu’s Windward side. There isn’t a single soul on the sand – a far cry from the bright lights and buzz of Waikiki. The waves here are legendary. Once, long ago, a Kahana Bay Chief challenged the Goddess Hiiaka – sister of Pele, the Goddess of fire – to a surfing competition in these waters. It did not go well for the Chief.
 
Tom Pohaku Stone paddles out to the break on his favorite surfboard – not a modern, fiberglass board, but a board he built with his own hands. Stone is an educator, craftsman and former pro surfer. He’s obsessed with reviving and perpetuating lost aspects of Hawaiian culture, like perfecting the art of crafting papaheenalu (surfboards) in the traditional Hawaiian way.
 
About a quarter mile from shore, he takes off on a small, playful wave. Tom wears his traditional malo, and seeing him surf here at Kahana Bay can make you feel like you’ve been transported 1,000 years back in time. 
Tom Pohaku Stone

Why is surfing so special to Native Hawaiians?

Standing on a board originates in Hawaii. Surfing is who we are as native peoples. We come from the ocean, we love to surf waves. We surfed waves for generations, and we surf waves still. And that's what those boards are about, it's about being able to constantly ride the waves of time. It's an endless wave that never stops.

"We’re not land people, we’re ocean people."

How did hand-crafting surfboards start for you?

I was a pain-in-the-butt kid, right? And I so wanted that beautiful shiny fiberglass board. And we come from a family that just didn't have that kind of money. My dad, he said he'd take care of it. He got a piece of wood, he cut it out. Started carving it in the traditional way.

But at the end of it, I just looked at the board and told my dad I hated it. And in his anger, he just took the board, broke it, lit it up in the fire pit and burned it. And that's actually the number one regret I've ever had, and I've only had a few. 
 
That was an awesome thing my dad did for me. I'm glad before he passed away that I really had the opportunity to express that to him. That I began to go down this pathway, that he had given me that gift, and that he saw the boards I made and he was pretty ecstatic. He was happy.

“When you stand up on a wood board, it's like listening to a beautiful symphony playing that's just soothing to your soul.”


What’s it like riding a traditional wood board?

When you stand up on a wood board, it's like listening to a beautiful symphony playing that's just soothing to your soul, and you just embrace it. It's a harmonization between the wind, the motion of the water, the breaking of the wave. I'm not in this time era, or this time point or era. I'm out. I'm in another place. And I love being in that place.


Why is carrying on what you’ve learned so important to you?

This isn't my knowledge, this is my kupuna's (ancestors) knowledge that they gave to me and now my kuleana (responsibility) is to give to those that want to carry it on. That's what's important, passing that tradition on.

Browse Hawaii Adventures

Filter Results
showing 1 - 10 of 1526
Maui Mobility Systems
Maui
Maui Mobility Systems
Summary

We help visitors with special needs on Maui enjoy mobility during their vacation by renting mobility equipment (scooters, wheechairs, etc). We deliver to and pickup from the hotels, resorts, condos, and private homes and operate 7 days a week including holidays. We service both West and South Maui.

Websites
Worldstar Weddings
Oahu
Worldstar Weddings
2155 Kalakaua Ave
Suite 614
Honolulu, HI 96815
Summary

Our wedding designers will help you find the ideal venue to exchange vows—be it on a beautiful beach at sunset, in an intimate chapel, or at the foot of an amazing waterfall. Join the hundreds of couples who have trusted Worldstar with all the unique details of their happily-ever-after story.

Websites
Oahu
Theatrix Hawaii
1038 Kikowaena Place
Honolulu, HI 96819
Summary

Hawaii's premier full service production company, offering rentals and management service. We specialize in Corporate Events and Conventions. Our large inventory of lighting, audio, staging, drapery, carpet, and video equipment is the best in the islands.

Websites
Ultimate Air Maui Logo
Maui
Ultimate Air Maui
21 La'a Street
Wailuku, HI 96793
Summary

Maui's only indoor trampoline park with over 14,000 sq ft of trampoline activities. Available for open jump, birthday parties, group outings, and corporate events. Activites include freestyle, extreme trampolines, dodgeball, basketball, jousting, and a keiki court.

Websites
Delta Vacations
Oahu
Delta Vacations
700 South Central Avenue
Department 468
Atlanta, GA 30354
Summary

Delta Vacations offers convenient, affordable vacations that combine Delta Air Lines® or Delta's codeshare partner flights with hotel stays, rental car, sightseeing and entertainment, escorted tours, and more.

Websites
restaurant
Maui
Kahili Restaurant
2500 Honoapiilani Hwy
Wailuku, HI 96793
Summary

The Kahili Restaurant welcomes you to enjoy our exciting location tucked away in the West Maui Mountains. A favorite meeting place where visitors and residents relax. The dining room and the lanai over look our amazing 18-hole golf course with spectacular views of the ocean and Haleakala Mountain.

Websites

Pages