Legendary surfer shares art of Hawaiian healing in Africa

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Kormantse is a picturesque coastal village in Saltpond, Ghana.

It was here were Tom Stone and several members from two non-profit organizations, Kanalu and Surfing Medicine International, continued the work of Duke Kahanamoku.

“Duke was doing exactly I just happened to be doing today, spreading the aloha and the knowledge of traditions and how the ocean heals us too,” surfer and cultural expert Tom Stone said.

They arrived at night and opened their eyes to perfection. Despite being surrounded by the ocean, surfing was foreign to those who lived on this coastline.

“They had never seen a surfboard, they had never seen anybody ride a wave. There was no surfboards around there and I just found a piece of wood and started carving,” Stone said.

Stone says the village chief asked him to teach his people how to surf.

“He wanted his village people to learn how to carve surfboards and that’s how it started,” Stone said.

He helped them make two Alaia surfboards but it’s what he got back in return that moves him.

“It was great to learn a lot about their efforts of healing cancer,” Stone said.

A week before leaving for Ghana Stone received unexpected news.

“I found out that I was dealing with the same disease which is okay,” Stone said.

So while he taught villagers about the art of Hawaiian healing, they did the same for him.

“It was great to learn a lot about their efforts of healing cancer. Look at the type of herbal plants their using and see what we have here in Hawaii and elsewhere in the world and how we can share our knowledge,” Stone said.

He hopes businesses will see the benefits in continuing this relationship.

“Hawaiian Airlines – China Airlines and we’re just hoping someone will embrace us and our efforts to share a part of Hawaii with the rest of the world. Not just to heal individuals and myself but to heal the world,” Stone said.

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