There were no announcements sent out. The press was not notified. It was a rare mid-winter induction ceremony for the Surfers Hall of Fame. No television cameras or news crews on hand. None the less, and by word of mouth and only a few days notice, there was a packed house on hand at the corner of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach to witness David Kawaikoolihili Nuuhiwa put his hands and feet into the famous cement and become the newest member of the elite Hall of Fame.
Known affectionately by the surfing community simply as ‘Uncle David,’ the graceful Hawaiian quietly embedded his limbs and signed the slab as Uncle David Nuuhiwa to the delight of the truly adoring crowd.
There are many things that David Nuuhiwa is known for. For one he is the father of former United States Surfing Champion and number one surfer in the world, David Nuuhiwa. Many know him as David Sr. It was under his guidance that young David developed quickness and agility as a pre teen surfer in Honolulu, Hawaii before coming to the mainland and becoming one of the greatest surfers of all time.
Uncle David is also a legend in the world of martial arts. Awarded title of Doctor and Professor Kaito by high officials and Black Belts of the Orient. Kaito literally means ‘The best of the East and West.’ David now makes his home in Anaheim and conducts a school in the ancient Oriental arts of self-defense.
From 1953 to 1965 David had 822 matches and untold honors, never having lost a bout in competition. He has won the rare red belt in Karate, of which he is one of only five in the world to hold this rank and the only American ever to hold this honor.
Among his famous feats of skill, David has battled an eight foot Watsui Warrior in Africa and has killed a charging bull with one snap of his wrist and powerful shoulders. This feat was demonstrated on such television shows as ‘You Asked For It.’ He also appeared on the Ed Sullivan show and the Steve Allen show and was a stuntman in the movie ‘Mr. Roberts.’
The majority of all of David’s winnings have been donated to his favorite charity, needy children. He has made large contributions to the Shrine Hospital in Hawaii and the year that Hawaii became a state he was selected as ‘King of Aloha Week’ in Honolulu.
Through David’s accomplishments and his work with needy, mentally retarded and birth defected children he has truly earned the rank of the only living 12th degree Black Belt in the World.
In Surfing, Uncle David has been a friend and adviser to almost every top surfer to have come in contact with him. As a Hawaiian Holy Man, he has given the blessing on most every major surfing event in the world, including the U.S. Open of Surfing and the O.P. Pro. He has also given blessing to many surf and Hawaiian related establishments including Duke’s in Hawaii and in Huntington Beach, California. And, he has provided security at many of the worlds most important professional surfing events.
As a spiritual teacher, Uncle David has guided many a surfer in the right direction. As a friend he has advised just as many. As a healer he has taken care of many surfing injuries right on the beach. This includes resetting a dislocated ankle for me during a surfing event at Trestles. I later went to a doctor who told me that if he had not have been there I would have been in a cast for three to six months. As it was, I surfed the next day. These kinds of stories go on and on about the man.
On Friday, December 10, the morning of the ceremony, the sun shone brightly in the middle of a cloudless blue sky and the surf grew to the biggest day of the winter so far at the Huntington Beach Pier, right across the street. Everyone was saying that it was the surf Gods showing their respect for a human being that has been loved and also respected by everyone that has ever come into contact with him. It was truly an honor just to have been present at this event and something that I will never forget.