At the 'Alohilani Resort, we spotted a rooftop tennis court that had the right shade of fall. The hotel opened earlier this year after a total refresh, and their team invited us over one bright and breezy August morning.  

It sits on land in Waikīkī that once belonged to Queen Liliʻuokalani. This area was called Hamohamo, and the hotel gets its name from a beach cottage she built here. It was a rare and special place for her. She called Hamohamo "the most life-giving and healthy district" on O‘ahu.  "There is something unexplainable and peculiar in the atmosphere of that place," the Queen wrote. 

Felt like the right place to have a bunch of young Hawaiians try on some of our favorite pieces from the AW18 collection. Our summer intern Hōkūpa‘a put the call out to his friends. Most were taking in their last week of vacation before their senior year, and needless to say, these kids are naturals. Hōkūpa‘a threw on his playlist, and we started firing away. Have a listen while getting to know a little bit about O'ahu's youth.

A huge mahalo to Hōkūpaʻa, Tahiti, Kalia, Cam, Dante, Selah, Kahanu, Isaac, Julian, Lola, Jonathan, Ty, and Minh.  

Hōkūpaʻa: Hello, what’s your name and where are you from?

Aloha my name is Kahanu and I am from Hauʻula.

Okay Kahanu what kind of music are you listening to?

I kind of have a lot of different people I’m listening to. If I’m just jamming I’ll listen to like 21 Savage, Cardi B, all those kine pump music.

What do you listen to before a heat to like pump yourself up?

Pretty much the kind of music I said before. I can’t remember all of the artists names but just like hype and rap music.

What’s the best part about being a teenager in Hawaiʻi?

Um honestly just hanging out with your friends, you know like after school with your friends at the beach. We’re all kind of water people if you’re from Hawaiʻi. Everyone just has that kind of connection to the ocean whether you like to surf or just hang out and swim.

What’s your favorite part about living where you live?

I really like Hauʻula but Hawaiʻi in general because we are surrounded by water and I really enjoy surfing. The island brings us together and we know everyone cause the island is so small.

I know you live in town sometimes too, so what’s the biggest differences between living in town and living in Hauʻula?

So my grandma lives in town and I decide after school if I want to surf in town or not. If I want to go town I just stay. Even if I have too much homework I just stay in town and surf. I get opposite sides of the island, North Shore and town. It’s a big difference because sometimes there’s waves up north but there’s no waves town. I just go where the waves are best.

What was the hardest part about competing and trying to get sponsorships? Like what struggles did you face when you started onto this track of competitive surfing?

I started competing when I was around nine years old. I really love competing cause I’m just a competitive surfer. But at the same time it is challenging to compete. You have to be mean out in the water, like as soon as that horn starts you can’t be nice, you have to stick to what you know and just go surf. With sponsorships, I had a hard time getting my name out there. I’m super grateful to my shaper Myers Surfboards for picking me up and putting me on the team.

Okay, last question. If you could live in any era what would it be?

Probably right before or during the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. I’d want to experience it firsthand and see like how the people felt and what they did.

Thanks Kahanu for sharing your knowledge.

The interviewer, Hōkūpaʻa

Hōkūpa‘a: Hey what’s your name and where are you from?

I’m Dante, I’m from Hawai‘i Kai.

What would you say your favorite part about being a teenager in Hawai‘i is?

Well I really think the women-

I’m going to type this out you don’t need to change your voice and make it deeper.

Oh, okay okay serious answer time. Anyways, well you can get a lot of girls because of your age, and if you’re like a fifty-three year-old on O‘ahu, you’re probably not going to get as many girls as you think you will. Wait, no delete that I’m taken already. 

Okay let’s try again what’s your favorite part about being a teenager in O‘ahu?

My favorite part is that I can do whatever the hell I want because I’m young. And there’s a lot of opportunities for me since I’m not old yet. There’s a lot of things I can do while I’m young like go on hikes without my knees breaking like a 70-year-old. I can go surf too.

Would you rather hike or surf?


If you had to live in another era what would that be?

Probably one where everyone was happy and there was no slavery, so I guess the ʻ80s or ʻ90s. I forget which one is which. Whichever one dressed weirder is the one I’d live in.

What’s your favorite music artist or just music right now?

Definitely been listening to a lot of ASTROWORLD but the favorite has to be Post Malone. Coolest guy out there by far. 

Why do you like Post Malone so much?

Cause I look like him.

Hōkūpa‘a: What’s your name and where are you from?

I’m Selah, and I’m originally from Huntington Beach California but I moved to the North Shore of O‘ahu when I was very young.

So Selah what kind of music are you listening to right now?

I absolutely love The 1975 and Billie Eillish. Calen Russo is pretty good too.

If you could live in any other era what would it be?

Oooh that’s a good one. Either like Jesus times or the ʻ70s were pretty cool. Actually the ʻ60s were cool too. Except for all the sexism that was happening. So I’d probably live in the ʻ70s because they were less sexist.

What’s your favorite part about being a teenager on Oʻahu?

I love that the atmosphere that I get to grow up and find out who I am gives so many opportunities. Like being around the beach and the mountains, being active, and adventuring while I grow up and figure out who I am is pretty amazing.

Hōkūpa‘a: What’s your name and where are you from?

I’m Kalia and I’m from Lā'ie

Okay Kalia, what’s the best part about being a teenager in O‘ahu?

The best part about being a teenager in Hawai‘i I think is that we’re able to go adventuring whether it’s like to the mountains or to the beach.  And it’s always fun to just go and hang out with our friends on this rock that we call paradise.

What era/decade would you live in?

Oh the 1980s for sure. I like the music and the way people dressed

Best way you’ve seen social media being used?

To put businesses or like give businesses more exposure to people not only in Hawai‘i but internationally.

What do you think your favorite part about living in Lā‘ie is?

The community is tight. Like everyone knows each other and we know where everyone lives and stuff. It’s easy to have this community of tight-knit people that I don’t think you can find anywhere else.

Beach or hiking?

Hiking all day.

Thank you.

Hōkūpa‘a: What’s your name and where are you from?

Hello my name is Isaac Moore and I’m a senior from Kailua, O’ahu

So Isaac, what’s your favorite part about being a teenager on O’ahu?

Um, freedom. And my friends are fun to hang out with because I love them. We play soccer sometimes and basketball. We have a lot of fun and we eat at fast-food restaurants even though it’s bad for our bodies but it’s cheap. Church is fun, I like going with my friends.

Would you rather skate or surf?

If I could only do one for the rest of my life? And just completely forget about the other one?

Yeah only one

(20 second pause)

I would choose skateboarding because I can always bodyboard or bodysurf, but I can never body-land-board, or body skate you know?

What era would you live in, besides this one?

I watched It’s a Wonderful Life and it was set in the 1950’s and I thought that was the coolest thing ever because little kids got to go to like malt shops and stuff and just hang out. But after recent events in my life, I would, well, my whole life I’ve wanted to live in that era but now that I think about it I wanna live in the 3000’s. I’ve heard we live underwater but other than that it’s the same as now, but I also want a flying car and there’s no flying cars in this day and age.

Thank you Isaac.

Yeah I’d also want to date an alien chick like in Rick & Morty