Course outline (Form: 02/02/02) hwst 216 – History of Surfing – a native Perspective

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University of Hawai'i

COURSE OUTLINE (Form: 02/02/02)

HWST 216 – History of Surfing – A Native Perspective
HWST 216 History of Surfing (3) KCC AA/DH

3 hours lecture per week

Comment: Letter grade only. HWST 216 may not be taken credit/no credit. HWST 216 may not be audited.

HWST 216 is a study of one of the traditional native sports practices of the Hawaiian people. Surfing is part of the complex relationship to the ‘äina (land) and the ocean (kai). The history of surfing is a significant component to understanding the Hawaiian culture and the indigenous means by which cultural themes are created and expressed. Surfing is one of the unique identifiers of the Hawaiian people.

Upon successful completion of HWST 216, the student should be able to:

  • Identify traditional surfing places and beaches and the cultural significance - hierarchy.

  • Demonstrate a conceptual and working knowledge of surfing through hands on construction and application.

  • Reconstruct, through archaeology, the origins and significance of native architecture associated to the practice of surfing.

  • Describe mälama ÿäina and mälama kai and how this relates to surfing, the native environment and resources, and the significance of proper management.

  • Explain the significance of native imagery and physical characteristics of surfing expressed through chant and storytelling.

  • Analyze critically the cultural impact and the residual effects of the Western value system on the physical and spiritual connection Native people of Hawaiÿi have to the practice of surfing.


HWST 216 fulfills a Humanities diversification requirement in the liberal arts curriculum. This course supports the objectives of the Kapi’olani Asia/Pacific Emphasis and also supports Goal 4 Objective 1 Action Strategy D. “Support the development of courses and curricula in Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Studies and Languages,” of Kapi’olani Community College University of Hawai’i Strategic Plan Goals 2003-2010. This course is one of the electives for the Academic Subject Certificate in Hawaiian Studies.

HWST 107 is a prerequisite because of the inherent connection between language and the historical information that will be used in this course. Students are exposed to the Hawaiian language throughout the course their knowledge of the language supports comprehension of the Hawaiian culture; the native language is significant to understanding the information covered in this course. There is a strong language component built into the Hawaiian Studies 107 curriculum that adequately prepares the student for the research that will be undertaken, or that the student will be exposed to in this course.

HAW 101 is an alternative prerequisite because the inherent part of this course is the connection between language and culture. Though the primary focus of HAW 101 is language rather then history there is an inseparable connection between the two components that adequately prepares the language student for the research that will be undertaken, or that the student will be exposed to in this course. Hawaiian language can not be taught without associating that language to the historical information. With these facilities the student will be able to comprehend the historical information that is relevant to this course.

This course supports the following college competency areas:

  • Values for living

  • Quality of life as affected by technology and science

  • Awareness of the dynamics in contemporary issues

  • Responsiveness to the arts and humanities

  • Study in a selected program

This course also satisfies the following Associate in Arts degree competencies:

AA - Critical Thinking
Critical thinking, an analytical and creative process, is essential to every content area and discipline. It is an integral part of information retrieval and technology, oral communication, quantitative reasoning, and written communication. Upon completion of an A.A. degree, the student should be able to:

  • Identify and state problems, issues, arguments, and questions contained in a body of information.

  • Identify and analyze assumptions and underlying points of view relating to an issue or problem.

  • Formulate research questions that require descriptive and explanatory analyses.

  • Recognize and understand multiple modes of inquiry, including investigative methods based on observation and analysis.

  • Evaluate a problem, distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant facts, opinions, assumptions, issues, values, and biases through the use of appropriate evidence.

  • Apply problem-solving techniques and skills, including the rules of logic and logical sequence.

  • Synthesize information from various sources, drawing appropriate conclusions.

  • Communicate clearly and concisely the methods and results of logical reasoning.

  • Reflect upon and evaluate their thought processes, value systems, and worldviews in comparison to those of others.

AA - Information Retrieval and Technology Information

Information retrieval and technology are integral parts of every content area and discipline. Upon completion of an A.A. degree, the student should be able to:

  • Use print and electronic information technology ethically and responsibly.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic vocabulary, concepts, and operations of information retrieval and technology.

  • Recognize, identify, and define an information need.

  • Access and retrieve information through print and electronic media, evaluating the accuracy and authenticity of that information.

  • Create, manage, organize, and communicate information through electronic media.

  • Recognize changing technologies and make informed choices about their appropriateness and use.

AA - Oral Communication

Oral Communication is an integral part of every content area and discipline. Upon completion of an A.A. degree, the student should be able to:

  • Gather, evaluate, select, and organize information for the communication.

  • Use language, techniques, and strategies appropriate to the audience and occasion.

  • Summarize, analyze, and evaluate oral communications and ask coherent questions as needed.

AA - Written Communication

Written communication is an integral part of every content area and discipline. Upon completion of an A.A. degree, the student should be able to:

  • Use writing to discover and articulate ideas.

  • Choose language, style, and organization appropriate to particular purposes and audiences.

  • Gather information and document sources appropriately

  • Express a main idea as a thesis, hypothesis, or other appropriate statement.

  • Develop a main idea clearly and concisely with appropriate content.

AA - Understanding Self and Community

Kapi`olani Community College emphasizes an understanding of one's self and one's relationship to the community, the region, and the world. Upon completion of an A.A. degree, the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of the relationship between the environment and fundamental physiological and psychological processes.

  • Examine critically and appreciate the values and beliefs of their own culture and those of other cultures separated in time or space from their own.

  • Communicate effectively and acknowledge opposing viewpoints.

  • Use the study of a second language as a window to cultural understanding.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of ethical, civic, and social issues relevant to the past, present, and future.


SECTION 1 (Week 1 -3)

  • Introduction to the course and environment

  • Nä Haku O Ka Moana a He’enalu (The Master’s of the Ocean and Waves, A Hawaiian Perspective)

  • Nä Kahua Hawai’i O Ka He’enalu (The Hawaiian Origins of Surfing)

  • Nä Pule Kahiko – E Kähea No Ka Nalu (Ancient Prayers to Call Forth the Waves)

  • Nä ‘Ano Kahiko No Ka He’enalu – Nä Mele A Me Nä Oli Kahiko (The Ancient Protocols for Surfing – The Songs and Chants of Old)

  • The Great Hawaiian Surfers of Old - Greatest Surfers Ever Men and Women

(Suggested Readings Malo, D. Hawaiian Antiquites; Püku’i, M. & Korn, A. The Echo of Our Song – Chants and Poems of the Hawaiians; Gutmanis, J. Nä Pule Kahiko – Ancient Hawaiian Prayers)
SECTION 2 (Week 4 – 5)

  • Ka Papahe’enalu a me Papahölua O Nä Küpuna (Känemuna, Paki, a pëlä aku)

(The Sleds and Surfboards of the Ancestors – belonging to Känemuna, Paki, etc.)

  • Ka Makahiki – Nä Pa’ani Kahiko, He’enalu (The Makahiki and the Ancient Sports of Surfing)

  • Nä Wahi Pana No Ka He’enalu (Famous Places for Surfing)
  • The Kapu System & Traditions of Hawai’i

(Suggested Readings – Kekauhuna, Henry, E. P. Archaeological Sketches, 1950 & 1953; Westervelt, W. D. Hawaiian Legends of Old Honolulu & Hawaiian Historical Legends; Thorpe, C. In the Path of the Tradewinds – Legends of Hawai’i; Thrum, T. Hawaiian Folk Tales – A Collection of Native Legends; Mitchell, D. Resource Units in Hawaiian Culture; Malo, D. Hawaiian Antiquities)
SECTION 3 (Week 6 – 16)

  • Traditional Surfboard Making

(Construction of Hawaiian Surfboards – 3 types)

(Suggested Readings – Buck, Peter. Arts and Crafts of Hawai’i, Vol. VIII; Finney, Ben and Houston, James. Surfing, the Sport of Hawaiian Kings)

SECTION 4 (Week 12 – 16)

  • Surfing Sport of Kings and Queens – Ending a Myth

  • Surfing Revival 1900’s

  • Surfing Goes International

  • Modern Surfing Comes to Hawai’i: the 50’s

  • The New Wave: Surfing - A Traditional Practice of the Hawaiian’s Gives Rise to an Evolving Sub-Culture of America and the world.

(Suggested Readings - Krishan Kumar. From Post-Industrial to Post-Modern Society (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995; John Severson, “In the beginning,” Surfer, 26:l (January 1985): 110.; Kanahele, George, S. “Waikïkï 100 B.C. to 1900 A.D.: An Untold Story”; Finney, Ben and Houston, James. Surfing, the Sport of Hawaiian Kings; Timmons, Grady. “Waikïkï Beachboy; Video - Joan Ellis, “Endless Summer II,” (Nebbadoon Syndicate, 1994). Endless Summer I; Journal of Sport ; History; Wilson, Gary. “Surfing in Hawai’i”. [videorecording]; Pae I Ka Nalu Surfing in Hawai’i)

Abbott, Isabella, Aiona. Läÿau Hawaiÿi, Traditional Hawaiian Uses of Plants. Bishop Museum Press. 1992
Beckwith, Martha. Hawaiian Mythology. Honolulu, University of

Hawaiÿi, 1970.

Blake, Tom, “Hawaiian Surfriders – 1935”. Paradise of the Pacific Press; Honolulu, Hawaiÿi: 1935.
Bryan, E. H. Fieldtrip to Kapuÿa, South Kona, in 1932.

Manuscript in Bishop Museum.

Buck, Peter. Arts and Crafts of Hawaiÿi. Special Publication 45. Honolulu, Bishop Museum Press, 1957.
Clark, John, R.K. Hawaiÿi’s Best Beaches. Honolulu: University

of Hawaiÿi Press, 1999

Clark, John, R.K. Hawaiÿi Place Names – Shores, Beaches, and

Surf Sites. Honolulu: University of Hawaiÿi Press, 2002.
Ellis, William. Journal of William Ellis: Narrative of a Tour

of Hawaiÿi, or Owhyee; With Remarks on the History, Traditions,

Manners, Customs, and Language of the Inhabitants of the

Sandwich Islands. Honolulu Advertiser Publishing Company, 1963.

Emerson, Nathaniel, B. Pele and Hiÿiaka, A Myth from Hawaiÿi (Revised Edition). ÿAi Pöhaku Press; Honolulu, 1993.

Finney, Ben and Houston, James. Surfing, the Sport of Hawaiian Kings. Rutland, Vermont, Charles Tuttle, 1966.

Fornander, Abraham. Fornander Collection of Hawaiian Antiquities and Folklore. (3 Vols.”, 1916-1920.

Handy, Edward, and others. Native Planters in Old Hawaiÿi;

Their Life, Lore, and Environment. Bulletein no. 233. Honolulu, Museum Press, 1972.
Grant, Glenn. “Waikïkï Yesteryear”. Mutual Publishing:

Honolulu Hawaiÿi, 1996.

Gutmanis, June. Nä Pule Kahiko – Ancient Hawaiian Prayers. Honolulu, Hawaiÿi: Editions Limited, 1983.
Kamäkau, Samuel M. Ruling Chiefs Of Hawaiÿi (Revised Edition). The Kamehameha Schools Press: Honolulu, Hawaiÿi, 1992.
Kameÿelehiwa, Lilikalä. Native Land and Foreign Desires – Pehea Lä E Pono Ai? Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaiÿi. 1995.
Kanahele, George, S. “Waikïkï 100 B.C. to 1900 A.D.: An Untold Story”. Queen Emma Foundation: Honolulu, Hawaiÿi. 1995
Kwiatkowski, P.F. Nä Kiÿi Pöhaku: A Hawaiian Petroglyph Primer. Honolulu, Hawaiÿi: Küpaÿa Inc. 1991.
Ladd, Edward J. Archaeology at Puÿuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. Test Excavations at Sites B-105, B-107, and B-108. National Parks Service,Dept. of the Interior. Manuscript. 1986.
Malo, David. Hawaiian Antiquities. Honolulu, Hawaiÿi: Bishop Museum, 1992
Mitchell, Donald. Hawaiian Games for Today. Honolulu: Kamehameha Schools, 1975.
Patterson, O.B. “Surf-Riding, Its Thrills and Techniques”. Charles B. Tuttle Company, Inc. of Rutland, Vermont, and Tokyo. 1960

Pükuÿi, Mary Kawena and Samuel H. Elbert. Hawaiian – English Dictionary. University of Hawaiÿi Press: Honolulu, Hawaiÿi. 1961.

Said, Edward, W. Orientalism. Vintage Books; New York: 1979, c.1978.
Sorenson, Betty, Dyer, Born and Raised in Waikïkï”. Limu Press: Santa Cruz, CA. 1995.
Stannard, David E. Before the Horror: the population of Hawaiÿi on the eve of Western

Contact. University of Hawaiÿi Press: Honolulu: 1989.
Thorpe, Cora Wells. In the Path of the Tradewinds. G.P. Putnam’s & Sons: New York. 1924.
Thrum, Thomas G. Hawaiian folk tales: A Collection of Native Legends. Folcroft, PA.: Folcroft Library Editions. 1976.
Timmons, Grady. “Waikïkï Beachboy”. Editions Limited: Honolulu, Hawaiÿi. 1989.
Trask, Haunani-Kay. From a Native Daughter, Colonialism and Sovereignty. Common Courage Press: Monroe, Maine. 1993.
Westervelt, William, D. Hawaiian Historical Legends. Charles E. Tuttle Co., Inc.: Rutland, Vermont. 1977.
Westervelt, William, D. Hawaiian Legends of Old Honolulu. Charles E. Tuttle Co., Inc.: Rutland, Vermont. 1966.
Wilson, Gary. “Surfing in Hawaiÿi”. World Wide Distributors Ltd.: Honolulu, Hawaiÿi.
Other Bibliographical Sources
Heÿenalu Legends [videorecording]. Honolulu, Hawaiÿi: JN Productions, c1992.
Pae I Ka Nalu Surfing in Hawaiÿi. [videorecording]. Honolulu: Hawaiÿi State Dept. of Education, 1986; Honolulu, Hi; Video Lab, 1989.

This course will consist of lectures and group discussions, student participation, reports and projects, field trips, internet enhancement, research and other class activities.

  • Lectures and guest speakers in different subject areas.

  • Paired activities

  • Small group work

  • Whole group discussions

  • Student presentations

  • Video presentations and follow-up discussions

  • Readings

  • Field trips


Participation 10%

*(Students are expected to complete assigned readings, viewing of videos, and lectures. Based on the materials provided (readings, lectures, videos, etc) quality and quantity of the input is measured by the students ability to contribute (through their understanding of the materials) to their assigned group and the class in general. This demonstrates that the student has an understanding of the subject matter, which can only be acquired by their presence in the classroom. Though this may be subjective it is a means to encourage analytical and critical modes of thinking.)

Exams and Quizzes 30%

Research Projects 40%

Formal and Informal writing 20%

90 - 100% = A

80 - 89% = B
70 - 79% = C
60 - 69% = D
less than 60% = F
Whatever method of instruction is used, it is understood that the instructor reserves the right to make reasonable adjustments to the evaluation policies outlined.
HWST 216 may not be repeated for additional credit. HWST 216 may not be taken credit/no credit. HWST 216 may not be audited.


A. Explain why this curriculum change is required. The course description and competencies for HWST 210 and HWST 216 were, inadvertently, very similar and students are having difficulty receiving transfer credit for both courses after transcript evaluation. The courses are different and the updated course description and competencies clarify the differences/similarities.

B. This is not an experimental course seeking regular status.
C. Will this course increase or decrease the number of required hours needed for a certificate or degree? No.


A. Source of funding -- Will this proposal require a change in staff, equipment, facilities, or other resources? No.
No additional staff required for this course; this course will substitute for a HWST 107 section.
B. Does this course have any impact on other departments? No impact on any other department;

C. Indicate maximum enrollment per class section. Indicate the estimated number of sections to be offered per semester. Maximum enrollment per section – 25; estimated sections offered 2.


  1. There are no similar courses at other UH campuses but there are basic course components in common with this course. For example:

UH – Mänoa Campus:
HWST 270 Hawaiian Mythology (3) Survey of gods, 'aumakua, kupua, mythical heroes, heroines, and their kinolau as the basis of traditional Hawaiian metaphor.
HWST 362 Pana O'ahu; Famous Place Names (3) A survey of the famous place names in each 'ahupua'a of O'ahu, including accounts of mythical heroes, heiau, fishponds, wind, rain names, and their metaphoric value in Hawaiian literature.

Note: Future plans for CHS Mänoa calls for the development of five new courses that will incorporate the traditional knowledge and resources of the Hawaiian to further expand the Hawaiian Studies program. These courses will include:

  • Mahi'ai Kalo: Cultivation of Taro, the Divine Ancestor of the Hawaiian Farmer

  • Na Mala Hawai'i: Traditional Hawaiian Food Crops and Planting Techniques

  • Ka La'au Lapa'au: Hawaiian Medicinal Plants and Uses

  • Na Hana No'eau 'A'ahu: Traditional Fiber Arts -- Kapa, Hala and 'Olona

  • Na La'au Hula: Traditional Hula Plants for Adornments and Implements

UH – Hilo Campus:
HAWS 194 - Special Topics in Hawaiian Studies; Topics chosen by instructor. The course content will vary. It may be repeated for credit, provided that a different topic is studied.
HAWS 294 - Special Topics in Hawaiian Studies; Topics chosen by the instructor. The course content will vary. It may be repeated for credit, provided that a different topic is studied.
HAWS 305 - Hana Noeau; Traditional Hawaiian arts taught in Hawaiian. (A) lau hala, (E) upena/koko (types of nets), (I) hulu manu (feather work), (O) other. (May be repeated for credit if subletters are different.)
Hawaiian Studies 361 Pana Hawai‘i. Traditions and literature of pana (named sites of cultural importance). Emphasis on islands of Hawai‘i, Maui, Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i, O‘ahu, Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau. Conducted in Hawaiian.

Anthropology 386H Hawaiian Culture Before 1819. Hawaiian culture before the 1819 overthrow of the native Hawaiian religion: fishing and farming, political-economic organization and religion. Emphasis on early Hawaiian writers-Malo, Kamakau and ‘I‘i.

Anthropology 387 WI / Modern Hawaiian Culture from 1819-present. Change and continuity in Hawaiian culture from 1819 to the present, in the context of interaction with non-Hawaiians. Major cultural transformations of the nineteenth century. Hawaiian culture in the early and later twentieth century.

Hawaiian Studies 305 Hana No ‘Eau: La‘ au Lapa‘au. Traditional Hawaiian arts taught in Hawaiian.

Hawaiian Studies 497 Hawaiian Studies Seminar. Readings, research, and field work on the traditional and contemporary Hawaiian community. Conducted in Hawaiian.

Hawaiian Studies 462 Haku Mele. Hawaiian poetry as literature. Survey and analysis of traditional and modern forms, methods of composition, poetic language, imagery, and kaona (hidden meanings). Interpreting and composing poetry in Hawaiian.

HAWS 665 - Ethnological and Historical Narratives; Descriptions written in Hawaiian regarding traditional Hawaiian culture and history. Cultural topics range from religion and court life to farming and fishing.

Windward CC – ANTH 175 and 175L, Polynesian Surf Culture, 3 credits.

B. Yes, this course is appropriate for articulation with the UH Manoa General Education Core Requirements as AA/DH.

C. No, this course is not appropriate for articulation with other programs.

HWST 216 Course Outline page

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