In 1885, three nephews of King Kalākaua—brothers Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole, David Kawānanakoa, and Edward Keliʻiahonui—shaped some boards from redwoods in Santa Cruz and hopped in the water, becoming the first people to surf in California.
Surfing spread down the coast in the early 20th century thanks again to Hawaiʻi, specifically the displays by George Freeth and Duke Kahanamoku. It eventually manifested itself into Southern California cultural lore, even leading to the birth of its landlocked "sidewalk surfing" relative: skateboarding. Skateboarding in its modern form and style took off in Venice in the mid-1970s. The legendary Z-Boys, sponsored by what was originally a surf shop co-owned by Craig Stecyk, Jeff Ho, and Skip Engblom, included famous members such as Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta, and Jay Adams. The rest is history.
Craig Stecyk in Venice, 1974, photo by Anthony Friedkin
Jeff Ho surfing Pacific Ocean Park, Santa Monica
Tony Alva, North Shore Oʻahu, photo by Jeff Divine
The stories of surfing and skating are just another example that the Pacific is not a vast divide but rather a ripple of connections, and this week marks the beginning of a new Hawaiʻi-California relationship.
General Admission, a men's wear brand and multi-brand retailer based in Venice, is hosting a month-long Salvage Public pop-up starting with a pāʻina on Friday February 23 from 7pm-10pm featuring live Hawaiian music and hula, Hawaiian kine food and pupus, and our Spring 18 collection.
Along with the new collection, we are bringing some gorgeous boards with us made by Honolulu surfer/shaper Arthur "Toots" Anchinges. And it's only fitting, as General Admission's building used to be home to surfboard shapers in the '70s.
Video by Leah Barylsky
Shaping photos by Joey Trisolini
Come by and say Aloha!
Promo photos by Josiah Patterson
Launch Party Recap: