Surfing Like Ancients: Hawaii Rooted



Tom Pohaku Stone handcrafts traditional Hawaiian surfboards to ride the waves of time on the windward side of Oahu.

Tom’s favorite surfboard is not a modern fiberglass board, but the board he has built with his own hands, using techniques that have been passed down through generations.
He first learned of hand-crafting wooden surfboards from his father, who once carved a board for him in the traditional way. Although as a child he told his father he hated the traditional surfboard, he grew to appreciate the gift and now sees the importance of passing on the tradition of the craft.

When asked about why surfing is so special to Native Hawaiians, Tom explains that Hawaiians have surfed waves for generations, and will always continue to surf waves. For him, standing upon a wood board is like listening to a beautiful symphony, a harmonization between the wind, the motion of the water, and the breaking of the wave.

As an educator, craftsman and former pro surfer, Tom continues to revive and perpetuate lost aspects of Hawaiian culture. By perfecting the art of crafting surfboards in the traditional Hawaiian way, he feels it’s his kuleana (responsibility) to continue passing on the tradition to the next generation.

Discover more of Tom’s #HawaiiRooted story at

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16 comments

  1. Whoever disliked this video is nothing but a disrespectful human. Respect is something you see and feel the joy that people give in their coltures , some people may not see it as some other people do but you don't have to put hate comments or a dislike bottom… Respect the traditions and the people's coltures.

  2. Hate to sound petty but grandpa is ripped! Dude looks healthy as f***. Good on him for learning to appreciate the wisdom of his elders.

  3. "Ocean is home, and land is where I come to rest"
    This is the Hawaii I want to know more about. Thank you for sharing this!

  4. This piece is not about religion, it is about my father, mother, people and where we come from who we are as a living thriving culture. The ocean is home to us. We may disagree and that is the beauty of peoples, cultures, and traditions – we can still share the aloha spirit.

  5. What is very sad about this kind of spirituality is that it rejects the Creator God and worships the creation. This is not new. In the ancient world most people feared and bowed down to the storm, the mountains, the rivers, the trees, the birds, the fish, the beasts, the sun, moon and stars.
    That is why Genesis chapter one was written under the inspiration of the Creator, to clearly teach that all these things are not gods, but the creation of One God. That story of creation is a declaration against the worship of nature, but today we do not know that. We are told that it is some kind of primitive and inaccurate science which we should reject.
    But the true message of Genesis chapter one is that there is One great and wonderful God who made all of the natural world, and all the beasts and trees and birds, and stars, etc, are under our dominion. He made human beings to benevolently rule over the creation he made, to tend the earth and care for it.
    The tree does not have eyes or ears. It cannot see or hear. The man who bows down to the tree becomes spiritually blind and deaf like the tree he is praying to. This is a fact. The messages of the world today are introducing these beliefs of nature worship again into movies like Moana for our children, and in many other romanticized ways such as this video. But everyone should know that this is a cruel lie.
    The ancient people resorted to child sacrifice to appease their so called gods of nature. They feared the volcano and the earthquake gods, the storm gods, and offered their children on altars to the demons who pose as nature gods. There is no security or certainty in praying to animals or plants. They will not answer. Only demons will answer, and laugh at you.
    If you feel attracted to the worship of nature, I recommend that you turn to Jesus, who resides in heaven, and who is the mediator between God and Mankind. His gifts are wonderful. His love is unspeakable.

  6. As I watched with curiosity, i was instantly moved by the spiritual connection this man had with the earth and the sea….the sanctity of the forest, its trees, and the wood that would ultimately become one with the ocean and its waves. It was deeply moving.

  7. I don't understand why there are so many dislikes. This is awesome, actually carving your own board out of solid wood. That is amazing. This guy is the real deal.

  8. This video stirred something up in my soul and in my blood, words cannot describe it's beauty. Thank you for this wonderful gift.

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