Posts Tagged ‘Hawaiian History’

A Blue Voice

Sunday, March 17th, 2013


In the moments after the Sea-Space Summit at Google ended in 2012, and some fantastic work had initiated, Charlotte Vick, who heads up the Sylvia Earle Alliance (and so much more) approached me and posed a very direct question.

“David, what exactly is it that you do?” Ever meet one of those people, who as soon as you connect, the recognition that you are of the same tribe becomes apparent in an innate manner?  That was how Charlotte struck me. What she really wanted to know however, is who I was.

Hers was a very direct question. In fact, I doubt that you could find out the real answer if you Google that, and me. (funny video eh?)

Google will not tell you everything, btw. You still must know a person. Knowing is a spirit soul and body process, and will never be digital. Knowing is important.

In the past few years I have found myself immersed in project after project where incredibly gifted, educated people come to the table, and on their own dime, explore large issues concerning the Earth and Humanity. They come for various reasons. Some of these people come due to a self interested, job related reason, some are steeped in crystal clear altruism, others just want to help: anyone. They have high skill levels, each one.

I seem to be getting asked back or otherwise am invited to join the conversation in yet another think tank type event, as soon as the work is completed from the prior one. People want to hear, what I have to say. So I go, listen a lot, and contribute a bit.

Today I am just home from a meeting of what would appear to be far lesser consequence. It was an Advisory Council Meeting for the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, where Dr Andrea Neal, Blue Wolf, a Chumash Indian, proponent and advocate of Chumash Culture, and myself, went to observe, as a part of a commitment to be stewards over our local waters.



In the course of the meeting, two young ladies, high school students, got up and gave a rather lengthy presentation on Marine Protected Areas. A subject which has been in front of me in several elite Science and Engineering based groups these past few years. The information communicated was basically a regurgitation of all that these children had been taught about MPA’s and the Ocean.

When they had finished, and the busy and time pressed chair of the Council asked if we had questions for the girls, I asked a few. Here they are.

  1. In a year, what sort of things do you do in the Ocean?
  2. What is your first memory of the Ocean?
  3. How does the Ocean make you feel?

These very self motivated and well meaning young ladies, who could be doing anything that would be more fun than hanging out with the likes of us, communicated something telling.   It was not based on info regarding the MPAs. It was that they did not know the Ocean personally, or intimately. They only knew what they were led to believe, about the Sea. Big difference between those two things: Believing and Knowing.

At their age, I would not have been caught dead in a meeting with the likes of us this day, talking about Marine Protected Areas. I was out in the Ocean engaging as a native, the very waters they were talking about. They simply did not have the same upbringing, opportunity and choices I had been given. (I wish that they did.)

So their talk  saddened me a bit. It said a lot about what this culture programs into children, and how we inadvertently indoctrinate them, and in process, separate them from Nature, thereby making them proselytes rather than active members of a vital ecosystem.

This is a great tragedy.

However, the idea of the Ocean inspired the girls, and gave them a sense of scale, and of their significance in the grand scheme of things. Sadly though, they really could not nail down a specific memory of their first introduction to the Sea. That last part said a lot. It is what motivated me to write this piece- accounting.




 So, this is who I am.




My name is David Franklin Pu’u.  I am the son of David Wahinealoha Puu, a Native Hawaiian waterman, who served this country in the Military,  Defense and Aerospace industries, who was the son of Kalani Pu’u, a Hawaiian singer and entertainer.  I am Kanaka Maoli, by virtue of my genetics, and relationship with the Sea. (That video reminds me of my Grandfather, especially the voice)

The family history sort of meanders a bit at times, but most accounts trace it back to the Big Isle, where my ancestor,  Chief Kalani O Puu, who appears to have been the Uncle of future king, Kamehameha, played a pivotal role in the slaying of Captain James Cooke, at Kealakekua Bay.

When my Father got out of Engineering school at Marquette University in Milwaukee (where I was birthed)  the family pediatrician explained that due to genetics, my two brothers and I would likely never be healthy unless we were raised in a warmer climate.  So my parents moved to California

I am 53 ocean years old. I was born to the Sea, on a warm Southern California afternoon when I was four. On that day, the water had become my home.

Imagine that,  53 years in the water.

I remember the moment I met the Ocean with crystal clarity. As I stood on the sand and watched a surfer glide to shore, I knew with no doubt that this was where my life would be spent.

And at the chronological age of 57, I am here to tell you, that my life has been and still is, wedded to the water. The Sea has taught me much. But more than that, she makes me happy, and gives me peace, and a sense of well being.

For 50 years I have engaged on a daily basis, my home waters, which range from  the Malibu Coast up to Point Conception, and out to the Channel Islands, much as any Hawaiian would.


My colleague and friend, Hawaiian Historian Tom Pohaku Stone, once told me something that resonated. It did not create any bright flash of enlightenment for me. But it will help you understand who and what I am. This is what he said.

“The Sea is our home. The land is where we go to rest”

That is a key element if you really need to know what I am about or anyone is, who possesses an Ocean heritage, for that matter.

I have swum, paddled, sailed, surfed, dove, fished and worked a plethora of jobs and careers in, on, around and about the Ocean. I have traveled and experienced many seas, as was the way of my ancestors, who were explorers, and have learned a lot about Island people and the various globally scattered water tribes.



To this day I spend every possible moment in the water, and as a Film Maker and Photographer see it as routine, the 240-300 days a year I get to be engaging the Ocean globally. It is my home.

I have swum with all manner of marine life, and am currently on swim-encounter number 38 with Great White sharks. I began to keep track of them much as a WW2 flying ace would of his victories, about 18 years ago.

I swim with Dolphins and Seals a lot. Sometimes with enough frequency, that they get to know me, and we create a tenuous, yet wonderful, human-wild creature relationship.

I once spent 10 days in the Maldives, without touching land, swimming morning to dusk with a mermaid, content to rise each morning and meander with light, and  current, in a life attached only to fluid passivity, and my mermaid subject’s wonderful, illusionary embrace.

Water is  life to our planet, but I know beyond any doubt that the Ocean has been the source of  education, development and sustenance, spirit soul and body for me. God Himself touches me when I am in the Sea and through it I feel His pleasure, and have learned His ways.



The legendary Hawaiian waterman and cultural emissary from Hawaii , Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, was quoted as once saying: “Outside of the Ocean, I am nothing”.

I admire the man’s life and leadership style of aqueous precept and example.

He was a pinnacle of human endeavor and life in the Sea. It is what Hawaii is all about.

But I disagree with Duke in a manner of speaking.

Outside of the Ocean I am something greater that I could otherwise ever be, were it not for my 53 years in the Sea. Because when I disengage from my daily environment, I can share with those who will never ever be able to experience what I have. You see, the people who need to know the Ocean, are those not IN the Ocean.



When I stand up in a meeting,  before those who may not really know the Ocean intimately,  there really is no doubt in me about who or what I am, or what to say.


I am a Blue Voice.


The Wisdom of that voice can help create the brotherhood, and change which Humanity needs.

We all need to aspire to become a great, educated, connected, Blue Voice. For ourselves first, but for our children and future generation’s health, happiness and well being, after that.

Think Blue, become Blue, speak Blue and be the change.

We ought to not only learn of Nature. (That does not help so much)  We must become a part of it, and the human segment of the solution to the equations addressing our Blue Marble’s evolutionary progress.

This link is to an Ocean brother’s TedX talk at San Diego recently. His work is far more significant than many may guess. Dr Wallace J Nichols, a Blue Voice.

If, as you get to the end of this, you are more interested, or just want to otherwise question who and what I am, here is a small cross section of my stills work, cut together to the Blue Voice of Hawaiian, Justin Young.  “Walking On Our Waters”

If it is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, this piece is a novel, albeit a hastily thrown together one. We got to see Justin perform last week here in Santa Barbara with Anuhea. The thought of it still makes me smile. Happiness comes from the Sea and Islanders love to share that.


Aloha Oe.







Talking Story

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012


When I was very young, my Father explained to me how history was documented in Hawaii. He told me that it was passed along from Father to Son, and that if the chain was ever broken, that the family History could be lost as time passed. So I grew up with the concept of the story being a  relatively sacred thing.

As my career in imaging grew, it was based on the telling of stories in the context of my image creation. I would always, no matter how surreal the work became in expression, root the piece in  aspects of Historic Truth. The exact timbre of the truth communicated was always, by design, supposed to correspond as closely as artistically appropriate with the subject.

This week I had a fairly rare occurrence. Someone posted a video on my Facebook wall, and asked that I watch it. At the end of the half hour piece, I was heavily impacted by the message of the film. I sat in front of the monitor and pondered how I felt. The person was asking me to pass the film and it’s message along.  To both tell and verify their story by my assent to that act.

I thought awhile, and did not share it. With a sigh, I realized that something did not seem right to me. A close friend of mine, a Deputy District Attorney once took me aside after my company had experienced a couple episodes with Con men (short for confidence) in our retail stores and factory. He said that if something ever struck one as being “too good to be true” that in all likelihood it really was a lie of sorts, based on what we wanted to hear. Frequently, he said (and I found this to be very accurate in perspective over the years) that the Con man himself really believes what he is saying, or at the very least, maintains his aura of confident assertiveness in the telling of the tale.

So I began the process of vetting the truth of this film. It just seemed all too perfect, emotions manipulated neatly in a seamless combination of perfect production values, that belied great skill, a lot of time and as I know first hand, a substantial budget to cover the phases of production, post production and distribution.

That film on my Facebook wall was Kony 2012.

So for two entire days, I looked into the aspects of the history of an age old conflict in Uganda, which the story loosely and creatively chronicled, and began to look more closely at the manner in which the story was told. The closer I looked, the more appalled that I became. As I point by point dissected the film, unraveled my emotional entanglements, figured out the why, when, where, who and how of the film, I was appalled, but really not that surprised, that in essence, at it’s core, I was being conned.

As a last point of vetting, I rang a colleague up. L’s warm voice came on the line and in the background I could hear voices and commotion. “Hey L, where are you?” “In Washington at a  National Journalism Convention. How are you? What’s up?” I offered to ring him back later but L said that he had a 7 minutes, so I said simply: “Kony 2012″. L was silent for a few seconds then responded. “What do you want to know?” “Everything”

So L stepped outside the conference and used his 7 minutes to tell me what he KNEW. Not what he thought. Journalists are great that way, the real ones. The details he described showed me a methodical background check that led all the way from various NGO long term aide workers on the ground in Uganda, right to the fund raising efforts and disbursement of funds in the NGO which the film fronted and talked story for. As we rang off, L promised that he would send me a link to someone he respected who was on the ground in Uganda, so I could read firsthand, that person’s story. And we said goodbye. 6 minute phone call. The link arrived and I posted it into my vette document.

I would not be posting that video on my Facebook wall, but I would talk a little about the value of correct Philosophy in storytelling.

There is an age old saying about the past and it’s documentation, which illustrates the importance of not just good intentions, but purity of heart. “History is always written by the winners”

Ethically, without an embrace of the truth in a matter, there is no real purity of heart, and that story telling experience which ensues, well, that can alter History, and affect the manner in which a culture moves forward to great negative affect.

Storytellers therefore, have a somewhat sacred trust to maintain and abide by.

I have seen a lot of subtle lies in film and media. Sometimes they are blatant, as in Stop Kony. Frequently they are more subtle, as in the rewriting of MOH Michael Monsoor’s death account to suit the storyline, in the recently released film, the doco turned feature “Act of Valor”. The lure of a “good story” is always there to tempt the storyteller to bend or weave truth, according the their own reality.

EVERYONE struggles with the truth, in media and content development. Myself included.So many voices exist, telling so many tales and frequently something that sounds reasonable gets passed on and becomes a part of a bigger work. That is the architecture of deceit. This is how it comes and creates a reality that can deceive many. It is true, that saying: “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions”.

I know a lot of Film Makers, Directors, Writers and various Creatives. The bulk of the ones with professional standing have a high bar for Truth, especially the ones whose careers burgeon under the label of being an “artist” .


So maybe as Social Media accelerates rapidly forward, we ought to hold people accountable a little more often. What you see or read or hear may be a lie. Everything you read is NOT true, but may be someone’s version of a lie wrapped in the guise of Truth. It is not all grey out there. Really. Truth matters.

Each one of the images in this blog tells a story. Each tale is rather pure. I like the fact that life is often much stranger and more beautiful than fiction.

I am outraged by the insult that film maker issued with Stop Kony. I want to simply type these words as my message to him.

      Fuck You

But here is the deal. No one wins in that. Not really. Because outrage must transform into education, and forward progress, or my own story telling itself, will become darker, and filled with less light.

So I will refrain from a long diatribe and simply ask people to think about what they are being told. Is it sounding too good to be true? If so, just do a little something. Turn the light on. Our Society and Culture need that.

Then go tell your own story. I am sure it will be wonderful.

Lastly, here is a fantastic piece about Jeff Skoll, on storytelling, in one of my favorite reads, Daily Good.

An Earthen Chalice

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

I sometimes ponder the connection we humans have to the land. The bond is a deep one for us all. Some are more cognizant of that than others. I think the reason for this is rooted in specifics related to culture.

Recently I connected with a woman on Facebook. In a series of e mails we found out that we were related, as we traced our knowledge of family history back to the Big Island of Hawaii.

I recalled a visit I had made awhile back to a Heiau there. Temples are very sacred places for Hawaiians. As I strode into the courtyard of the Pu’ukohala Heiau, I felt history. As bare feet touched the dark brown pumice of lava rocks that had been hand carried and laid generations before by my family, from out of the inside of me came the realization of what had occurred in this place. It was as if the contact of my flesh to the rock via my feet had made my body a psychic lightening rod and my soul instantly transcended time. And I suddenly knew things about the place in which I stood.

Dark eyes watched me. Of this I have no doubt.

Our land is something special. It is why Nations revel in sovereign borders.

Last night I scrambled up a mountain path at the southern end of the coastal valley which was created by the meandering of the Santa Clara and Ventura Rivers over a period of geologically related time. The trail is called the Chumash Trail. Huffing and slogging my gear up the trail, I knew that something special was about to occur. A surface high was keeping Winter storms to the North of my home. We would get the clouds. But no storm.

I had steadfastedly turned down a dinner engagement with close friends. I had a date planned. I knew what the evening would involve even as I sat working steadily on a music video project, locked down by pixel shackles, in the dim light of my editing room.

As the sun dropped behind the Channel Islands out at sea I strode into a clearing off trail and stood gazing out at the Western Horizon.Many had been at this spot. I could see telltales in the coastal chapparal. But more than that, deeper, I could feel the past.

Scent of sage, salt laden air, the sound of a coyote, the faint sound of surf, wove a spell and I saw a door meant to be experienced by all who ventured here at that moment. But it was only me standing there. Sort of.  In native cultures around the world, exists the concept of a Western Gate. It is where one leaves the contact of dirt for another plane of existence. We all are bound to a contract which includes that leap one day.

The Chumash are largely gone today. So are the Hawaiians. But they still exist. If you listen, you will hear them, and that will instill a reverence in you that enables a culture to steer itself in an appropriate manner. I need that. We need that.

A great cause and site sent along by Skip Saenger. Wishtoyo.

Here is one of my favorite musical subjects. Jeff Buckley performing Hallelujah. Reverence. Quiet. Peace. Worship. Important things we sometimes disconnect from. The world is full of braying donkeys. Sometimes we need to step away from the herd to hear the truth that exists in the quiet.

You honor the land as it is the chalice which cradles your life and your children’s, and is that which feeds the seas. Pretty simple. Do it.

A Chumash Chalice

A Chumash Chalice

True West

True West

Chumash Garden

Chumash Garden

Surfing Is

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
David Pu'u, Self Expression

David Pu'u, Self Expression

The motivation for this piece began with the publication of the following story in the WSJ, to which I contributed an image of my girlfriend Donna Von Hoesslin. Read the comment section, post story, and you will see a diversity of opinions (including mine) that are quite revelatory about each person’s point of view regarding surfing. Those statements reveal everything about those people’s depth of involvement with the ocean. The commentary engaged me.

I have always been a surfer. At four years of age I knew that goal was what my life would be about. To know the ocean, (and to surf) became my path.

In a lifetime of study and involvement in all things water and ocean related, I learned many things about the ocean that never cease to amaze and moderate me as a human being.

Waterwoman, Hailey Partridge

Waterwoman, Hailey Partridge

Water has got to be the single greatest creative foil for mankind ever. It always wins. (You cannot compress it.) It is alive. Within it, and especially the sea, is contained the genetic signature of all life, which ever existed.

But what I find remarkable, is that as a Hawaiian, my ancestors gifted the sport, and the resulting culture that arose, for reasons many may not readily comprehend. I have long been convinced that surfing and the resulting relationship with the ocean serves to be a mirror of who and what a person is. In it, is a near perfect reflection of everybody’s true compass heading for their lives.

As I document and observe the people involved with the ocean, to me, the depth of every single human being is readily apparent by seeing how they relate to water.

In  a world of people aspiring to be called: surfers, surfriders, eco warriors, watermen, and all manner of ocean branded things, it is readily apparent, what surfing is to those people. You can always tell who really comprehends the ocean,  and whether that person is there to simply use it to brand their movement or maybe just find a means of validating themselves.

Hard to fake it with something so vital and alive as the sea. She always triumphs. Even if her own time frame is an eternal one. It is we who fade into her, and eventually she is us.

Performance as a Mirror of Involvement

Performance as a Mirror of Involvement

Seth Godin was thinking along similar lines today. His Blog.

My ancestors knew exactly what they were doing.

Like the ocean, truth is eternal.

Carmine Rush

Carmine Rush

Best to embrace it.

What is Surfing: Fifty Views

Thursday, June 18th, 2009
The Chant

The Chant

Each day lately, begins with me wading though the e mail file. Today I opened a newsletter from an organization which I support, by lending them usage of some of my images. The subject header was “International Surfing Day”.  A “Cool, we have our own day”  impulse when I pressed the “read” icon, rapidly transitioned to less than kind  post read thoughts.

The newsletter yielded the cyber floor to a new surf magazine editor from Orange County who I had never heard of, and who communicated his chronologically and geologically biased adolescent view of what Surfing is.

But it occurred to me, that maybe Surfing could be many unique things to a diverse cross section of humanity. It is something equally valid to an  OC based ex pro surfer, as well as a neophyte hick from Wisconsin. Each holds a view that could be considered authentic, when taken in the context of a more grand perspective of the sport.

But what is Surfing?  I mean at it’s core? In his youthful myopia the editor had innocently posed that question for me, even if my first response had been indignation.

So here goes. Fifty views of what Surfing is.

One: Surfing is old.  Surfing is actually not a young sport. It’s youth is only in relation to it’s existence in Western culture, where when compared to other sports, its age being within this century, it is relatively young. Surfing is ancient. It was part of the animistic religion of Polynesian culture, and when taken in it’s full context,  had several cultural purposes in addition to it’s spiritual parallels.

It was integral to the maintenance of an oligarchal social Caste system. Wave riding was used as a means of demonstrating skill, the end purpose being to establish dominance within the tribe and of course to that end, it was a means of courtship. When a woman chose to ride a wave with a man who had demonstrated his mastery, she in effect selected him as a sexual partner ( the Polynesians were polyamourous) and it was on, shortly thereafter. There you had it. The first surf contest, and the prize. One can see why Calvinist and Mormon Missionaries discouraged the pastime so fervently.

It always strikes me as humorous when I look at modern day professional surfing for those reasons. (Yes, I knew about this when I surfed for a living) It cracked me up then, too. My ex wife used to comment about modern pro surfing and the lack of women in the boys club,and always alluded to it being a guise for latent homosexual urges. (Hey don’t shoot me, we divorced, remember?)

Two: Surfing is Educational. By forcing one to become intimately acquainted with the sea, surfing places you in harms way. I love Darwinism. Natural selection is the best thing in the world in its equanimity. In the ocean you either begin to catch on right away, or you scurry out of that liquid embrace with all the speed of that cat you tossed in your parents bathtub. It has an interesting affect, the sea. It piques your curiousity and challenges, which causes one to acquire and marshal all the diverse talents needed to be a surfer, or it scares you, and you leave. Flight or fight. Facing fear. Seeking knowledge. Knowledge and its sibling, Understanding, work together to erase fear. Surfing teaches that lesson well.

I love teaching people to surf. Love it. What I do is remove the mystery. I make the person understand that there is nothing that can hurt them, then I stay with them. I make catching those first waves simple using an old push from behind trick where you push the neophyte rider into the wave, but implement a modern twist where you hold on to both rails of the board and stabilize it, all the while giving any direction necessary. I am always calm in the ocean, so that is what I communicate. I start out using my ability as their crutch but eventually the new surfer realizes they have a grip on it all and off they go.  The loss of me as crutch is seldom noticed as they glide along on their own. It is a happy moment when that occurs.

All surfers love communicating surfing. For us it is the golden handshake that we know can transform and beautify a life and translates back into a better social fabric ultimately.  One of my favorite students was a cowboy. Within ten minutes of instruction, I was back on the beach and watched this guy who had never been in the ocean before stand up, ride a wave to the sand, pick up the board, walk to where I stood and say: “Hey that was easy”   “Umm never in the ocean before ever?” I had asked again.  “Nope, but I did race supercross for a long time, and the balance thing is sorta like that, so I just did what you told me. Easy.” This cowboy was a master of motion balance. His name is Jeff Sober and he ran an oil company and hailed from Wyoming. The memory still gives me a smile.

Three: Surfing is expression. It can mean a myriad number of things and conforms to each person and where they are in their lives. It relates to a person spirit, soul and body as it challenges on all three levels. You confront the unknown with each go out. You learn a new world. Your experience is entirely unique and grows more rewarding continually as the accumulation of experience and knowledge begets understanding and allows you to go further eternally. It is the ultimate Pavlovian response example. Good doggie, here is your treat. Or bad doggie, back to the beach with you. It’s methods are basal. It is infinitely expressive.

Four: Surfing is addicting. The exhilaration of the chase, the acquisition and the ride,  yet all that is left as the wave ebbs is the knowledge you are left with. To get more, you must paddle back out. So you do, because you thirst for it.

Five: Surfing is giving. It defines that basic principal of the universe, it gives health, wisdom, understanding, compassion, judgement.  Surfing gives.The most easy going people that I know, albeit the most driven in other ways, are the best surfers. They know who and what they are and how they got there.
I have met and hung with a lot of the best. They really are.

I recently read a great book on a superior waterman. It is here at Legendary Surfers. I find it funny that he and I were both born in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Tom Blake got it. Do you?

A great example of surfing and surfers giving back is Paul Jenkin. His new film trailer Watershed Revolution is here. . Paul gets it. His blog is here.

Six: Surfing is funny. One of the most eloquent expressions of indignation at the rape of a sport that I ever viewed was in the master actor Sean Penn’s sarcastic portrayal of the San Fernando Valley surfer in the cult classic film Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Sean, being from the Malibu- Santa Monica coast had grown up around surfing and had developed his character in the film to satirize all that irked him about the transient surf population which attempted to decide for him what was cool and what was out. His pot saturated idiotic innocent iconoclastic character, Jeff Spicoli, served for over a decade as popular mainstream cultures view of what a surfer was. The brilliance in this was not lost on real surfers. Something to be said for authenticity.

What the performance said was that surfers are idiots. They need to be medicated. They are hedonistic thrill seekers with no future. Sean being a brilliant student of his craft and a surfer,  had manipulated popular culture in his portrayal. Okay dude, cmon down to the beach, I am an idiot and I rock. It’s a funny baiting of popular culture. We all know how it ends when someone does come down to the beach. The education begins rather promptly. To me Sean is surfing and is likely still laughing. The uninitiated to this day still use the expletive “Dude” when attempting to communicate an understanding of surfing and popular culture.  Yes surfing is funny. So particularly are surfers.  If you want to see real practical jokes just hang with a surfer, or watch Sean Penn in that film. It is just who we are.

Seven: Surfing is brilliant. The light it shines on where you are in your life and what is important and it’s ability to reset and restore a person’s defaults thereby bringing them back to an equable place is genius. All you PC users should relate. System locks up? Turn it off. Then back on. It is the last ditch line of defense and can get you back in the game.

Eight: Surfing is smart. It encourages the ability to think laterally and come up with creative solutions. One of the first questions being: “How can I order my life so that I can stay near the ocean?” has given birth to the action sports industry, and countless successful small businesses. You would be surprised at who surfs, or is in some way forever married to the ocean by virtue of having at some point embraced the activity. A great example of lateral thinking as related to marketing is here by the folks from Rusty.

Nine: Surfing is eternal. It explains flow and the cyclical nature of life and ourselves. It speaks to the inner man of who and what we are and comforts us in the communication of the knowledge of our destination.

Ten: Surfing is bliss. Ask any surfer what his most amazing moment was and he will tell you about a wave. Look at them. You can see it in their eyes.

Eleven: Surfing is Understanding. It leads you to a higher intellectual and moral ground.

Twelve: Surfing is harmony. You understand harmonics and music after a while listening to an aqueous symphony. Popular culture is frequently steered by music. It is one of the fundamental occupations of tribal culture.

Thirteen: Surfing is color. Color indicates an energy signature. You really learn about what color temperature means as a photographer. But surfers see colors that the human eye, film and digital technology have the most difficult time expressing.

The remaining 37 views illustrate the old adage of a picture being worth a thousand words. Here are 37,000 words and an infinite number of emotions. When it comes right down to it, surfing is love.

The Bible of the sport these days is The Surfers Journal

What the US did in acquiring Hawaii is here It is educational in a painful way, but explains a lot about the cost of modern surfing.

Here is what surfing is to some lads in Ireland. Approximately 30 minutes of beauty: The Powers of Three from Relentless Films

My girlfriend Donna gets it. Here is an online video where she explains how a female surfer can contribute to social change through surfing and business. What do Holly Beck, Mary Osborne, Shawn Alladio, the Partridge twins, Zuri Star, Jeanette Ortiz, Asia Carpenter, and young Vanina Walsh all have in common? Betty B, Donna Von Hoesslin, the ocean.

U2 gets it. One love, one tribe, one world, one end.  An aqueous melody is here.

Seth Godin had this to say about mediocrity and boy does it apply to this post! I think that it is the issue which truly got my dander up in the first place. I am passionate about this sport my ancestors gave us. I have a low tolerance for mediocrity in it’s leaders. I am not mediocre, you are likely not either. Our leaders should be better than us.  Seth’s assessment is brilliant.

Click on any of the images within the gallery for a back story. The edit was done in ten minutes and signifies what surfing is to me, a hick from Milwaukee Wisconsin who just happens to have native blood in his veins and surfs.





Ikaika Kalama

Ikaika Kalama

Mary Osborne, Bliss

Mary Osborne, Bliss

Dan Moore, Challenge

Dan Moore, Challenge

Brendan White, Golden Carpet Ride

Brendan White, Golden Carpet Ride

Solitude in the Pulse

Solitude in the Pulse

Dane Reynolds, Phenom

Dane Reynolds, Phenom

Santa Ana Evening

Santa Ana Evening

Shane Dorian

Shane Dorian

Sean Tully, Homage

Sean Tully, Homage

Keith Malloy

Keith Malloy

Dino Ching Memorial

Dino Ching Memorial

Guy Quesada

Guy Quesada

The Boys and Jericho at Malibu

The Boys and Jericho at Malibu

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.