The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

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Princes of Surf: July 3 – November 29, 2015

3rd Floor Art Forum Gallery

3princesWe are a city of surf; but the story behind the name doesn’t start with us. It begins with Three Hawaiian princes in 1885.

That summer, David Kawananakoa, Edward Keli’iahonui and Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole introduced surfing to the world beyond Hawaii. They rode Santa Cruz waves. Crafted surfboards from our redwood lumber. When the brothers returned to Hawaii, they took their boards with them.

This July is the 130th anniversary of their epic ride. Two of the three original redwood surf boards will return to Santa Cruz.

The impact of their stay rippled from coast to coast and shaped the cultural identity of Santa Cruz County. See the boards that rode on our waves. See the boards that set the course for developing our unique cultural identity.

Artifacts on loan from The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Hawaii.

Princes of Surf is made possible by the History Forum and Santa Cruz Surfing Club Preservation Society.


  • Blossom Hiker

    why are they dressed like that? Looks like the boarding school uniforms they used to make American Indian children wear.

    • Elise Granata

      Great question! These are their uniforms from St. Matthew’s Military Academy in San Mateo.

  • cdbagshaw

    Just got around to seeing this. Very good, very interesting, well displayed. Only 15 days left to see it.

    • Elise Granata

      Hey there– good news, we extended the show until November 29th. Share with your friends and come back!