Waikiki Beach Boys – A Short History

waikiki beach boys

Waikiki Beach Boys in the “Good Old Days”

Waikiki Beach is famous today due in large part to the Waikiki Beach Boys of a bygone era. The Beach boys “joie de vivre” and their unfailingly jovial outlook played a large part in the attraction of the Hawaiian Islands during the 1900’s.

These special people, through no official appointment, were the first line ambassadors for the islands of  Hawaii. They greeted visitors with leis upon arrival, acted as tour guides, and sang songs of aloha when their new friends departed for the mainland.

While their humor, charisma and joy for living drew them notice, it was the Beach Boys’ unparalleled water skills that made them legends. Although surfing and outrigger canoe surfing have grown to become very common in Hawaii and some parts of the word today, both board surfing and outrigger canoe surfing were very near to becoming extinct at the turn of the 20th century.

However, the Beach Boys’ singular love and passion for the water and for the arts of surfboard and outrigger canoe surfing were, without a doubt, the driving force behind the revival of these two sports. The Beach Boys have continually evolved over the years to meet the demands of a different society and a growing tourism industry. However, the foundation of the Beach Boys is still the same as its basic beginnings.

All Beach Boys at Waikiki Beach Services are not only the top certified water-men on the south shore of O’ahu, but they are also the friendliest people you will have the chance to meet. We have a variety of activities that you can participate in with the Beach Boys. The most popular is our Beach Boy Valet which allows you to hire your own Beach Boy as a private tour guide in Waikiki. During the time of your tour, you can take a surf lesson, stand up paddle lesson, outrigger canoe ride, or even go catamaran sailing.

The Beach Boys also went on to create their own canoe racing team and club, The Waikiki Beach Boy Canoe Club. In it’s early days, the W.B.B.C. was originally funded and operated by just a few Waikiki Beach Boys, but it has now grown into a full-sized canoe club that includes women and children among their members.

The Beach Boys also went on to form the Beach Boy Classic which is  a long distance “iron man” canoe race that takes place every year. This participants in the Beach Boy Classic race for long distance in outrigger canoes without any crew changes – a true test of strength, stamina, and skill.

Author James Michener sums up the Waikiki Beach Boys and their importance to Hawaii in his book, “Hawaii”:

“Without these remarkable people the island would be nothing. With them, it is a carnival. They are generous, courageous, and comical. They are perpetual adolescents of the ocean, the playboys of the Pacific.” – James Michener, author of “Hawaii”

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