Duke Paoa Kahanamoku was born on August 24, 1890. He grew up swimming and surfing in Waikiki and his legend began when he broke the world record in the 100-yard freestyle during his very first competition. The prodigious Duke went on to win Olympic gold in the 100-meter freestyle and silver in the relay in 1912. He also won two gold medals in 1920 and won a silver medal at age 34 in the 1924 Olympics.
He was instrumental in helping to spread the sport of surfing and the spirit of aloha around the world—which eventually earned him the nickname "the father of modern surfing." Duke was one of the pioneers of the Waikiki Beach Boys, watermen who earned their livings teaching visitors how to surf and canoe at Waikiki Beach; if you look, you can still find real Waikiki Beach Boys showing visitors a great time in the Waikiki surf today. The amiable Duke also acted in Hollywood, served as Hawaii's first ambassador of goodwill, was eventually elected sheriff and was the first person to be inducted into both the Surfing Hall of Fame and the Swimming Hall of Fame.In September of 1949,
Duke Kahanamoku a Hawaiian hero, Olympic swimming champion, and legendary surfer was contracted to endorse a line of Aloha shirts by Cisco Casuals, a manufacturer based in New York and California. This would become a 12-year partnership between Cisco and Duke. In a New York Times article they remarked about one of Duke's shirts. "This little Hawaiian hallucination was designed by Duke Kahanamoku who can swim too." The line was produced with a higher quality, drapery Rayon that stood out among other shirt makers on that era.
This range is now proudly produced by Sun Surf for Sugar Cane Japan