Imagine a Waikiki without “The beach boys, the Hawaiians, the originals” Waikiki is a part of the beach boys and the beach boys are a part of Waikiki! Without one the other cannot exist.
Would you even trust a person/ company who has no prior surf stand experience to run Kuhio beach? (Prior experience is one of the requirements that was set by the city, by the way.) That is what could happen if this new company comes in and takes over, not to mention the ending of an era that makes Waikiki, Waikiki.
Like Alika Willis, who is a third generation beach boy. He says their laid-back, easy going lifestyle comes through in their style of instruction.
“It’s not a job,” said fellow Waikiki Beach Boy, Kevin Okimoto. “It’s a lifestyle.”
They both say that lifestyle could be gone once the new management takes over.
Every five years, the stand owners have to bid for a contract with the city of Honolulu. This time, Dive Oahu was awarded both concessions.
Dive Oahu’s owner, Brian Benton, said after he officially takes over the sports on Tuesday, anyone is welcome to apply for a job. He expects new employees to abide by the same standards set for current ones, which includes a professional attitude, set work schedules, drug tests and uniforms.
A dress code is not something current Beach Boys like.
“He wants to dress us up like a Disney Land-type worker with a collared shirt and brown khaki shorts and name tags and that’s just not us,” said Willis.
“If they come on the beach, the tradition of the Beach Boys is over,” said Aaron Rutledge, owner of Star Beachboys.
He says the city’s never offered a dive company to make a bid before, and is upset that they allowed Dive Oahu to proceed.
Other beach boys, like 50-year veteran Aki, says a management change could scare away customers.
“I have a lot of customers come back to me,” he said. “We have the experience. We have the qualifications. We have the safety. We have everything.”
Waikiki Beach Boys plan to fight the city’s decision. They also filed a restraining order with a local judge to prevent Dive Oahu from taking over. As of Saturday evening, they are still waiting for the judge’s response.”
-KITV news article