The Maui News profiles 2021 Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame Inductee Mike Spalding.
By Robert Collias for the Maui News
Maui’s Michael Spalding was honored and shocked when he got word a little more than a month ago that he had been named to the Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame.
Spalding, 74, was inducted at a ceremony on Thursday at the Outrigger Canoe Club in the class of 2021, along with Olympic gold medal surfer Carissa Moore, world champion paddler Kelley Fey and professional surfer Shane Dorian.
“The Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame is to honor four kama’aina who perpetuate the spirit of Duke Kahanamoku, Hawai’i’s most famous global ambassador of aloha and original waterman,” the organization said in a news release emailed to The Maui News.
“I got a call about a month ago from Bill Pratt and I was floored when he mentioned that I’m going to be in there because this is a group of legends and I don’t consider myself to be a legend,” Spalding said Tuesday. “I consider myself to be a normal human and the people that preceded me with this award are some of my all-time heroes and I know most of them.”
Spalding remembers receiving a hug from the Duke when he was a child in the 1960s at the OCC hale. He knows all of the members of his induction class well — Fey is a longtime friend of the Spalding family and a foe of Spalding’s daughter Lauren, who was a U.S. Olympian in kayaking in 2004.