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Duke Kahanamoku documentary Waterman being shown on Hawaiian Airlines’ flights

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Duke Kahanamoku surfing tandem. Photo Courtesy: Bishop Museum

The award-winning documentary Waterman, about the life of Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, is now part of the video entertainment on Hawaiian Airlines’ transpacific flights.

The documentary follows the journey of Kahanamoku and his influence as a legendary swimmer, trailblazer and father of modern-day surfing.

“Duke Kahanamoku was a man of remarkable talent and grace who was the embodiment of aloha,” said Evan Nomura, director of in-flight entertainment and onboard products at Hawaiian Airlines. “It’s an honor to be able to share his inspiring story with guests who are traveling between the islands and the continental US, Asia and Oceania.” 


Waterman opened exclusively in Hawai‘i theaters on April 1 and in two days climbed to the No. 1 documentary in America. The film then expanded to Utah, Idaho, Arizona and Southern California before premiering on PBS American Masters. It will be available to watch on selected Hawaiian Airlines’ flights for the next three months.

Narrated by star Jason Momoa, Waterman educates the public on Duke’s legacy through rare archival footage, contemporary visuals and new interviews with Laird Hamilton (big wave surfer), Kelly Slater (11-time world champion surfer), Carissa Moore (Olympic gold medalist), Jack Johnson (musician), David Davis (author, “Waterman”), Moses Goods (playwright and actor, “Duke”), Dr. Isaiah Helekunihi Walker (author, “Waves of Resistance”), Fred Hemmings (world champion surfer), Kelia Moniz (world champion surfer) and Maui’s Kai Lenny (big wave surfer).


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