The Honolulu Surfing Museum features several one-of-a-kind exhibits and artifacts that represent a cross-section of the impact surfing and Hawaiian culture has had on the outside world, and on the tremendous impact the outside world has had on the people and culture of Hawaii.
Of notable cultural significance are the gold ring worn by Captain James Cook during his exploration of Hawaii aboard the HMS Resolution in the mid to late 1700’s, and even wooden storage lockers once carried aboard the ship. These items were part of the estate of Helen Ward, a descendant of Captain Cook and Sanford Dole (forefather of the Dole pineapple dynasty). Dole, who was largely despised by native Hawaiians, overthrew Queen Liliuokalani in 1893 and was elected the first and only ‘president’ of Hawaii from 1894 to 1900. The Ward collection also includes original family photos and other maritime artifacts – even a family tree that shows relations between Ward, Dole, Cook, and the Titcomb family – to which one James Delaney Buffett can also trace ancestral roots.
The museum also holds one of two Rell Sunn Hawaiian print dresses known to exist, Polynesian tourist items dating back to the turn of the century, and a series of iconic paintings and surf movie posters – including original lithographs for the film “Endless Summer” and a Grateful Dead poster by late, great psychedelic artist Rick Griffin.
Interactive exhibits include the original surfboard featured in John Milius and Francis Ford Coppola’s epic "Apocalypse Now", and the only surfboard ever authorized by Marvel Comics and Stan Lee as the one, true space-aged ride of the "Silver Surfer". Stand inside the hatch of a lifesized Huey helicopter or have your picture taken atop Norrin Radd’s lightspeed starsurfer.