Duke Kahanamoku

Surfer of the Century


"The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun!" (Duke Kahanamoku)

Plenty of people love to swim, surf, and dive for fun and exercise. There are people who swim professionally. Hawaiian native Duke Kahanamoku was considered one of the greatest swimmers and surfers of all time. He accomplished many goals and became a popular athlete around the world in the 1900’s.

Early Childhood

Duke was born in 1890Wakiki,Hawaii. He has 5 brothers and sisters and about 30 cousins. Duke dropped out of school at a young age to start earning money for his family. He worked on making and selling surfboards along Waikiki beach. Duke knew that swimming was his life so he hoped he would be successful. If not, he would not have a high school or college education.

Awards and Accomplishments

In 1912 Duke swam in a record time of seconds for the Olympics trails to go to Sweden Olympics. At first he had to overcome the U.S. judges not believing he had the times he did. They made him go to the mainland and prove he could do the 100yd and 50yd swim in the time. Well Duke did it!

Duke went to the Olympics and won the gold medal. Funny thing is he almost missed his race because he fell asleep. His time for the Sweden Olympics was...

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