Duke Surfboard Mystery

Robert Burns is looking for help documenting this board he believes was owned by Duke Kahanamoku.

November 17, 2021

Robert Burns, former ODKF Board Member and founder of Local Motion, is looking for help verifying that the pictured board he owns belonged to Duke Kahanamoku. Burns was a sponsor and friend of Rell Sunn, "Queen of Makaha" and pioneer of women's professional surfing. Rell Sunn accompanied Duke Kahanamoku on a trip to California to attend a world championship in 1966. Later in her life, during her long battle with cancer, Rell Sunn told Robert Burns that she had received this board, said to have belonged to Duke Kahanamoku, as a gift from one of her doctors. The doctor had purchased it for her at a fundraising auction, that Burns believes was run to benefit the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation or one of its parent organizations. When Rell Sunn passed away in 1998, she left the board to Burns. The board has no labels and no marks other than knicks and scratches. If you have any information to share, please email him.

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