National News

China Uemura bids farewell to his annual longboard surfing classic after 33 years

Posted August 1

— For 33 years, Hawaiian Waterman Hall of Fame inductee China Uemura has been giving back to his community for all they gave him while he toured around the world.

This year, he planned on retiring his annual longboard surfing classic in Waikiki.

Uemura needs to focus on his health.

He recently went through an operation to clear an artery and says his doctor wonders how he's still alive.

This event would be his last… Or would it?

With waves heights barely able to sustain a competition, Uemura got on the mic and apologized to everyone there for the small surf.

What happened next, changed him.

"Then people came up to me and everybody go "uncle, no care about the surf, we came here for you" and then I started crying because people tell you that, you know they happy," Uemura said.

That's what he says it's all about. Then with a move out of pure emotion...

Uemura picked up the mic at his competition and told the crowd his kids would be taking over.

Then walked away.

"So I left, I left it and people were coming up approaching them "congratulations, you guys going to take over" and all that. "Kekoa, right on" and they [his children] were like what, they were like we cannot do it so I said we do it all together," Uemura said.

Uemura has a tough decision.

He wants to spend time with his grand-kids.

He needs to focus on his health and heart, but all of those here surfing might've changed it.

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