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KAINOA: Hawaiian Superman

KAINOA: Hawaiian Superman
Written by Conor Lyden

Kainoa J. Dominguez, often confused for Maui (the Polynesian demigod familiarized to the mainstream audience for his featured in the Disney movie ʻMoanaʻ), is another Hawaiian Superman who can move weights heavier than the islands that the demigod himself pulled from the ocean. With his strong mind, body, and heart, Kainoa is the perfect candidate for a role model and leads our afternoon crew at Waikiki Beach Services with ease. He goes above and beyond wherever he can because he truly believes that everyone has the potential to do more for themselves and this world.

Every morning Kainoa wakes up before the sun rises, presumably so he can pull it over the horizon with his fishhook. Then, when the sun dawns over the rest of us in comfort, Kainoa is still working, pushing and pulling weights at his gym of choice. With his drive and power, Kainoa’s only competition is the man he was yesterday. The path of self improvement never ends and Kainoa continues forward without hesitation. He prints shirts promoting the messages he lives by. “Prove Yourself Right”.

Not only does Kainoa inspire others to improve themselves, but he also teaches us that there is more to be done for our shared world. Apart from the standard duties that are expected of him when he begins his shift on the beach, Kainoa shares with us his own initiative: Cleaning the Beach. Thousands of travelers come through the beautiful Waikiki Beach every day, and you know it by the amount of waste left behind after everyone leaves. When there is no one to protect our beaches and oceans, Kainoa graciously accepts the responsibility. Kainoa will clean the beach of everything that is left behind that threatens the health and beauty of our world, down to the tiny rubber bands that wrap around cocktail umbrellas. Unironically, another message that he promotes and prints is “Protect This House”.

At our Royal Hawaiian location, Kainoa can be found at our Waikiki Beach Services activities desk. Kainoa is easily approachable with a friendly smile. He will often be the warm greeter who checks in our Surf Lessons or Outrigger Canoe. If you’re lucky he will paddle with you as part of your outrigger canoe crew, in which case you can experience firsthand the strength and aloha spirit of this Hawaiian Superman. 

Listen to Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s Maui Hawaiian Sup’pa Man

Learn more about Maui


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Don’t feel like taking a surf lesson but want to try an authentic, Hawaiian water activity? Then outrigger canoe surfing is the best thing to try! Canoe surfing is the original Hawaiian rollercoaster ride and Waikīkī Beach is currently the only place where you can experience the thrill of surfing a wave on an outrigger canoe.

Please note that beginning January 1, 2024 a $1 fee will be collected for each surf, SUP or canoe ride participant. This fee is for the OSF, or Ocean Stewardship Fund, a fund created by the State of Hawaiʻi and enforced by the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Read more about it in our FAQs section or on the DLNR website.