Beach Walk 165 – Uncle Bobby, Kalai wa’a

Please meet my coach and teacher, Uncle Bobby Puakea.

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About Today’s Show

Uncle Bobby is a third generation canoe builder. He recently retired, and is now working full-time with his nonprofit foundation, the Puakea Foundation of Hawaii, to build and restore canoes and teach paddle-making workshops.

It would take days to tell you all the wonderful things about Uncle Bobby. He is a living treasure, and has received many awards from the city and state of Honolulu, Hawaii. He is arranging a 5-month tour of the USA for 2008, towing three hand-carved koa wood canoes (about 12-13 meters in length each!), to teach about and preserve Polynesian culture.

The canoes will be racing in the Liberty Race in New York City, and then attending the World Sprint Races in Sacramento. Strange as that may sound, the sport of outrigger canoeing has made its way all around the world, including many inland areas! The most recent World Sprints were held on a fresh-water lake in New Zealand!

Hawaiian words
Kalai Wa’a: master canoe builder
Koa: a type of wood
Iolana: to soar, as a hawk

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