Localism rules; just ask Kufokofa


Strong and able, Kufokofa was a quiet man who led a very humble life as a fisherman.

Kufokofa was kind and gentle to all. It seemed half his life was spent in the ocean. If Kufokofa wasn’t fishing, he would be going for deepwater dives, body surfing like a dolphin, or surfing like a king on a very large and heavy wooden surfboard.

Kufokofa spent many hours alone as he searched remote places to find more, and different, fish to catch. Kufokofa sometimes discovered good surfing breaks, some offering perfect waves, along the way.

This day, Kufokofa was to discover the best waves he had ever come across in his entire life. Little could he know at the time surfing these waves would almost cost him his life.

Salt spray and sweat glistened off Kufokofa’s well-sculpted back as he steadily paddled toward the inside of the bay and shelter. The heat of the midday sun and hunger in his stomach told Kufokofa it was time to take a break and get some nourishment.

As Kufokofa got closer, and closer, to the inside of the bay he could see waves cresting flawlessly across the inside reef. Forgetting the hunger pains in his stomach Kufokofa’s mind began to think about surfing and his heart began to race with excitement and joy.

Surfing wave after wave until nearly sunset, Kufokofa’s exuberance was turning into exhaustion. Rather than make the long paddle back home, Kufokofa decided to make camp where he was. This way he could eat, get some rest and be able to surf the morning waves before making the long paddle home.

After building a fire and cooking a delicious fish and vegetables dinner, Kufokofa fell into a deep sleep from complete overtiredness. Kufokofa dreamt about surfing as he slept.

Awaking to the sweet morning sounds of tropical birds and calling surf, Kufokofa, as usual, was upright and on his feet by the crack of dawn. As the night stars began to fade, Kufokofa, carrying his heavy wooden surfboard, began to enter the ocean.

Kufokofa did not plan on surfing long. He hoped to catch just three waves and then head back home. Alas, after surfing two magnificent waves all the way to shore, Kufokofa prepared to catch a third and final wave.

Hearing people yelling, Kufokofa turned to see a group of angry, and hostile, locals quickly heading his way.

“These are our waves,” the locals shouted. “You are in violation of trespassing. We own these waves. You cannot surf here.”

With angry locals getting closer, and closer, two choices faced Kufokofa. He could stay and fight or try to make it one mile away to the city of refuge, ahead of the mob, where he would be safe forever.

Kufokofa began to paddle as fast as he could. How can these surfers own the waves, he thought. Just as the fish are free to swim in the sea, should not all surfers share the waves?

Kufokofa stood up for the truth and the angry locals backed down. Real and everlasting might is backed with the force of truth. Truth begets courage.

The locals respected Kufokofa and accepted him, too, as a local. Kufokofa became known as the best surfer and wisest man around.


E-mail surfing experts Michael and Milton Willis at