Surfing Legends Buffalo Keaulana and George Downing Honored with Tourism Legacy Awards at Hawaii Tourism Conference
Sitting (l-r): Buffalo Keaulana; George Downing
Standing (l-r): George Kam, Quiksilver Ambassador of Aloha; George D. Szigeti, Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO; Keone Downing, son of George Downing
Buffalo Keaulana is revered as one of Hawaii’s founding fathers of contemporary surfing. His love for the ocean led to a 34-year career as a lifeguard for the City and County of Honolulu on the Leeward Coast, where he saved many lives. A championship surfer in the 1950s and 1960s, he established Buffalo’s Big Board Surfing Classic at Makaha, which revived the diversity of surfing through various forms, such as bodysurfing, body-boarding, paipo, tandem, canoe surfing, and stand-up paddle surfing.
George Downing began surfing at age nine, using a solid redwood plank to surf Waikiki. A Waikiki beach boy for more than 30 years, Downing was an all-around waterman, innovative board shaper, mentor to generations of young surfers and paddlers, and a leading advocate for protecting surfing sites, including Mamala Bay, Waikiki. One of Downing’s enduring legacies is Save Our Surf, a people’s movement dedicated to protecting Hawaii’s beaches and surfing areas.
The Waikiki Tourism Conference, taking place September 26-30, features more than 60 sessions and special events. For more information, visit www.hawaiitourismconference.com.