• May 4, 2017

    16 Must-See Cultural Hot Spots on the Hawaiian Islands


    Halemaumau Crater eruption at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. Alan Cressler

    OluKai is partnering with Hawaiian Airlines to offer one grand prize winner (and a companion!) their very own 4-day, 3-night Ultimate Island Adventure in Hawaii.

    To enter to win, visit 

    (but hurry—entry is open from April 15, 2017 to May 15, 2017, and the winner will be selected by May 20, 2017).

    After you enter the contest, read on and get inspired for your own adventure in the Hawaiian islands.

    The human history of Hawaii goes back to when the Polynesians first landed on the islands between AD 300-600. Though the people and the culture have been influenced through the centuries, you can still find the true Hawaiian spirit on the islands today (if you know where to look). From ancient Hawaiian temples to mountaintops shrouded in legend, we’ve lined up the top four cultural hot spots on each major island that will leave you with a deeper understanding of the history and culture of Hawaii.

    The Nohea Moku is a vegan-friendly, casual shoe that’s comfortable enough for a long day of exploring.  Photo courtesy of OluKai

    Some of the spots listed include ornate palaces and museums, while others will have you walking across hardened lava or beaches, so you’ll want to make sure your feet are protected. You can’t go wrong with the lightweight ‘Eleu Trainer (for men or women) or the more casual Nohea Moku for men or Pehuea for women. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen and some extra water, and you’ll be all set for your own Ultimate Island Adventure.


    Pu’u o Mahuka Heiau

    Exploring the Pu’u o Mahuka Heiau.  Ken Lund

    1. Pu’u o Mahuka Heiau

    Heiaus, or ancient Hawaiian temples, can be found on all of the state’s major islands. The Pu’u o Mahuka Heiau—located in the state historic site of the same name—is the largest in Oahu and covers more than two acres. Situated atop a coastal bluff overlooking Waimea Bay, Pu’u o Mahuka was built in the 1600s as a luakini heiau, meaning that it was designed for religious and social rituals involving human or animal sacrifice.

    1. Kāko‘o ‘Ōiwi

    You’ll find this community-based, nonprofit organization nestled in the wetlands of He’eia on Oahu’s eastern shore. Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi promotes the social, economic, and ecological health of the local community by restoring the agricultural productivity of its 405 acres. Check out their educational programs to learn about the land’s significance to Native Hawaiians, or get involved in the restoration process during monthly volunteer days.

    1. Iolani Palace

    Once the official residence of the Hawaiian monarchy, the Iolani Palace has since been restored as a National Historic Landmark in the heart of downtown Honolulu. Constructed under King Kalākaua in 1882, you can now to take guided tours through the first two floors of the palace and around the grounds. Inside, you’ll see the majestic Grand Hall, the crimson and gold Throne Room, and the king and queen’s private bedrooms. Outside, don’t miss the Sacred Mound, a royal tomb where chiefs may still be buried.

    1. Honolulu Museum of Art

    The Honolulu Museum of Art offers self-guided or docent-led tours through the rotating exhibits from across Asia, Europe, and America. The museum also showcases the best of Hawaiian art, ranging from centuries-old artifacts to modern paintings of the islands and their people. This means that you’ll find indigenous treasures like pottery and quilts exhibited alongside 20th century classics like Georgia O’Keeffe’s portraits of Maui.


    HI volcanoes national park

    A lava flow at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  Alan Cressler

    1. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

    Not surprisingly, volcanoes are a major part of the Hawaiian Islands’ natural history. While Hawaii Volcanoes National Park puts the island’s geological history center stage, you can also find many archaeological sites here. Remains of ancient Hawaiian houses, caves, and agricultural structures tell the story of the indigenous groups that lived on the land hundreds of years ago. Head to the Pu’u Loa region of the park for the largest concentration of ancient petroglyphs (over 23,000 total), all easily accessible via a 0.7-mile lava bedrock trail. On the Ka’u Desert Trail, explore the fossilized footprints of Native Hawaiians left in the hardened ash of a volcanic eruption. The entire route is 18.2 miles, but you could also just hike out as far as you want and then head back.

    1. Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park

    Extending 420 acres across the Kona Coast, Pu’uhonua o Honaunau encompasses historical, religious, and cultural sites dating back more than 700 years. Explore the Royal Grounds, where ancient Hawaiian royalty established homes and ceremonial sites, or venture to the pu’uhonua, *a place of refuge enclosed by a 965-foot-long wall where defeated warriors and violators of the sacred law could escape persecution. Hiking the ancient two-mile 1871 Trail is a good way to see the sites around the park, including a *heiau, hōlua sled courses, and the Keanae'e cliffs. Be sure to tread lightly and avoid walking on the archaeological sites to protect them from deterioration.

    1. Pololu Valley

    You’ll find the lush Pololu Valley at the beginning of the Kohala Coast—the oldest stretch of land on the Big Island. To fully experience the beauty of the valley, park at the Pololu Lookout off Highway 270 and hike down to the serene Pololu Beach (less than one mile round trip). Go a little farther for an almost three-mile round-trip hike to floor of the Honokane Nui Valley, which offers even more spectacular views.

    1. Pu‘ukoholā Heiau

    The town of Kawaihae on the island’s northwestern shore is home to the** *Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, one of Hawaii’s most historic *heiaus. Around 1790, Hawaiian King Kamehameha I ordered the construction of this heiau in honor of the war god Ku, attempting to end the civil war raging around the islands at the time. Besides it’s history, the site is popular for the regular shark, whale, and dolphin sightings just offshore. Sharks can be seen year round (usually in the mornings), while whales make their appearance during the winter months.



    Haleakalā National Park is a popular spot to catch an island sunrise.  Sean Munson

    1. Haleakalā National Park

    One of two national parks on the Hawaiian Islands, Haleakalā is most known for its namesake volcano and the opportunity to hike or bike to the summit (especially for sunrise). What many visitors to the park may not realize is that Haleakala’s summit is a wahi pana, or legendary place, shrouded in stories about the demi-god Maui. According to legend, Maui stood atop the Haleakalā summit and snared the sun to hold it in the sky a bit longer, allowing his mother to dry her kapa (bark cloth) in its warmth.

    1. Pu‘u Ka‘uiki in Hana

    While visiting the remote town of Hana on Maui’s eastern edge, it’s worth noting the cultural significance of Pu‘u Ka‘uiki, the hill on the southeast side of Hana Bay. Hawaiian legend tells that in this spot, Maui raised up the sky above the hill in order to get a drink of water from a woman. Various other legends involving Maui and ancient Hawaiian demi-gods surround this hill, which you can easily explore from the Hana Beach Park.

    1. Wailuku Town

    The historical legacy of Wailuku Town on Maui’s north shore makes it worth a stop (and the views of the surrounding hills are an added bonus). Birthplace to Maui’s booming sugarcane industry, the town expanded rapidly for nearly a century to accommodate the influx of workers moving to the island. The old town vibes can be felt around Wailuku in the plantation-style homes and art deco buildings that line the main street.

    1. Maui Arts & Cultural Center

    In the heart of Kahului, the Maui Arts & Cultural Center offers a premiere venue for concerts, opera, film screenings, dance performances, and everything in between. They also host a small selection of rotating art exhibits (for free) that you could easily check out during show intermissions.



    The view along the Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail in Poipu.  Robert Linsdell

    1. Hanalei

    Nestled between lush green mountains on one side and a two-mile stretch of sandy beach on the other, the town of Hanalei is both a scenic and historic stop in Kauai. Ancient Hawaiians primarily grew taro, a starchy root vegetable, in the marshes of Hanalei Bay until the 1860s. Today, the Ho‘opulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill offers visitors a glimpse into this working taro farm and Hawaii’s last remaining rice mill. Additionally, the royal yacht of Hawaiian King Kamehameha II, Pride of Hawaii, sank off the shore of Hanalei Bay in 1824, and though large sections of the ship washed up on shore a few decades later, the majority of the shipwreck still remains underwater.

    1. Kauai Museum

    Located in the historic Albert Spencer Wilcox Memorial Building in downtown Lihue, walk through the history of the island with photographs, writing, movies, and artifacts of all kinds in the Kauai Museum. The museum’s mission is to work in collaboration with the indigenous and immigrant people of Kauai and Ni’ihau to create exhibits that maintain their cultural heritage.

    1. Nu'alolo Kai

    Along the rugged Napali coast on the north shore of Kauai, there’s a remote, 800-year-old fishing village called Nu'alolo Kai. The cultural and archaeological sites at Nu'alolo Kai are some of the most extensive and well-preserved in all of Hawaii, with more still being uncovered to this day. This secluded strip of coastline is accessible only by boat, with a small selection of commercial outfitters holding legal permits to bring visitors. Along with the archaeological sites in the village, the coastline offers impressive snorkeling opportunities and sightings of Hawaiian monk seals.

    1. Koloa Heritage Trail

    Situated in the south shore of Kauai, the Koloa Heritage Trail is a 10-mile self-guided walking tour with 14 stops of cultural, historical, and geological significance. The trail takes you through the towns of Koloa and Poipu, with glimpses into the island’s sugar growing past, the famous Spouting Horn geyser, and the history of the area’s beaches, bays, and gardens.

    Originally written by RootsRated for OluKai.

  • April 10, 2017

    Saving Banksy Premiere: Thursday at POW!WOW! Hawaii


  • April 10, 2017

    Make Your Way To Maui

    Maui Map

    Maui's diverse landscape, from sunny beaches to towering bamboo forests, makes it easy to find unique pockets to explore. When we're not training for the Maliko Downwinder at our annual Ho'olaule'a Ocean Festival, these are a few of our favorite places to visit:

    1. Shop Local in Pa'ia:

    Whether browsing the exceptionally curated textiles and gifts at Pearl, or grabbing a wood-fired pizza at Flatbread Company, the finely crafted Pehuea Leather is the perfect compliment to the rich character of the town. And don't forget to head to Charleys late night for a possible sighting of legend Willie Nelson.

    2. Eat Dinner at Mama's Fish House:

    There's nothing quite like a Hawaiian sunset, and no better spot to watch it from than Mama's Fish House, which boasts delicious fresh fish catches daily, and is just around the bend from Pa'ia. If you want the full experience, book a stay at their beach front cottage, and feel right at home in the 'Upena.

    3. Go Whale Watching off Wailea:

    Just off Maui lie some of the best waters for whale watching, and from November to May the area is teeming with Kohola (Humpback whales). Feel the sea breeze in the Nohea Mesh as you watch for the whales to surface, spout, and breach just off the coast.

    4. Head over to Lahaina: 

    Stroll down Front Street in the Kupuna Slide for a relaxing afternoon. Slip into these refined yet comfortable sandals and relax beneath the historic Lahaina banyan tree. Cap it off with a late lunch at Longhi's, and then stop into Ululanai's for a shave ice.

  • April 10, 2017

    Plan Your Next Escape to Oahu

    Oahu Map

    O'ahu offers the perfect blend of culture, outdoor sport and natural beauty, from big winter waves to globally welcoming Waikiki Beach. Check in to the SurfJack Hotel & Swim Club and then head out to some of our favorite local spots:

    1. Head To the North Shore:Halu'a

    Known as the Seven Mile Miracle, this stretch of beach is home to some of the most legendary waves in the world, and is as awe inspiring as it is dangerous. From the pounding surf of Pipe to big wave mecca Waimea Bay, stay comfortable in the water-friendly Halu'a.

    Ohana Slide2. Jump On the Mo'o in Hale'iwa Harbor:

    Head out with our friend Kaiwi Berry and Islandview Hawai'i to swim with sharks in crystal clear tropical waters. Jump back in the boat, and slip on your water loving 'Ohana Slides. With a quick drying upper, this sandal will take you from the boat to Hale'iwa Bowls for a post dive Acai snack with no worries.

    3. Cruise Around Waikiki:Eleu Trainer

    Slide into ARVO for avocado toast and a coffee, then head out to explore the South Shore of Oahu. From Kaka'ako to Diamond Head, don't miss a step in the 'Eleu Trainer. Lightweight, breathable, and designed to make a seamless transition from Mauka to Makai, this Trainer will keep up no matter where you head.


    4. Hike Tantalus Lookout:

    Leave the crowds behind and head up these lush mountains for an amazing view of Diamond Head and all of Waikiki. Get there in comfort with the Hamakua, designed with these bold landscapes and your big adventures in mind.

  • March 23, 2017

    Onboard the Hōkūle‘a with Na'alehu Anthony - The Navigators

    February 26, 2017

    We’ve been sailing for nearly three years on the international portion of the worldwide voyage. It’s hard to believe that there are only a handful of legs left before our canoe returns home. The Malama Houna movement has become something that has touched some of the farthest shores that some of us could not have even imagined when we set out of Hilo on the Big Island in May of 2014. Even in the face all of the metrics that we collect about the “movement” that this voyage has helped to bring to life I would argue that some of the biggest growth and impact has actually occurred right here, on the deck of a sailing canoe, as she has traversed all these miles across the face of the planet. This navigation team for this leg is an example of that growth and growing up that we have seen. All of them were on the fist leg to Tahiti in 2014 as apprentice navigators, and now, together, they are sailing this canoe without their teacher looking for the most isolated Island on the planet. I don't think that this was the way it was planned at which they were to step into the lead navigation role but it rarely every goes the way as planned when leadership development is in full swing.

    If you listen to the early interviews we did with these individuals back in 2013 and early 2014 you wouldn't even recognize them as the same people who have grown up to be on this voyage. The people we have on board today are poised, confident, and unabashed by the complexity and difficulty of the task they have chosen to take up. And in the opinion of someone who has been watching this process intently for a few years now, they are finally ready to learn. Yes, they have all had to learn tremendous amount “stuff” to get to the deck of the canoe. But now that they are here they have all the pieces of this “stuff” to put it into practice and internalize the process of way finding unto themselves.

    All that was left was to turn the deck of the canoe in to a classroom with the next set of lessons being the unending horizon that surrounds us. And over the course of the last 17 days and almost 2000 miles they were tested. The simple act of staying awake becomes a monumental test when having to stay awake and track direction and speed and distance. The patience part about this test was probably the one of the hardest. With nerves of steel they searched the horizon for three days, looking for the reef and then Rapa Nui, waiting for something to reveal itself.

    And so the all elusive and isolated Rapa Nui revealed itself yesterday at about 4 pm. When we checked the range we say that we were 43 miles out when they finally sighted the island. Some hugged, some just sat in a state of almost disbelief, while one other capped off 42 years of sailing this canoe, finally closing the triangle. All elusive indeed. And that became the last lesson of this experience. I would argue that without the Birds and swell and clouds as clues we would have never found this place. Trusting your naʻau as it turns out is every bit as important as the math and observation and science behind all of this.

    This will be my last “regular” update for this voyage. There are a couple more blogs that I want to get out while in Rapa Nui but this is the last one from the deck of this canoe for a while. Before I go I would like everyone who reads this to congratulate the crew who just stared impossible in the face and conquered it. But also a special acknowledgement for those who took up the task of the navigation; Lehua Kamalu, Haunani Kane, Jason Patterson and Noe Kamalu- I can’t wait to see what they do next.

    From the deck of the Mama canoe, Hōkūleʻa,

    Me ka haʻahaʻa

    Naʻalehu for the leg 28 crew

    image001 image002 image003 image004 image005 image006
  • March 23, 2017

    Onboard the Hōkūle‘a with Na'alehu Anthony

    February 12, 2017

    Aloha nui kakou,

    We are on our third day of the 28th leg of this worldwide voyage. Most of us have sailed multiple legs of this voyage and have thousands of miles of sailing under our belts. What is so great about this crew though, is that they many of us have been sailing together for decades. In the case of our captain Archie Kalepa, he has been sailing on board Hōkūle‘a for about a quarter century and many of those early sails he was a crew member side by side with the likes of Max and Keahi who are also on this leg. For myself, I came into the organization at the same time with fellow watch captain Russell and I have been privileged to sail with at least half this crew before. As we recount different destinations and as the stories come out about previous voyages, its hard to believe that this canoe has travelled so many miles and witnessed so many events. I think at the root of that is the learning that has taken place on board that has shaped the lives of so many individuals. If one counts the education efforts of the crews over the last 40 years and dozen or so voyages, literally hundreds of thousands of people have been on board to experience, in some way, the mana of this canoe.

    But for us on board, the experience is totally different for what will probably be almost three weeks of sailing. Different because at this point in the voyage we all have large amounts of sea time and expertise in sailing this vessel and yet, the more we think we know, the more we realize just how much we have to learn. It's a pretty interesting paradigm to be in as we move forward in life, more interesting because we get to be together in these “fairly isolated from the rest of the world experiences” where we have to work together as a team or the destination really cannot be reached. And so all of us bring our best selves to get to the destination. The physical destination is an island a little smaller than Kaho’olawe and about as isolated as you can get. But the metaphorical destination… I think that's a different story. I really believe that we are all here to learn more about this thing called sailing and in that learn more about ourselves. You cannot help but be introspective here. And that state of being is only broken by the occasional need to do something immediate, like stad the watch or sheet a sail. And so over the course of that we have to teach as well. There are those who haven’t spent as much time trimming sails or steering in these types of conditions. So the ability come to this with a humble heart to balance out the teaching and learning requires us to be true to what we know and more to the point what we don't know, and in that we will maybe find some true knowledge. For me, I'm just really stoked to be here, on the deck of this canoe, with this group that will be teaching and learning as we go. Its no wonder Hawaiians use a’o for teaching and learning, the two must go hand in hand if we are to truly attempt either.

    SB 72,


  • March 23, 2017

    Onboard the Hōkūle‘a with Captain Archie Kalepa - The Test

    February 12, 2017

    This is a big test for me. For me the sea has always brought some of the greatest tests of my life; my strength, my courage and my leadership. But this test is different. While I have been a crew member in many capacities on board Hōkūle’a, this is the first time that I have been asked to be in charge of it all. From the sacred vessel, Hōkūle’a to the sacred 13 souls on board I am humbled and honestly a little afraid of this new responsibility.

    And so our journey started with pulling up anchor at Santa Cruz Island, the first of many trials that will become this 1900-mile journey. We have had three anchors down for the better part of a week and there are ships moored all over this bay that we are in. The first order of business was to pull the anchors in the correct sequence so that we don't get too close to the other vessels and then hook up a tow with the Gershon II safely an without incident. And so our crew worked together to get through this seemingly small task, build some trust, and start our journey. I have a feeling it went well. They didn't say anything but they did look at me with a big smile and a head nod as if to say good job captain! Uncle Billy came up to me later and said our departure was textbook.

    And so since those anchors came up we have been tested. These lessons have come in bits and pieces, like a puzzle; the elusive wind, the swell direction, clouds, and how they hide our precious stars. The patch of rain last night taught us a lot about ourselves as the test was having to use our other senses as our eyes were muted by the dark sky, not even the moon could get through. This was a little test for the navigation team. By 6:30am we entered into a dark black hole of a cloud that wouldn't be something for a Pwo navigator to worry about but this new navigation team is testing themselves and I’m a captain who is new to this position. Lucky for us we have a seasoned crew with many deep sea crossings and who are eager to support the navigation team. Our navigators held the line and when we popped out of the cloud, having nothing to rely on but swell, the navigation team was right on point. The lesson, be patient, trust your decisions trust your crew. These are lessons in the purest form!

    This is because we have had great teachers; Nainoa, Bruce, Kalepa, Snake, Terry, Clay, all of them come to my mind. And we would not be right here, right now, without them. We'll be standing by 72,

    Captain Archie Kalepa

  • March 12, 2017

    Exclusive Artist Collaboration



    Muralist / Tattoo Artist Honolulu, Hawai‘i


    Artist / Muralist Carolina, Puerto Rico


    OluKai x POW! WOW! limited edition collection.

    Cultivated in Hawai‘i, POW! WOW! is a global network of artists who create live art exhibits, gallery shows, murals and more aimed at the celebration of culture, music and the arts.

    OluKai is honored to partner with POW! WOW! on a limited edition collection celebrating this shared vision. Design elements from these prints have been carefully applied to every shoe and is available exclusively on, while supplies last.

    Cory Taum is part of the rising Hawaiian art scene, praised for his ability to blend traditional themes with modern aesthetics. This exclusive pattern represents his interpretation of "modern aloha", and is shaped by his experience with tattooing, mural painting, and classic Hawaiian symbolism.

    Vero Rivera is a Puerto Rican artist whose work focuses on the importance of the natural world, and its existence in urban environments. This exclusive pattern merges her intricate, nature-inspired patterns with traditional Hawaiian imagery to create her unique vision of "modern aloha".

  • March 12, 2017

    Ohana Travels: POW!WOW!

    Welcome to POW!WOW!

    Founded in 2010 with the goal of bringing together artists from all over the world, it has evolved into an amazing mural creation festival that has hosted hundreds of artists in over 10 different cities and countries.

    OluKai is proud to partner with this vibrant artist community that POW!WOW! brings together, starting with the first festival of 2017, in Honolulu. The festival takes place in Kaka‘ako district of Honolulu, and over 60 artists spend the week climbing ladders and high up on lifts as they sketch, paint and spray walls anywhere from 10 to 100 feet high!

    When they're not working on their gorgeous pieces, you can catch them around town grabbing coffee or checking out the local community, as well as at a number of the nightly gallery showings, movie premieres and concerts.

    Follow along here and on our social media channels as we meet the artists, talk story with the local community, attend special events, and share our experiences from our week at POW!WOW! Hawaii.


    Olukai X POW! WOW! -- Long Beach 


    POW!WOW! Long beach kicks off July 16th and runs through the 22nd. This is the third year that POW!WOW! is hosted in Long Beach. This year an A list roster of global artists will come to the city and transform the walls into beautiful pieces of art.

    During the week the Long Beach community is encouraged to check out the transformation of the walls in the area as well as attend exclusive panel discussions and events held by the team of POW!WOW! Long Beach.

    The week kicks off with the opening of the official POW!WOW! Long Beach Pop-Up shop at Made by Millworks.

    Monday - Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia will hold a press conference welcoming the artists to the community and celebrating the beautification of the city through these murals.

    Tuesday is a special panel discussion with Jeff Staple who will be discussing the career and work with artists Adele Renault.

    Wednesday we will be co-hosting a talk with brand ambassador Tatiana Suarez at the Museum of Latin American Art.

    The week will close out with an OluKai hosted event Saturday July 22nd. This will be a collaborative event with artist Mike Giant. In true art battle style the event will host 96 local contestants painting on temporary walls and one winner will take home the grand prize of $1,000 cash. Join us for food, coffee and music all day at the Varden Hotel Parking Lot located on Pacific ave.

    Follow along as we share the happenings of the week @OluKai#PowWowLongBeach

    Join us for a hosted Graffiti Writing Contest

    JULY 22ND, 2017 FROM 10 AM TO 8 PM



    OluKai x POW! WOW! -- Hawaii


    This year's POW!WOW! Hawaii kicks off on February 11th and runs through the 18th. As over 60 artists gather in the Kaka‘ako neighborhood, the creative energy becomes contagious. Each artist has been given a designated wall or space on which to create, and as they begin to work on their pieces the energy of the people and place plays a role in the creative process. Many of the murals created during the week embody and embrace the Hawaiian culture, landscape, colors, and people.

    The week gets off to a roaring start Saturday night, and doesn't slow down until Sunday morning. With events running day and night all week - whether it be gallery showings, talk story with select artists, break dance battles, and movie premieres, there is never a dull moment.

    Monday we will be kicking things off at Lana Lane Studios, a collaborative space home to a number of artists, that doubles as the headquarters and rendezvous spot for the week.

    Tuesday night sees a gallery showing at Lana Lane Studios, featuring smaller pieces by many of the artists involved in the mural festival.

    Wednesday we will check in with our good friends Wooden Wave, as they work on their piece just down the road from their studio in Lana Lane.

    Thursday night we are hosting the premiere of Saving Banksy at Kaka‘ako Agora, located in the heart of the neighborhood where the festival takes place. This also features a special question and answer with the creators of the films. We hope to see you there!

    And of course, at the end of the week all the artists come together to celebrate the community, each other and the beautiful work they have created over the 7 day festival.

    Follow along as we share in POW!WOW! Hawaii 2017. @OluKai #PowWowHawaii

    Join us for a special premiere of Saving Banksy

    FEBRUARY 16TH, 2017 FROM 7 TO 9PM


  • March 12, 2017

    Hawaiian Lifeguard Association

    Terrain Tested, Hawaiian Lifeguard Approved

    Nearly four decades ago, veteran Maui lifeguard and Waterman Hall of Famer, Archie Kalepa saw the legendary Eddie Aikau in action—feats of selfless courage so formative that Kalepa knew he’d someday join that brotherhood of elite Hawaiian life savers. “We perform unrecognized heroic acts every day,” says Kalepa with disarming humility. He and the 450+ guards of the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association each proudly wear OluKai footwear as they patrol the rocky cliffs and riptide ravaged shores of the islands.

    The Hawaiian Lifeguard Collection is developed to be part of the uniform, “part of our tool chest,” says Kalepa. This is rugged footwear for rugged terrain—the day-to-day demands of the HLA have tested these shoes and sandals for the needs of a true waterman. Simply put: “It’s a shoe that works,” says Kalepa. He and the rest of the HLA put these shoes to the test far before they find their way to the shelves. From the fit and overall performance to breathability and traction, the HLA take these shoes through real field research—the actual gauntlet of lifeguarding. Hawaiian lifeguards provide recommendations and suggestions to properly shape footbeds and increase traction—it is this kind of rigorous testing that vastly improves final design of the product. These shoes are not just inspired by Hawaiian lifeguards, they’re thoughtfully constructed specifically to meet their needs from the slick rocky outcropping around Hanauma Bay, to the 25 foot swells of the storied North Shore.

    Hawaiian lifeguarding is a proud tradition and tight-knit community, the highest standard to which guards in other coastal communities aspire. OluKai is humbled to play a significant role in nurturing that tradition. For each pair of the Hawaiian Lifeguard Collection, a portion of the proceeds directly supports Hawaii’s Junior Lifeguard Program, inspiring and training the next generation of Kalepas and Aikaus. “No matter what anyone says, if you put your mind to it, you can do it,” Kalepa tell these Junior Guards. “I know it’s true because I did it. Stay focused, stay healthy, stay fit, and keep your integrity. Those are things that we need to build, not just lifeguards but great leaders in the community.”

41-50 of 345

View All