Kelea Foundation is a Maui based non profit dedicated to making water sports accessible to all women & girls.
We use sports to help women & girls connect to themselves, each other and the rest of their community.
We work with local businesses, athletes and the County of Maui to create programs and events that promote strong healthy and self determined women & girls.
The Maui Surf Riding Princess
Several beautiful stories can be found about Kelea, all differing slightly in the details.
The main story goes a bit like this:
Kelea was a beautiful princess of Maui who loved more than anything, to surf. Some say she told her brother that she would never marry a man, only her surfboard! The Hawaiian Gods told Kelea that she would find the love of her life only in the ocean.
The King of Oahu was searching desperately for a bride. He sent his cousin, Kalamakua on an expedition to find one among the Hawaiian Alii (royalty).
After finding no worthy princess on the Big Island, Kalamakua continued his expedition onto Maui. One day he came up on Hookipa Beach, Kelea’s most treasured surf break. Kelea was surfing and impressed Kalamakua very much. She approached the foreign canoes while out on her surfboard. Seeing the mastery she showed over the waves, they challenged her to surf their canoes into shore. She successfully surfed them back and forth several times. On the last attempt, a squall came in and the expedition took the opportunity to wisk Kelea away to Oahu.
Kelea’s brother sent out a search party, but never found her.
Kalamakua took Kelea back to Oahu to meet his brother. They were married and Kelea had three children. Eventually Kelea divorced the king and went to live with his brother, whom she was really in love with.
Kelea is our inspiration. She was a woman known for following her heart, and that led her straight to the sea, where again, she followed it to find the love of her life.
May she continue each day to inspire us to follow our hearts.