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Hawaiian tradition of Alaia newest event for Buffalo's Cl.


Hawaiian surfer with Alaia board

Surf Culture

Old Hawaiian tradition, the Alaia, newest event for Buffalo

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 26 January, 2009 : - - Buffalo Keaulana's Big Board Surfing Classic is coming up in just three short weeks. The divisions include everything from tandem surfing to paipo boarding. This year, there are 15 different divisions. KGMB9's Malika Dudley has the latest on an old tradition, but the newest addition to the contest.

"As a surfer, I can't even imagine surfing on a board with no rocker, no fins, no leash, I would probably break my neck. But some local surfers are doing just that, surfing on what essentially is just a plank of wood. And, connecting with their culture and their roots." You may have never heard the word. Alaia.

But a quick internet search produces fascinating images of the ancient art of surfing a finless wooden board. When Polynesians first set foot in Hawaii, they brought the belly-riding, paipo board.

This led to the invention of a stand-up form of surfing, on the Alaia. Boards eventually evolved into the polyurethene or epoxy boards you're probably familiar with, but Alaia boards are making a comeback, especially among the younger generations. Just ask legendary waterman, Brian Keaulana.

"This is what you call the purest surfing you can find. To remember where you came from, your past, is establishing a strong foundation in your culture and that's what we're trying to do with my family, my father and all the Makaha beach boys is connecting the kids to our culture," he explains.

In fact, Brian's dad, Buffalo Keaulana, has added this new challenge to his big board surfing classic, with the Alaia division. "We're making them shape their own boards too, so they're taking pride in what they're doing," says Brian.

Bringing things full circle. Passing knowledge on from one generation to the next and connecting with their ancestors. "It's a lot of pride in knowing that back in the days of Kamehameha where the warriors used to go out and surf, there were few people and the warriors would charge some of these waves," explains Brian.

Read the full article at KGMB9 Honolulu

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Source: KGMB9 Honolulu

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