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Centred around one of the largest Surfing Competition's in Aotearoa, New Zealand - the Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing aims to fulfil Duke Kahanamoku's wish of spreading the spirit of Aloha and Aroha through surfing and community based events.  With over 200 entries and 14 age group divisions, it is one of the largest surfing competitions in Aotearoa and pulls a National crowd.

The festival is held annually at New Brighton Beach in Christchurch, New Zealand. was created in 2016 to honour the memory of Duke Kahanamoku, create a whānau based surfing competition and to support a seaside town in much need of social and economic support. The Duke festival competition is unique in the fact that the public New Brighton pier serves for birds -eye viewing of both surfing arena's and is the only festival in New Zealand where four generations of whānau could be surfing in the same competition with Under 12's to over 70's divisions.

The competition is a Surfing New Zealand sanctioned event and pulls a national crowd. The South Island Surfing Association are the foundation of the competition and run one of the South Island Grom Series events during the competition where groms can earn crucial points toward their seasonal scores.


The festival is run by a small team of dedicated local people who are passionate about the local community. Each team member is heavily involved in the surfing, sporting or the arts, within the local community.




Duke Kahanamoku was an indigenous Hawaiian and 5 time olympic medalist in Swimming. He won medals in 1912, 1920 and 1924. A keen swimmer, surf lifesaver and surfer from Waikiki, Oahu, Hawai'i, his dream was for surfing to be an olympic sport a Dream turned reality in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Though pre -european Māori had forms of surfing, Duke Kahanamoku is responsible for officially re -introducing Surfing as a modern sport to New Zealand in the form of flashy and innovative demonstrations held at beaches all over Aotearoa. He also introduced modern surfing to the coasts of America - including California, as well as Australia.


This would have been an incredibly challenging  journey for a young, indigenous Hawaiian over 100 years ago. 

replica of Duke Kahanamoku's signature redwood surfboard as a monument to the Hawaiian surfer, to mark 100 years since his first demonstration at New Brighton Beach. This is erected near the library.


Located at New Brighton Pier, Marine Parade, Christchurch, New Zealand. The exact location that Duke Kahanamoku performed his surfing demonstration over 100 years ago.

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