Since 1986, the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation has been supporting Hawaii’s young men and women who embody what Duke believed in and stood for: Education, Athleticism and the Aloha Spirit. In honor of Duke, we are raising funds to continue the important work we do—furthering the education of Hawaii’s student athletes, supporting athletic events that encourage competition and sportsmanship, and perpetuating the legacy of a legend.

ODKF Featured on Hi News

Interview with our Executive Director and a Duke Award Scholarship Winner

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LISTEN NOW Legends of the Pacific Podcast about Duke Kahanamoku

Duke Foundation Waterman Hall of Fame 2019 Winners


On August 22nd, 2019, ODKF inducted three more individuals to the Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame.



After a near drowning as a young child, Akira grew into an avid swimmer and saved a little girl as a pool lifeguard.


On June 18th, a group of the 2019 Ambassador of Aloha Scholarship winners gathered at the Outrigger Canoe Club for Mentoring Morning. The scholars received instruction about life and careers skills including, proper introductions, networking, social media, social branding and influence, entrepreneurship, and what it means to be an Ambassador of Aloha. The scholars were invited to attend an ODKF board meeting that day and personally meet with members of the board.

Share the spirit of Duke Kahanamoku’s Creed of Aloha

As the world copes with a global pandemic and strives towards true equality, Duke’s words of wisdom resonate more profoundly than ever:


In Hawai’i we greet friends, loved ones and strangers
With ALOHA, which means LOVE.
ALOHA is the key word to the universal spirit of real hospitality,
which makes Hawai’i renowned and as the world’s center of understanding and fellowship.

Try meeting or leaving people with ALOHA.
You will be surprised by their reaction.

I believe it and it is my creed.
ALOHA to You,
Duke Paoa Kahanamoku

Take solace in Duke, his strength, his example in the face of crushing blows. Duke was ready for the 1916 Olympics, scheduled for July in Berlin, as reigning world and 1912 Olympic champion. But as World War I continued, the games were cancelled. In 1918, Duke and two other swimmers from Hawaii, Clarence Lane and Stubby Kruger, toured the United States with the Red Cross for nine months to lift military and civilian morale.

Duke became a symbol of hope, but disaster struck again when the three swimmers caught the Spanish flu and nearly died in Washington D.C. Duke returned to Hawaii to recover and soon assumed a greater leadership role, organizing swim meets to build morale and maintain swimming excellence.

Through his remarkable comeback, Duke again became a gold medalist in the 1920 Olympics, held in war-torn Antwerp, Belgium, again setting world records at 30 years of age. The United States was the strongest team at the 1920 Olympics because of Duke.

“Let us all continue to share Duke’s aloha and know that good times will come again. Mahalo.” – Sandra K Hall, Official Biographer.