Surfing

Princess Ka'iulani was an accomplished surfer back home in Hawai'i. She rode a 7-and-a-half foot alaia koa surfboard which has survived the years and is now housed at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. Jennifer Maile Kaku visited the museum in 2014 with Catherine Cruz of KITV.

It is known that the princess regularly enjoyed 'sea bathing' at Brighton beach and Mrs Rooke, her landlady and governess, is quoted as saying that the princess 'loved being on the water again'.

As yet, there is no evidence that Ka'iulani surfed here; however we know that her cousins Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Piikoi and Prince David Kahalepouli Kawananakoa Piikoi, swam in Bridlington in 1890 as they wrote home:

“We enjoy surf riding very much and surprise the people to see us riding on the surf”.

This year in fact, The British Museum of Surfing in Devon is celebrating 125 years since this earliest evidence of surfing in the UK with an exhibition of British surf culture.