Island Native: Mahina

puamohaluokamahina with her dog

Her full name is Puamohaluokamahina which literally trans-lates into “unfolding flower under the full moon”. She was born on July 21st, a few days before the full moon, which is the ideal time to sow seeds for a fruitful harvest. So fitting for Mahina as you watch her life unfold before us. Filled with AlohA, Mahina has a spirited enthusiasm that is contagious and full of life.

The Ocean is everything to her with salt water dripping in her veins. Whether she’s diving for shells or swimming out to the Kaimana windsock with her pink Kicks fins. She has a quiver to play with from Bodyboards, Surfboards, SUP’s, paddleboard, OC1, OC2, OC6, Kayak, Canoe Sailing and just about anything that can go in the water. If she goes more than a day without touching the water, her gills start getting dry and she gets an itch to head for the ocean. She’ll walk to the beach from her house in Kaimuki or catch a ride with a friend, she always figures out a way to make it to the ocean with her quests to touch the water everyday. Her favorite surfboard is her 8’6” Hobie but you’ll see her just as stoked on an 8’ Wavestorm Surfboard from Costco that she’ll grab a paddle and dance effortlessly on the waves out at Sand Bar Suping in front of the Outrigger Canoe Club or out at Kawela Bay. The pure joy and stoke you see in her when she’s on the waves is reminiscent of Gerry Lopez’s quote. “The Best Surfer is the one having the most fun!” Mahina has own personal style that is so graceful and smooth it looks like she’s doing the Hula on the waves, effortlessly dancing on the nose of her board. Mahina has won her share of contest, awards and trophies but it’s really her spirit of AlohA inside and out of the water that shines bright. She’ll tell you that some of her Best days were spent surfing out at Sandbar after school with her family and friends, cheering each other on, sharing waves together with Diamond Head in the forefront and the sunset heading for the green flash on the horizon.

Gerry would always say “If it could be bought with money in Hawaii, its cheap. The best things about Hawaii are priceless and are available to everyone. Especially the ocean and all her good kine Mana that she bestows in all of us. “ I think Mahina figured it out too and it doesn’t get any better than sharing it with your Ohana and friends.

Her fashion sense and power shopping skills is from her Fashionmomof3 with favorite brands like Roxy, Mikoh , Accacia and Ivivva by Lululemon. She has her own personal style and it’s not unusual for her to modify hand me downs, with her scissors and sewing machine, embellishing it with her own unique look to come out with some-thing fresh. Complimenting it with her hand made jewelry from shells hand picked from the sea. She has a unique style that is definitely her own yet deeply rooted in Hawaii. She can be “stylin” in the latest fashion but is also right at home with her “bodobodo” clothes, puka t-shirt and slippas.

Her favorite place to eat is of course Sushi King. It’s their family business that her Baba started over 20 years ago serv-ing multiple generations of Hawaii the best Japanese food in town. If not in the water, its not unusual to see Mahina and her brother Kai helping their Baba at Sushi King, waiting on people, bussing tables or washing dishes. You’ll also see her practicing her maki sushi rolls from time to time behind the sushi counter.

Some of her other favorite foods is Chicken Long rice, especially from Ono’s Hawaiian Food down the street from her house on Kapahulu Ave.

You’ll also see her frequenting the Saturday Farmers Market at KCC where she would seek out her favorite fruits in season like Pataya Dragon Fruit and Lilikoi. She’ll pick up fresh Hanalei Kulolo, colored carrots for Kup’s, Kale and beets to juice and local oranges too. On Tuesday she’ll frequent the KCC Farmers Market to pick up Obake Anthuriums for her Baba and Sushi King along with the best wood burning pizza from Bonfire Pizza. Flower arrangements is another one of her many skills.

Her latest discovery is the Ban’an Juice Bar and Smoothies Truck on Monsarrat Ave. right around the corner from her house. David Rochlen turned her on to it with her favorite flavor being Lilikoi when it’s in season. If you haven’t tried Ban’an from Molokai, she swears it’s a must try for everyone!

She also has a green thumb. Growing her own fruits and vegetables for the family in her little organic garden. Imagine the possibilities of Hawaii’s future with the youth of today modeling the way for a sustainable Hawaii. More than buying local is growing local.

Mahina has a diverse group of friends from favorite Aunties like Aunty Sheryl, Aunty Heather, Aunty Heidi, Aunty Miko, Aunty Annie and many more who all love and cherish the times they can spend with her. She’s as comfortable talking story with her aunties lunching at Mariposa in Neiman Marcus as she is with her own peers sharing a tuna sandwich on the beach. Some of her closest friends are David Rochlen, Ollie Hope and Nicole Yarborough.

Ollie and Mahina are quite the Entrepreneurs. If you hear them talking about business concepts and their next business ventures together you would think they were two college graduates from Business School working on their latest Business Plans. They have a plethora of ideas from Shell Jewelry, Sea Salt Bath Scrubs, Candles, Swimwear, etc. You can see the birth of their conglomerate Empire start to take shape.

The future of Hawaii is in good hands with Mahina and her friends. They definitely Dream with their eyes wide open to make all their Dreams come true.

Family is everything to Mahina. Her closest and Best Friends are her brothers Kauanoeikekailoa (Kai) and Kalehuaku-ponoikahliau (Kup’s), Kai and Mahina will surf together and do just about everything together in and out of the ocean. Kup’s will play in the ocean but his real passion is Baseball and Sports. He said he’ll be playing for the Dodger’s when he grows up and if you’ve ever seen him play you wouldn’t bet against him with his single minded focus and determination. He’s the only person I saw who could hit a real overhand tossed baseball when he was still a toddler. He’ll remind you of a young Marcus Mariota, who is his idol and prob-ably one of the best role models for all of Hawaii. I’m sure he’s slated to play for the University of Oregon Ducks before going on to play for the Dodgers.

puamohaluokamahina surfing

Photography is one of Mahina’s newest passions. She’s as comfortable behind the camera as she is in front of it. Over the years she worked hard and saved up all of her money to buy her favorite SLR Camera. It’s going to be an incredible journey capturing all the goodness of Hawaii through Mahina’s eyes.

Her favorite place to dive for shells is Sandy Beach with the Rochlen’s, Kawela Bay with the Hope’s and Molokai with Uncle Scott and Aunty Sheryl. She’ll collect them to make her own hand made jewelry that she’ll sell and/or make gifts to give to family and friends. She also loves using abalone shells, embellishing them with her special touches.

I remember reading this quote from Pinky Thomson at the Canoe Halau at Maunalua Bay.
“A thriving community of healthy individuals and families informed about their rich heritage and culture living in a state of lokahi (unity) and making informed choices and responsible decisions in a safe island society that is Pono.”

Hawaii is so special in so many ways but one of the best Gifts it shares with the world is through its people and their Aloha spirit.

The Hawaiians would say: “AlohA Aku, AlohA Mai. Malama Aku, Malama Mai.” In giving love, we receive love. In caring for others, we will always be taken care of. Mahina truly lives and surfs with Aloha every day and is one of good things about Hawaii.