Happy Dukes Day9:40 PM
I have always loved the thought of the beach.... Sand between the toes, duck diving under waves, beautiful suntans and beach bodies, and surfing. But it has always been exactly that, the love of the thought. I have lived within 500m of the beach now for 6 years and only set foot on it for the first time today.
I have a bit of a phobia of the ocean. Its a very love hate relationship. I hate the water, but love watching and hearing the waves crash on the shore. Mother Nature is so awesome and there is nothing better spending the time recognising how incredible she is. Crashing waves are pure magic being watched from the shore, and seeing surfers dance upon them, but I hate being in them (and even on the hottest day the water temperature still isn't warm enough). I was dunked as a child and still remember it like it was yesterday. My confidence never came back after that.
When I go on holidays I always seem to look for somewhere tropical, somewhere I can lay on the beach, somewhere I feel I can relax.... somewhere with a good beach.
Today is Dukes Day in Australia (my little bit of Hawaii at home). It marks the day that 100 years ago Duke Kahanamoku, the father of modern day surfing, first displayed his style to the beach goers at Freshwater Beach in the Northern Suburbs on Sydney. There were no surf movies in those days so Australians surfed how they assumed it was done. By Duke coming to Australia and demonstrating the Hawaiian surf style, and how to use the unbroken part of the wave, our surfers saw how it was done elsewhere and took inspiration from this.
I am lucky enough to have been to visit Dukes statue in its prominent position on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, and seen some of the memorabilia at Dukes Barefoot Bar.... He was a very special man. The statue is very hard to miss and is one that every tourist sees. He is seen to be welcoming you to Queens Beach on the Waikiki stretch with arms wide open. The leis are placed by surfers and tourists daily to pay homage to this wonderful man. It just goes to show how respected he still is today.
Happy Dukes Day Australia.