NOVEMBER 2ND, 2013 – It is with great sadness that Buttons Kaluhiokalani passed away in California, surrounded by his family and friends. Buttons was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer.
Buttons Kaluhiokalani was a former Hawaiian Pro Surfer and is well known for his radical and stylish surfing. 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.
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.
Buttons is survived by his wife Hiriata Hart, his eight children, and nine grandchildren. Hiriata is asking to please give the family some privacy and peace during this rough time. If you must contact her, please send her email and do not try to contact her by phone. Please keep Buttons ohana in your thoughts and prayers.