While Duke Kahanamoku introduced and promoted surfing to the rest of the world (making him the ‘Father of International Surfing,’) the year he was born (1890,) a couple Hawaiian Princes were riding the waves at Bridlington, Yorkshire in Britain. Brothers David Kawānanakoa (Koa) and Kūhiō, orphaned after their father died in 1880 and mother in 1884, were adopted by King David Kalākaua’s wife, Queen Kapiʻolani, who was their maternal aunt.
Both were sent on Kalākaua’s ‘studies abroad program.’ On September 22, 1890 Prince Kūhiō could not restrain his enthusiasm in his letter to the Hawaiian Consul Armstrong about their experience of surfing at Bridlington: “We enjoy the seaside very much and are out swimming every day. The weather has been very windy these few days and we like it very much for we like the sea to be rough so that we are able to have surf riding. We enjoy surf riding very much and surprise the people to see us riding on the surf.”