Held every year in Waikiki to honor Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, a Hawaiian waterman legend, and to celebrate the ocean sports that were dear to his heart, Duke’s OceanFest takes place this year from August 20-28. With nearly 30 events taking place over eight days, this celebration is a can’t miss for Waikiki locals as well as those visiting the city.

About Duke Paoa Kahanamoku


Beginning his career as a short-distance swimmer, Duke Paoa Kahanamoku was a natural athlete and has been credited with spreading the sport of surfing to the world. Skilled in bodysurfing, board-surfing, diving, sailing, swimming and outrigger canoe paddling, Duke is a Hawaiian legend and his legacy lives on through the annual OceanFest held to honor him and his contributions to the Hawaiian watersport culture.

The 2016 Duke's Annual OceanFest

This year, the OceanFest is featuring events in many sports including beach volleyball, surfing, paddleboard racing, and swimming, among others. The eight-day celebration kicks off on Saturday, August 20 with the OceanFest Opening Ceremony. Throughout the next week athletes can participate in swimming competitions, volleyball tournaments, and numerous surf competitions as well as nights on the beach complete with Hawaiian music and food for all to enjoy.

The majority of the events take place just in front of Duke’s statue on Kuhio Beach in Waikiki. Whether you are participating as an athlete or are just coming to watch the sports in action, the dog surfing competition is a can’t-miss event for the whole family. This year, it is taking place on August 25 and will be a great show to honor one of Duke’s brothers who had a surfing dog.

If you are around midweek, stop by to watch the ITSA Tandem Surfing Contest, an impressive sport where two people ride on the same board and often execute poses and lifts during their ride. Very few mainstream surfers practice formal tandem surfing, so you should definitely check out this rare competition if you are in Waikiki.

Attracting top talent from all over the world, Duke's Annual OceanFest is an opportunity to see world-class international athletes in action. Some of the events require tickets and spaces to participate as an athlete are limited so guarantee your spot, check out the Duke's Annual OceanFest website, where you can also find a complete list of events and further details.