O Beachboy, Where Art Thou?

A Waikiki scene report from TSJ 32.3 subjects Kaniela Stewart and Kelis Kaleopa‘a.

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In TSJ’s 32.3’s “O Beachboy, Where Art Thou?” author Beau Flemister braves Waikiki in search of its original caretakers of aloha.

“They were fabled watermen,” Flemister writes. “They were expert swimmers, canoe paddlers, fishermen, and divers. Some allegedly could swim after fish and catch them with their bare hands. The beachboys were also merry pranksters, disseminators of pre-contact Polynesian culture, infamous lovers, heroes, disasters, alcoholics, gamblers, cross-dressers, world-renowned recording artists, and handlers to Hollywood movie execs, copper magnates, tobacco heirs, beverage-industry titans, oil sheiks, and royals. They would conduct impromptu parades down Kalakaua for the hell of it. Certified mensches. If any singular thing, they seemed really fucking fun.”

Two Waikiki locals keeping the beachboy spirit alive are Kaniela Stewart and Kelis Kaleopa‘a. In the short above, the duo surfs and riffs on the contemporary state of the tradition. For more about Waikiki’s beachboy history and culture from the past and present, pick up a copy of TSJ 32.3 by clicking here.

Filmed and edited by Christian Edwards. Water Cinematography by Matt Leong.

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