World Longboard Champion Duane Desoto Founds Na Kama Kai to Nurture Love for the Ocean Among Youth

Na Kama Kai

Nā Kama Kai Ocean Clinics service our community statewide through touching the lives of our youth in numerous capacities. Our statewide ocean clinics nurture a deep sense of love for the ocean among youth. The experience ingrains in each of the participants an understanding of their kuleana to water safety and environmental awareness. Our clinics offer group and one-on-one interactions with professional surfers, watermen and waterwomen, lifeguards, firefighters, marine scientists, Hawaiian cultural practitioners, and ocean rescue instructors.

The clinics provide a positive, nurturing, and controlled environment enabling keiki to become confident in the ocean through a personally guided experience. Participants learn Hawaiian stories related to the event location, help shape traditional wooden boards, and learn about traditional Hawaiian ocean culture through the contemporary perspective of ocean professionals. Nā Kama Kai programs target all youth from 2 to 18 years of age in many different cultural settings. Currently most of the programs occur on the Island of O’ahu, and to a lesser extent on the other neighbor islands of Hawai’i. Also, ocean clinics have been held at Papeete, Tahiti, and Dana Point CA, and have demonstrated that the programs provided by Nā Kama Kai can serve as a model for other coastal communities anywhere in the world, provided they incorporate place based cultural values and traditional knowledge.

Clinics are periodically held at Poka`i Bay. Volunteers sought. For more information, visit:

Duane DeSoto

Duane DeSoto

Duane DeSoto, founder & CEO of Na Kama Kai, was born and raised on the west side of O`ahu. He has traveled around the world for the last 17 years competing in contests. His love for the ocean and appreciation of the waterman lifestyle is what drives him. His dream of giving back to his community came to fruition with the establishment of Nā Kama Kai. Duaneʻs passion for the ocean continues to sustain his lifestyle and allows him to engage in community building through Nā Kama Kaiʻs programs; using the ocean to empower our youth.

Biography of Duane DeSoto:

HART Traffic Advisory 2/21/14

Click image to see the entire advisory.

Click image to see the entire advisory.

DOE Working Group to Review Pono Choices 2/27: Email Your Testimony by 2/26 Noon

(Source: DOE new release, 2/21/14)

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) yesterday convened a working group to review Pono Choices, a sexual health education curriculum taught in some middle schools as part of a research study by the University of Hawaii’s (UH) Center on Disability Studies.

On Feb. 4, at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE), a discussion of sexual health education curriculum drew additional comments regarding Pono Choices. The BOE received more than 100 written testimonies expressing concerns over the UH pilot curriculum. As a result, the DOE convened a working group comprised of diverse stakeholders to review Pono Choices and make a recommendation on whether it meets statutory requirements and applicable BOE policies regarding sexual health education curriculum.

The group, chaired by DOE Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe, includes:

  • Darrin Araki, executive director, Hawaii Pastors Roundtable
  • Dr. Robert Bidwell, associate clinical professor of pediatrics and director of adolescent medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, UH Manoa
  • Karen Ginoza, representative of He’e Coalition and Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE)
  • Kimberly Kepner-Sybounmy, parent representative
  • Noella Kong, state adolescent health coordinator, Hawaii State Department of Health
  • Justin Mew, principal of Kaiser High School; former principal of Niu Valley Middle School and former science teacher
  • Donna Rodenhurst, health teacher, King Intermediate School
  • Kumu Hina Wong-Kalu, director of culture, Halau Lokahi Public Charter School

The working group meets again on Feb. 27 and welcomes public input through noon on Feb. 26 via email at All feedback will be logged and shared with group members. Individuals should not resubmit testimony already provided to the BOE.

The working group will spend as much time as necessary to conduct a thorough review of Pono Choices prior to issuing a public report.

In November, the DOE temporarily placed Pono Choices on hold to address concerns about whether the curriculum was aligned with health education state law and policy. A subsequent UH review of its copyrighted curriculum concluded Pono Choices met the standards.