Surfing Lost An All Time Great Yesterday: Uncle Rabbit Kekai
Rabbit was taken under the wing by Duke Kahanamoku and influenced every generation since, a surfing staple for 95 years.
Albert “Rabbit” Kekai, born November 11th, 1920, passed away yesterday morning at Leahi Hospital, Oahu. He was an early pioneer of surfing on the North Shore and inspired everyone from Miki Dora to John John Florence. He pushed the sport’s progression, far before there was any glory in it. Rabbit was the last of the Waikiki Beach Boys, along with Duke and Sam Kahanamoku.
So as is typical, the heavy weights of surfing took to Instagram in tribute, we’ll spare you everyone’s social media homage and give you Kelly Slater’s:
#RabbitKekai…you will be sorely missed by our clan after almost 96 years on this planet. Thank you for the friendship and the many laughs and smiles. A true legend who had something good to say or an inside joke for almost every single person he came in contact with.#LordTallyHoBlears and Rabbit were staples at the #TripleCrown events on the#NorthShore forever. He told me he learned Japanese to hit on the tourist girls in Waikiki as a #BeachBoy. For a time#UncleRabbit was said to be the best surfer on earth. I was lucky enough to share a couple sessions at #Queens and #Canoeswith him and #DocPaskowitz together in the early 2000’s. One of the last surfers to truly watch the entirety of our surfing lineage, we’ve been blessed to have guys like Rabbit pass along their history and stoke to untold generations of guys who came after them.
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