Rabbit Kekai, American surfer, Died at 95


Rabbit Kekai was born on November 11, 1920, and died on May 13, 2016.

He was a professional surfer.

Rabbit was one of the original innovators of modern surfing.

Kekai was a dominant master of the sport in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, and also a winner of the Peruvian and Makaha International titles.

He started surfing as a child, where he was given his first lesson by his Uncle at just the age of three and by age 5 he was doing it on his own.

Duke Kahanamoku was among his early motivations.

Academically, Kekai did very well and was offered a sports scholarship, however, he choose to work odd jobs to fend for a living.

Rabbit had risen in the ranks of surfing devotees by the mid 1930’s as he innovated drop-knee bottom turns and hotdogging on shortboards, and surfed on finless boards called “hot curls”. He is often mentioned as having been the top hot curl wave rider of his day.

He was called in World War II, stationed in Haleiwa on the North Shore, he continued to practice after his duties.

Rabbit worked on the Underwater Demolition Teams, he gave three yrs in the navy.

He was one of the founding members of the Waikiki Surf Club and he helped to win numerous surfing championships and canoe races; he also won numerous international surfing titles independently.

However, to keep his surfing techniques alive he had shared over the years with younger generations, including Joey Cabell, Donald Takayama, Harold Iggy, and countless others.

Rabbit Kekai was married and he had children who had children.

During August 2012, Rabbit Kekai was inducted into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame in Huntington Beach, California.

Rabbit Kekai passed away at 95 yrs old.