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1960 Makaha International Surfing Championships


Left to right - George Downing, Rabbit Kekai, Conrad Canha, Jamma Kekai (Rabbit's brother), Peter Cole and Wally Froiseth, November 29, 1960. Photo: Clarence Maki

The Makaha International Surfing Championships was an annual surfing competition held at Makaha on the west side of Oahu, Hawaii, from 1954 to 1971, usually in November or December; regarded in the late '50s and early '60s as the unofficial world championships.
Created by Honolulu surfer and restaurant supplier John Lind, and sponsored by the Waianae Lions Club as well as the Lind-founded Waikiki Surf Club, the inaugural Makaha event was a bust: the wave-riding events were cancelled due to lack of surf, leaving just the paddling races. Attendees were all from Hawaii or Southern California. California surfer Flippy Hoffman later recalled that the opening Makaha event was not without drama, as tensions flared between the Makaha surfers and the Waikiki surfers, then between the Hawaiians and the visiting Californians. "They had this luau," Hoffman said, "and a big hassle developed over how to cook the pig. Things got pretty hot. That first contest had a lot of fist-fights and hassles." (Matt Warshaw's Encyclopedia of Surfing)

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As part of our commitment to protecting our image donors, the Surfing Heritage Foundation has begun using digital watermarking on ALL of our images, including those images seen on our website. This watermark is not visible to the eye, but is easily seen by many computer programs such at Photoshop and other image editing programs. In addition, we have also purchased a “watermark spider” that crawls the Internet specifically looking for any images that contain our SHF watermark. The Surfing Heritage Foundation is prepared to take the appropriate action should we find any illegal or unlicensed usage of images from our files.