From the Big Island, Jim Reddekopp sends this retro-awesome Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium photo from his family archive.
We only know two of the four guys in the picture, taken (we don’t know when) on the Ewa end of the Natatorium deck. On the left is Jim’s grandfather, Gene Froiseth, and on the right is Gene’s brother, legendary surfer Wally Froiseth, one of the developers of the Hot Curl board and a pioneer in the 1930s and 1940s of big wave surfing on the North Shore of Oahu.
The Froiseth boys were part of the Natatorium’s glory days. Gene and Wally were contemporaries of such famous watermen as Tom Blake, Ox Keaulana, Blue Makua, the Wiliwili Brothers, Steamboat Makuaha, Akong Pang, John Kelly, and Russ Takaki, to name a few.
Who Are the Other Two?
Jim thinks the board in this photo is a hollow balsa long board intended for charging big waves (without taking too many turns – ha!). But he doesn’t know the names of the two watermen in the middle of this treasured family photo. Can we help him out? Can you identify the two guys with the Froiseth brothers? Drop any information you have into the comments below. Mahalo!!