Aloha & Welcome
Buttons Surf & SUP School was established by Legendary Hawaiian Pro Surfer Buttons Kaluhiokalani. With a vision to spread Aloha by sharing his love of surfing through teaching others, it is the mission of Buttons Surf & SUP School to carry on this tradition in his memory.
Buttons Kaluhiokalani was a former Hawaiian Pro Surfer and is well known for his radical and stylish surfing. In addition to his lifelong pursuit of riding waves, Buttons also ran Buttons Surf School on the North Shore of Oahu. He would teach anyone, at any skill level or age, the joy of riding waves. Buttons was also very generous, volunteering with many charities including the Mauli Ola Foundation and AccesSurf, where he would share his love of the waves with disabled children and adults.
Buttons was always willing to give and share with a smile; a true Ambassador of Aloha.
Let’s Go Surfing!
We provide quality instruction with a focus on safety, fun, and embracing the Aloha Spirit, just like Buttons.
Our Mission and Vision
Learn to surf from our local surf experts. Buttons Surf School has programs designed to accommodate surfers of all levels, with a focus on safety, fun and great waves. Buttons Kaluhiokalani is a Hawaiian surfer whose energy and radical maneuvers in the ’70s made him an innovator of modern day surfing. His legacy lives on through his surf school.
Prefer a personal touch? Call us at (808) 497-8140
A True Hawaiian Legend
Buttons Kaluhiokalani was born March 30th, 1958, to a military father and a Hawaiian mother. He was raised on the North Shore until age 5, when jobs in the country became scarce and his mother moved him and his brother to town. At age 7, Buttons learned to surf in Waikiki following the lead of his Uncle Buddy, a Vietnam Vet who rode a 10′ log at “Ins and Outs.” By age 9, Buttons and his brother were each carrying one end of the 10′ board, hoisting it over their heads as they made their way to the beach. This, along with a round nose single fin wooden Piper board, were the boards Buttons was riding as he developed his style as a young surfer in Waikiki.
Buttons came of age during a very exciting time in surf history, when everything was new and surfers were pushing the limits of waveriding and surfboard design. During this time, Buttons’ best friend was Mark Liddell. A local Beach Boy, Zoobadee Lau, would take him and his friends to contests around the Island. Buttons’ major influences were Larry Bertelmann and Ben Aipa. Soon, Buttons found himself in the company of the influential people who helped shape modern surfing, and he surfed with them every day. Buttons considers himself lucky to have surfed alongside fellow legends Reno Abellira, Rory Russell, Jock Sutherland, Jeff Hackman, Eddie Aikau and Larry Bertlemann, among others.
In 1973, at the age of 13, Buttons traveled to the US Championships in Malibu, California, as an amateur, where he placed second. Seven years later, Buttons won the Sunkist Open at Malibu.
During the 70’s Buttons really perfected the progressive style of surfing he is so well known for. Uncle Eddie Rothman calls him “the Innovator of Modern Day Surfing.” Buttons was the first to perform a carving 360 on film. A true Style Master, Buttons is renowned for his pocket surfing, switch foot and skateboard inspired maneuvers.
BUTTONS CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
1973 Runner Up, US Championships
1974 1st Place, Pro Class Trials, Sunset, HI
1979 1st Place, Sunkist Open, Malibu, CA
1982 1st Place, Japan
1984 1st Place, Peru
Buttons has over 100 wins as an amateur.