Bishop Museum Exhibit Explores History of Surfing

November 17, 2019, 8:00 AM HST · Updated November 12, 11:04 AM

Duke Kahanamoku. Photo Courtesy: Bishop Museum.

“Mai Kinohi Mai: Surfing in Hawaiʻi,” a new exhibition at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, conveys surfing as a culture, an art, a sport, and a way of life.

In ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian) the phrase “mai kinohi mai” means from the beginning–and the new display aims to educate guests on the origins of surfing as well as its ongoing technical and cultural developments.

Museum representatives say the exhibit will feature some of the oldest surfboards known to exist.

Some of those boards belonged to Hawaiian royalty, as well as Rell Sunn (the “Queen of Mākaha”) and Duke Kahanamoku, who is largely credited for popularizing the sport internationally.


Archival photos and manuscripts, an immersive media component and a surfing simulator will also be included in the exhibit.

“With the sport being confirmed for the 2020 Summer Olympics and continuing technical advancements, there’s no better time to offer this comprehensive look at surfing’s past and its direction for the future,” Bishop Museum historian DeSoto Brown said in a press release.

“Mai Kinohi Mai” will be on display from Dec. 14 to May 3.



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