Hawaiian Island Creations at Ala Moana Shopping Center
Hawaiian Island Creations at Ala Moana Shopping Center
Justin Gardner

Along with everything else, Lahaina surfers lost their boards

A community drive donates surfboards to survivors of the wildfires

The community of West Maui is still facing challenges as recovery efforts continue months after the devastating blaze consumed the town of Lahaina. Survivors have lost everything from homes and vehicles to basic necessities, such as clothes.

For many of these residents, surfing provides an escape from the everyday stresses of life; however, the recent wildfires have left many unable to enjoy the sports they love.

The surfing community of West Maui faced unbelievable losses as many surfers lost their entire quivers of boards to the fire, and the destruction of several surf shops left them with no way to replace their beloved boards.

In the weeks following the fires, many residents across Hawaii quickly began mobilizing to provide aid and relief to their community members. For surfers, this came in many forms such as surfboard donation drives. 

Hawaiian Island Creations turned several locations into drop-off points for anyone wanting to donate boards for the victims on Maui. For almost two weeks, HIC accepted longboards and foam boards to be delivered to Maui and distributed to those in need. 

Lane Toribio, manager of the Ala Moana Center location, said his store received at least 20 boards with most of those donations being longboards. 

“I think the process went really well, a lot of people in the community really did come together,” Lane said. “The overall community of Oahu, to my understanding, donated over 100 boards to Maui.”

Others, such as Maui surfboard shaper Jud Lau, have also been working hard to provide relief to fellow surfers on the island. Lau’s Surfboard Replacement Project aims to give surfers a replacement board as close as possible to the ones they lost.  

“So far, we have distributed over 50 boards to people who lost theirs, and we have over 20 boards here waiting for their match,” said Lau.  “We also have 25 new boards being shaped.”

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