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Rock Running with Ha'a Keaulana

We headed over to the West side to meet up with local Ha'a Keaulana.

Read more below to take a deep dive on all things rock running:

I learned rock running technique from my Dad, he would use rock running as a breath holding method of training for big wave surfing. As kids, he taught us this technique and has always been something we just do… Especially in the summer months when there are no waves. We consider it part of our “training” for the winter season. Rock running increases your endurance, stamina, and lung capacity which is so important for me when surfing or shooting in the ocean.

I think it really got popular during the filming of “Blue Crush” where my dad was the stunt coordinator and taught Kate Bosworth and Michelle Rodriguez as part of their training for this movie. When the movie was released, they had a scene of them rock running and that is when it became mainstream.

When we started rock running it was never anything that was serious at the time and was really just a fun game, we didn’t really realize the importance of it until we were older and I started surfing and shooting in bigger waves.

Growing up I never looked at my upbringing as unique or different, being around so many amazing watermen and women was simply a part of who I was and where I grew up. The ocean was my literal playground as a child and is still that place for me to this day. The ocean is how I connect to my ancestors and how I carry on Hawaiian Traditions passed down and instilled in me.  The sport of he’e nalu or “wave sliding” is obviously worldwide and officially in the Olympics. It is important for me to share this tradition through my photography and educate others of its origin while paying homage to where the sport originated.