Soul Surfer Harry Akisada
fastest bugga in da water
Uncle Harry has moved on. I first met Harry in the water at big Makaha (aka Kepuhi), on a Point Surf day a long time ago. He would be sitting at Blowhole, just off the infamous Bowl, waiting for the one he had an eye for - always patient & calm, smiling. I got the sense that Harry saw everything & everyone. Very observant. And akamai (smart). He looked like the Buddha, in a perpetual state of Nirvana. Everyone certainly knew him - clearly respected him. He went fast on that paipo board (which he shaped by his own hands) - faster than anyone on a surfboard (no drag) - always in the perfect trim line: just flying across the surface of the ocean. Just like the ancient Hawaiians, Harry exemplified He’e Nalu at its best. Harry and I talked story plenty over the decades, both in the water and at the bench on the Lahi Lahi side of the beach, by the old payphone and shower (best view of the lineup). He complemented me many times, made me blush. And he told me about the old days, ask me questions about my life, work, family. Stuff like that. It just felt good to be around him. I met a lot of other people, locals and Hawaiians, that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise through him. Harry assisted in integrating me into the Makaha scene (small kine); I’m grateful for that. But I’m most grateful to simply have had the privilege and pleasure to know this legend. We surfed together on some epic days. Harry was one of Hawaii’s (Oahu’s) great watermen. From Waikiki, Makapu’u, to Makaha and beyond, Harry will be remembered and revered by all those who knew him. There will be a memorial celebration paddle-out at both Waikiki and Makaha on Saturday, May 22 at 7:30 am. I’ll probably go to Makaha. Hana Hou! Aloha O’e!