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About Waikiki Beach Activities - Waikiki - Honolulu, Hawaii Back to the top

Welcome to Duke's Playground in Waikiki

Waikiki literally translated means "spouting waters". In ancient times, Waikiki consisted mostly of marshland that ran along the coast. The ancient Hawaiians converted much of the wetlands into taro farms and fish ponds connected to the ocean and bordered by coconut tree groves. The fertile reefs off Waikiki Beach provided an endless supply of fish and even lobster, but the waves of Waikiki were reserved for the nobility, called the Ali'i.

Standing on shaped planks of native wood, the Ali'i would ride the waves of Waikiki Beach as the first surfers on Earth. Challenge matches would arise as young Ali'i struggled to ride the largest waves, demonstrating their bravery and prowess. Often, those of highest rank did best because they had first rights to the best waves and usually had the best surfboards. The royal waves still roll over the ancient reef at Waikiki Beach, but today they are available for the enjoyment of everyone.

History of Kalia --Duke's Playground

The Hilton Hawaiian Village is located in a 23-acre area of Waikiki once known as "Kalia." Kalia means "waited for," and legend tells of a Hawaiian Chief who lived in Kalia that waited patiently for the return if his wife who had been wooed away by a rival chief on Maui. Today, all of Kalia is occupied by the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa.

In 1848 King Kamehameha III adopted the western practice of issuing deeds to land and began a process called the "Great Mahele". Land deeds were given to his family, other chiefs, to some commoners and even to foreigners. Kalia was deeded to Hawaiian native Henry Paoa.

The Paoa family included legendary waterman Duke Kahanamoku. In the early 1920′s. Duke Kahanamoku became famous worldwide as the young handsome Hawaiian who "swam like a fish" breaking world records and capturing 4 Olympic medals. Later, Duke went on to Hollywood and was in more than 15 movies, but all the while remained connected to his humble roots in paradise. He was know for his kindness and warmth and was often called the "Ambassador of Aloha." And needless to say, he captured the hearts of young ladies when they saw him in newsreels standing on a wooden board riding a large wave off Waikiki Beach. The Duke was unlike anyone that they had ever seen before. Because the Duke's home and surfing grounds were in Waikiki's Kalia, Waikiki became a popular tourist destination.

Dukes Playground = Waikiki's Best Beach

Duke's Playground includes both the Duke Kahanamoku Beach and the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon. The Beach was named #2 Beach in America and it's no surprise. It's the widest, biggest beach in Waikiki and it fronts on great surfing and every watersport you can imagine. The Lagoon is a five-acre salt water lagoon which its own beautiful stretch of white sand beach.

This is where the legendary Duke Kahanamoku grew up, where he played as a kid and went on to become Hawaii's most famous and accomplished watermen. And now it's all yours. So get out there and play!

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About Waikiki Beach Activities -- Who we are

WBA is Waikiki Beach Activities, Ltd., and we have served as the beach and pool concessionaire for the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort since 1989. Bob Hampton, Chairman is from Hawaii and Rob Martin, President and C.E.O. has been in Hawaii for more than twenty-five years. Bob and Rob have been partners in the tour boat business in Lahaina, Maui and the SCUBA and tour submarine business on Oahu for two decades. Mike Murray is a lifetime surfer and former vice president of sales and marketing for the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.

As Hilton Hawaiian Village's exclusive beach service, we put our expert staff at your service to advise, educate and make sure you get the most from your stay. Our famous Beach Boys can teach you surfing and fill you in on local lore. We offer a complete range of beach rental equipment including large beach umbrellas, chairs, air mats and snorkel sets. WBA can also arrange surfboard and kayak rentals, and set you up with unique activities like Stand Up Paddling Yoga, and a coastal tour in an authentic Double Hulled Canoe. We're always looking for new activities and tours that you can't find anywhere else.

WBA has also developed expertise in meeting planning and execution. We're equipped to handle large parties with up to 2,000 participants.

We're All About Service with Aloha

WBA is committed to Duke Kahanamoku's Creed of Aloha in our service to customers. WBA's staff is trained in customer Service. In fact, WBA has earned many service awards including the Hilton's "Ke Kula O Ka Lokahi" Service award.

We're Your Source for Unlimited Fun

WBA offers high quality retail products, rental equipment, beach activities and tours you won't find anywhere else in Waikiki and beyond. Our mission is to provide as much fun as the law allows, and do it with your safety in mind. Click on our activities, tours and rental tabs to see what we have in store for you.

Waikiki beach Activities Mission Statement

Safety always, Service according to the Duke Kahanamoku Creed of Aloha and Sales assistance to all of our visitors to Duke Kahanamoku Beach and the Super Pool at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Spa & Beach Resort.

Our motto is Safety, Service and Sales.

Waikiki Beach Activities is Hilton Hawaii Village Hotel's beach service, providing beach boys and a complete range of beach rental equipment including large beach umbrellas, chairs, air mats and snorkel sets. WBA can also arrange surfboard rentals, kayak rentals and canoe rides. WBA is equipped to handle large parties with up to 500+ participants. Surf lessons are available 7 days a week.

Safety because the Hilton Hawaiian Village Spa & Beach Resort relies on our staff of lifeguards and waterman to serve as the villages' lifeguards, beach boys, pool attendants, snorkel instructors and fun in the sun concierges. WBA places Safety First as its highest priority. WBA has provided Hilton with Lifeguard services for the last ten years and we have never had a serious injury. We are very proud to say that WBA has a perfect Safety record.

Service because WBA is committed to Duke Kahanamoku's Creed of Aloha in our service to customers. WBA's staff is trained in customer Service. In fact, WBA has earned many service awards including the Hilton's "Ke Kula O Ka Lokahi" Service award.

Sales because WBA offers high quality retail products, rental equipment and beach activities. Some folks have referred to WBA as the Bay Watch of Waikiki.

You may have seen our beach stand in one of the many TV series that have been filmed in Hawaii. "Baywatch Hawaii," "Magnum," "Pacific Blue' and "Jake and the Fatman."

Located on the beach side of the Hilton Hawaiian Village's Hau Tree Bar the beach stand is equipped to provide a range of guest services including free guest beach towels.

Located at the entrance to the Super Pool Stand. At this stand guests will secure their wristbands which provides access to exclusive guest amenities.

Company Bio Short Version

Waikiki Beach Activities, Ltd. provides beach services in the Waikiki. We offer beach boys, pool attendants, and snorkel instructors; and beach rental equipment, such as beach umbrellas, chairs, and chaise lounges, as well as masks, snorkel sets, fins, air mats, kayaks, boogie and surf boards, and aqua cycles. We also arrange waikiki sailing tours, surfboard and kayak rentals, and canoe rides and surf lessons; and offers retail products. In addition, the company provides beach party activities, such as sand volleyball and badminton tournaments, sand tug-of-wars, canoe racing/rides, beach scrabble and golf, surfing, team building events, volley ball tournaments, kayak races, and rainbowwater balloon toss activities; and event planning services to assist in organizing and budgeting beach activities. The company was founded in 1989 and is based in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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  • Rob Martin
    President and C.E.O. has been in Hawaii for more than twenty years
  • Bob Hampton
    President is from Hawaii
  • Kay Oshiro
    Vice President, Human Resources and Administration. Kay has been in the tour business for many years and before WBA she served as Retail Manager for Voyager Submarines.
  • Mark Vandenberg
    Manager on Duty
  • Michael Murray
    Group Services - PHH
  • Kekoa Bruhn
    Directory of Safety.
  • Allison Oshiro
  • Jamie Park
  • Susanne Miller
  • Andrew Forsyth
    Lifeguard/CPR Training

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