Photo | Surfing story continues at Steamer Lane

A surfer carves a Steamer Lane wave near the Lighthouse Point cliff face. In the summer of 1885, three Hawaiian princes, David Kawananakoa, Edward Keli’iahonui and Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole, surfed Santa Cruz’s San Lorenzo River mouth in the first recorded instance of the sport on the U.S. mainland. The princes rode heavy “o’lo” boards traditionally reserved for royalty. For the Santa Cruz sessions they were milled from local redwood and measured nearly 20 feet long and weighed up to 200 pounds. The princes returned to Hawaii around 1890 with their boards and it kicked off a 40-year era of redwood surfing in Hawaii. For decades, two of the three original boards were forgotten deep in a Honolulu museum archive, until discovered by staff in 2012. In July 2015, on the 130th anniversary of the princes’ epic rides, two of the three original redwood surf boards returned to Santa Cruz for an exhibit at the Museum of Art & History. (Shmuel Thaler – Santa Cruz Sentinel)


2016 Santa Cruz County Artist of the Year Shmuel Thaler has been a staff photographer at the Santa Cruz Sentinel since 1987. His photographs have been published in every leading newspaper in the United States as well as in Time and Newsweek, and viewed on the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News and he has been honored three times with awards in the prestigious National Press Photographers Association Best of Photojournalism contest. Shmuel has also co-authored 5 children’s books and his photographs illustrate numerous books including his collaboration with George Levenson on ‘Bread Comes to Life’ and the classic ‘Pumpkin Circle’, which has more than 100,000 copies in print and is held by every major library system in the country.

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