Fierce Heart: The Story of Makaha and the Soul of Hawaiian Surfing (Paperback)

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Although Makaha is a small, isolated town on the Western coast of O‘ahu, it has produced some of the most intriguing Hawaiians of the twentieth century: world-class surfers Buffalo Keaulana and his sons Rusty and Brian; beautiful skin diver and surfing pro Rell Sunn; and larger-than-life singer and songwriter Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole. What connects them is a love for their culture, their people, and water sports. Fierce Heart combines stories of exciting surfing competitions, dramatic water rescues, and deep friendships with a look at the history and origins of one of the world's most thrilling extreme sports.

About the Author

Stuart Holmes Coleman moved to Hawaii in 1993 to teach, write, and surf. His essays and poems have appeared in numerous publications, including The Washington Post, USA Today, The Atlanta Review, and The Honolulu Advertiser. He is the author of Eddie Would Go: Eddie Would Go: The Story of Eddie Aikau, Hawaiian Hero and Pioneer of Big Wave Surfing and Fierce Heart: The Story of Makaha and the Soul of Hawaiian Surfing, and lives in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Praise For…

“...during the swift reading of this book you will enjoy over 100 insider stories of the wild west side. It's as if you are sitting in the shade of Uncle Buff's lifeguard tower as the waves roll in and the bruddahs talk story. What Coleman did for Aikau, he has now done for the legends of the west side. He has bravely and honestly reported the stories of these people, who have likewise bravely and honestly offered the truth. The author's prose is clean, precise, and beautiful, like a single fin longboard smoothly slicing through waves of glass. The long wait for his second book is justified, and Coleman can now consider himself a mythmaker of sorts.” —Big Island Weekly

“ impressive effort, full of information and enjoyable read, packed with tales about wild times and practical jokes.” —Maui Weekly

Fierce Heart is a memorable collection of stories about a unique place and a cast of characters that truly define modern Hawaiian culture and the spirit of aloha.” —Shaun Tomson, World Champion Surfer and author of Surfer's Code and Bustin' Down the Door

“Be warned, this edgy, fast-paced book is like surfing a Makaha wave - once you take off, there's no turning back - once you start reading Fierce Heart, you will be unable to put it down. Fierce Heart ‘s wisdom will linger with you for a very long time, and you will never look at your own life the same way again.” —Sandra Kimberly Hall, author of Duke: A Great Hawaiian

Fierce Heart shines a light onto the world's best-known, least-understood surf break.” —Matt Warshaw, author of Maverick's and The Encyclopedia of Surfing

“The spiritual home of the traditional, ocean-based culture of Oahu's West Side is at Makaha, where the bonds of community have been nurtured and tested by the surf. Stuart Coleman gracefully guides us into this world with respect and heart.” —Drew Kampion, author of Stoked!, Lost Coast, and Greg Noll, The Art of the Surf Board

“The author of Eddie Would Go has crafted another masterpiece of insight, detail and sensitivity to the Hawaiian culture. Having made dozens of surfing trips to Makaha over the years, I've experienced both the warmth and distrust of its proud residents, and I always felt they were gravely misunderstood. Coleman tells the exquisite truth with remarkable depth.” —Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle and Surfer Magazine sports columnist, author of North Shore Chronicles

“If your favorite armchair travel fantasy is like mine -- turn off the main road, switch into four-wheel drive and suddenly there's the Great Good Place -- here's the Hawaiian trip of your dreams. Stuart Coleman's sincere interest in the rugged Westside of O'ahu got him into the inner circle of the Hawaii that most tourists never see, and he delivers astonishingly intimate portraits of surfers, singers and sea goddesses. There are no luxury hotels, Don Ho music or dancing girls in the pages of Fierce Heart, just raw life and native pride -- and local heroes who really are heroic.” —Jesse Kornbluth, editor of

Fierce Heart is a powerful tribute to the Queen of Makaha. The stories in the book capture my mom's spirit of aloha and her dedication to helping others. At the Rell Sunn Educational Fund, we are committed to continuing her legacy, and this book will help keep her spirit alive for years to come.” —Jan Sunn-Carreira, Rell Sunn Educational Fund

Product Details
ISBN: 9780312638313
ISBN-10: 0312638310
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: June 22nd, 2010
Pages: 352
Language: English