Not the hotel, but the whole long beach...is reputed to have been reserved for the Alii, the royal nobility of the Hawaiian chiefs and their families. Modern research has the Hawaiians arriving from Tahiti some 1500 years ago.
Capt Cook, in the late 1700's, and other early explorers left accounts of the Hawaiians "sporting in the surf with boards".
More recent history relates that the coming of the missionaries put a damper on these and other frolicsome activities. By 1890 or so, at the end of the Victorian period, these water sports were no longer a way of life in these then British Sandwich Islands as they had been in previous times. Probably not "nearing extinction" as some have reported, but rare.
Then in the period around 1900, the "Birth of Modern Ocean Water Sports" happened (an expression found in the literature). Among the several major figures whose name and good works have survived into our modern times and who are direct ancestors of and connected spiritually with the Waikiki Roughwater Swim are our three "Patron Saints":