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Waikiki Marker / HistoricTrail

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art (State Historical Landmark)


The Waikiki marker stands on the mouth of an old stream known as the Kuekaunahi. Waikiki is made up of a huge marshland that is fed by many streams; and is so called “Waikiki” because it means “spouting water”. For hundreds of years, chiefs made their homes and headquarters here because it has been a popular spot for surfing since ancient times. Many years ago, “romance and surfing often went together”. The old stream, Kuekaunahi, which means “take off the lehua”, was a famous surfing spot in Waikiki. “It was so named when a legendary hero took off his lei of lehua blossoms and gave it to the wife of the ruling chief with whom he was surfing.” 1

Waikiki Marker from a Short Distance
Waikiki Marker
Surfboard Marker on the Waikiki Historic Trail
Duke Kahanamoku with his Surfboard


Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, stands Waikiki Marker which is shaped like a surfboard.  The marker stands on the mouth of an old stream known as Kuekauanhi which translates to “take off the lehua”.  Waikiki itself means “spouting water” which was most likely named because it is made up of a huge marshland that is fed by many streams.  Waikiki has been a popular spot for surfing since ancient times.  Chiefs used to make their homes and headquarters here.  Even though it is often referred to as “the sport of kings”, “everyone surfs!”. 1

It was believed that surfing took people away from religious obligations, such as worship.  Therefore, the sport saw a great decline by 1900.  However, there are some massive waves to behold at Waikiki.  The swells range in height from two to eight feet.  One ride could go a hundred yards or so.  “The longest ride recorded took place in 1917 when the great Duke Kahanamoku caught a 35-foot wave and rode it to shore, a distance of a mile and a quarter.”  Before his great achievement at surfing, Kahanamoku was an Olympic Champion.  “He introduced surfing to Australia and demonstrated the sport up and down the California Coast”. 1

A Historic Trail also begins near the Waikiki Marker.  This is a walking trail that can be led by a tour guide.  “It highlights twenty-three historic sites” within Waikiki.  Along the trail, some of the historic sites are marked with surfboard-shaped markers. 2 Dr. George Kanahele, an author/historian, created the Waikiki Historic Trail.  Kanahele is passionate about Waikiki’s past and wanted to create the trail so others would know the, mostly unknown, history and importance of the area. 3


1. "Waikiki Marker." Waikiki Marker. Web. 12 Feb. 2015. 2. "Guide to the Waikiki Historic Trail Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii." Guide to the Waikiki Historic Trail. Web. 12 Feb. 2015. 3. "Waikiki Historic Trail." Aloha and Welcome to Web. 12 Feb. 2015.

2586 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815
Phone Number
9-11 a.m. Mondays - Saturdays Cost = Free Trail is divided into two tours
  • Sports History
This location was created on 2015-02-28 by Jessica Young .   It was last updated on 2015-02-28 by Jessica Young .

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