Hawaii Waterman
Hall of Fame

Duane DeSoto

Duane DeSoto

Year of Induction:
2015
Sport:
Surfing
Polynesian Voyaging
Ocean Safety

Makaha Beach is not only known for its legendary waves, but it is also the birthplace of many of Hawaii's most prodigious Watermen and Waterwomen. One of those Watermen is Makaha's own Duane DeSoto, who first cut his teeth as a four-year-old riding Makaha's perfect right-hand waves. Duane paddled out there some 25 years later to clinch the 2010 ASP Pro Longboard World Title. Although producing results in longboard surfing competitions, body surfing competitions, and canoe surfing contests are where we often see DeSoto's name, it is his love for family and the keiki of Hawaii that led him in 2008 to found Na Kama Kai ("Children of the Sea"). Na Kama Kai is a non-profit organization that DeSoto established out of his kuleana, or responsibility, to formally educate Hawaii's children about how to enjoy the ocean safely while becoming stewards for this rich cultural resource that surrounds the islands which we call home. Each month, under DeSoto's direction, Na Kama Kai educates 80-100 children about the importance and significance of our relationship with the ocean, all of which is available free of charge. DeSoto and Na Kama Kai have also been responsible (along with the Hawaii Lifeguard Association and Kamaaina Kids) for continuing the Hawaii Junior Lifeguard program on Oahu's beaches during the summer. Given his mastery of the ocean and his love and kuleana to educate our keiki about the magical body of water that surrounds our islands, it is no wonder DeSoto was selected to sail on Hokulea during the Malama Honua voyage. Not to mention, his ability to perform at all water sports disciplines following years of training made him the ideal selection to play the role of Duke Paoa Kahanamoku at the 100th Anniversary celebration of Duke's visit to Freshwater Bay in Australia in February 2015.

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