Life shaped a man, and the man shaped the world.

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About the Film
About Duke

Life shaped a man, and the man shaped the world.

The Film

Life shaped a man, and the man shaped the world.

Watch the Trailer
About the Film
About Duke
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Duke’s Creed

In Hawai’i we greet friends, loved ones and strangers with Aloha, which means with love. Aloha is the key word to the universal spirit of real hospitality, which makes Hawai’i renowned as the world’s center of understanding and fellowship. Try meeting or leaving people with Aloha. You’ll be surprised by their reaction. I believe it and it is my creed.

Aloha to you,

Duke Paoa Kahanamoku

About the Film

Five-time Olympic medalist and Native Hawaiian Duke Paoa Kahanamoku shattered records and brought surfing to the world while overcoming a lifetime of personal challenges. Waterman explores his journey and legacy as a legendary swimmer, trailblazer, and the undisputed father of modern-day surfing, following the sport’s first-time inclusion in the 2020 (2021) Tokyo Games – a fitting tribute to his work promoting the sport around the globe.

This original documentary by Sidewinder Films (At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal, Munich ’72 and Beyond) is directed by Isaac Halasima and features commentary from surfing’s biggest stars, including the first-ever Olympic gold medalist Carissa Moore, while also delving into his personal successes, struggles and humanitarianism through rare footage, contemporary visuals and incisive interviews.

From modest roots in Waikiki, Duke swam his way to fame, becoming the face of a changing Hawaii – and a vital part of its tourism industry – as it evolved from an independent Kingdom to the 50th American state. Yet relatively few outside Hawaii know the full extent of Duke’s impact on sports, lifesaving, and combating prejudice.

Through Duke’s incredible athletic accomplishments, personal doctrine of Aloha, and enduring gift of surfing to the world, the film explores a theme that still resonates today – the role of sports in breaking societal barriers – and celebrates his triumphs and philosophy of inclusion, challenging us all to embrace diversity and incorporate Aloha into our own lives.

The Cast


  • Waterman Inspires the Hawai‘i State Department of Education’s Inaugural Middle Level Student Leadership Summit

    March 4, 2024

  • What We Learned About Duke Kahanamoku

    May 10, 2022

  • ‘American Masters’ Presents the Life and Legacy of Surf Legend Duke Kahanamoku

    May 10, 2022

  • Duke Kahanamoku biopic to get television time on PBS

    May 8, 2022