Lore of the Waikiki Beach Boys is well known – those legendary Hawaiian watermen like Duke Kahanamoku and Rabbit Kekai who regulated the turf of one surfing’s most fabled beaches. But where were the wahine?
Today we’re in conversation with original Waikiki Wahine Beach Boy Laola Lake, champion outrigger paddler, surfer and ocean safety advocate.
Laola grew up in the ocean front cottages of the Royal Hawaiian hotel, where her mother worked, and received her Waikiki Beach Boy license in 1970. She helped found the Hawaii women’s Surfing Hui, which was part of opening the door to the formation of women’s professional surfing.
Laola lives and plays on the island of Kauai with her family. In 2020, on the eve of turning 70, she became the first female president of the Kauai Lifeguard Association.
She shares about riding redwood boards, the origins of her passion for water safety, parenting regrets (her daughter is Sanoe Lake, of Blue Crush notoriety), and finding a way to stay in the water, no matter your age or ability.
Sound Engineer: Ben Alexander
Soundtrack: Shannon Sol Carroll
Additional music: Wave Brain - Dave, Neal Purchase Jr. and Christian Barker
Join the conversation: @Waterpeoplepodcast