Hawaiian surfer and photographer Ha’a Keaulana doesn’t have to look beyond her own genealogical line to find her most influential source of style and inspiration – her grandfather is iconic waterman Buffalo Keaulana.
In this episode of “Island Pride,” Ha’a shares how her earliest memories of surfing with her legendary grandfather, combined with his garnered respect in and out of the water, has shaped her approach to both riding waves and taking pictures.
Ha’a explains how the celebrated feats of Buffalo, including navigating the Hōkūle’a, a traditional Polynesian double-hulled canoe, from Hawaii to Tahiti in 1976 and organizing the Buffalo Big Board Surfing Classic, reinvigorated interest and pride among fellow Hawaiian’s for their culture.
Buffalo has been deemed the unofficial “Mayor of Makaha.” The natural and unforced way he’s surfed the wave over the decades has not only been inherited by Ha’a but is applied to her photography. Makaha is Ha’a’s photographic muse. She hunts raw and un-staged images at the legendary surf spot in hopes they will pass aloha to fellow Hawaiians. Just as her grandpa has done with his oceanic accomplishments his whole life and continues to do.
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