Guess Where Surfing is an Official High School Sport? [Plus MIL 2019 Surf Season Results]

Maui County is one of the only places, if not the only place, in the US where surfing is an accredited high school sport — isn’t that cool? He’e nalu, the Sport of the Kings, becomes the Sport of the Kids! Please leave a comment below if you know of other counties where surfing is an official High School sport.

The fourth and final MIL (Maui Interscholastic League) contest was held this weekend in overhead conditions at Ho’okipa Park, wrapping up the 2019 season. Complete results at the end of this post but spoiler alert: my daughter’s wahine team at Maui Prep took home first place island-wide!

All nine high schools on Maui participate: Maui High, Baldwin High, Seabury Hall, Maui Preparatory Academy, Lahainaluna, Kamehameha, Hana High school, Haleakala Waldorf, and King Keaulike. The team title is a combination of best scores over the four competitions in surfing and bodyboarding.

Four boys and four girls from each school compete in both shortboard surfing and bodyboarding in multiple heats, judged by a panel of pros. The four all-day events celebrating our State’s favorite sport are filled with music, Hawaii and high school team flags flying and the smells of barbeque in the air — And hopefully good surf. Not to mention kids ripping in their colored jerseys.

The first contest of the season took place at DT Fleming Beach in Kapalua — the waves got bigger as the day progressed.

Koki Beach

The second comp was at Koki Beach in Hana. The kids were hosted by Hana High School and spent Friday night in the Hana gym. Good times! The conditions were over-head.

Lahaina Harbor

The third contest was at the break at Lahaina Harbor, and everyone set up on the grass in front of the Lahaina Library. Small south swell didn’t cooperate.

Ho’okipa Park

The final competition was at Pavilions at Ho’okipa Beach Park in Paia with overhead conditions and no wind, which is rare for the North Shore of Maui. Fun day for all!

Zoe at DT Fleming comp



Team – Maui Prep 38, Lahainaluna 29, King Kekaulike 27, Kamehameha Maui 26, Baldwin 24, Hana 12, Seabury Hall 12, Maui High 7, Haleakala Waldorf 6.

Shortboard – 1. Madison Runyon, Lahainaluna, 3,000; 2. Ellie Brown, King Kekaulike, 2,443; 3. Kayalani Mullen, King Kekaulike, 2,260; 4. Ashley Taoka, Maui High, 2,015; 5. Paloma Banto, Maui Prep, 1,983; 6. Zoe Gonzales, Maui Prep, 1,725.

Bodyboard – 1. Madison Runyon, Lahainaluna, 2,460; 2. Labryana Hookano, Kamehameha Maui, 2,415; 3. Kayalani Mullen, King Kekaulike, 2,400; 4. Zoe Gonzales, Maui Prep, 2,080; 5. Clara Asay, Hana, 2,030; 6. Kawai Kupuni, Kamehameha Maui, 1,935.

Lahaina Harbor judges stand


Team – King Kekaulike 38, Maui Prep 29, Lahainaluna 27, Kamehameha Maui 23, Baldwin 23, Hana 14, Maui High 13, Seabury Hall 10, Haleakala Waldorf 7.

Shortboard – 1. Tony Nunez, Maui Prep, 2,730; 2. Tyler Kirby, Maui Prep, 2,530; 3. Axel Rosenblad, King Kekaulike, 2,460; 4. Ty Simpson-Kane, Kamehameha Maui, 2,303; 5. Luc Guidroz, Seabury Hall, 1,931; 6. Gabriel Girardin, Haleakala Waldorf, 1,863.

Bodyboard – 1. Alex Fahland, King Kekaulike, 2,590; 2. George Rocha, Lahainaluna, 2,530; 3. Trae Trippel-Grow, King Kekaulike, 2,470; 4. Ryan West, Lahainaluna, 2,173; 5. Hunter Carpio, Baldwin, 2,165; 6. Jaden Givensel, Baldwin, 1,950.

Number one champ Tony Nunez from Maui Prep shows his winning style at Ho’okipa.

Kids getting some coaching at DT Fleming Park

Love this shot of the Keiki warming up at Koki Beach

The Hawaii State Board of Education in May 2004 approved surfing – the official individual sport of the state of Hawaii – as a high school sport. Despite overwhelming support from parents and students, funding and other challenges have kept surfing from becoming a fully-fledged school sport in other counties in Hawaii.

Shaka from Zoe and me at Ho’okipa.

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June 11, 2019

I want to go back to school from da beginning. On. Maui.

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