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Saturday, January 17, 2009
Updated: June 15, 1:54 PM ET
Kama 'aina


Twinnies. Quads. Single-fins. Bonzers. The Alaia. The Olo. Noseriders. Eggs. Fishes. Daniel Ikaika Ito's quiver is more diverse than the United Nations.

Daniel likes to stop and smell the 'ohia lehua (the offical flower of the Big Island.)

As you can see, we're tearing things apart and rebuilding here at ESPN Surfing, and that means adding some new talent to the line-up (that infers there was old talent, which is debatable.) With that, we welcome Daniel Ikaika Ito. What's a surf page without some Hawaiian blood?

"I grew up on the Big Island, surfing Honoli'i and I was all about longboarding throughout middle and high school," says Ito, who now lives in Town on O'ahu, "So I was always down for different shapes. When retro boards became popular, I was going to college in San Diego and I ditched my long board to ride fishes and stubby single fins. I haven't owned a long board since 2001."

While Ito was discovering the speed and joy of riding a short board in California, he also got his start in surf journalism at Surfing Magazine. He interned for a year and a half before becoming a Contributing Writer, learning the ropes from articulate surf journos like, Evan Slater, Matt Walker and Nathan Myers. Shortly thereafter he moved to O'ahu and became the first native Hawaiian editor of a surf publication while working at Free Surf.

Pushing the limit on the Aipa Singlefin at V-Land

"I'm not a big, tattooed, lifted-truck driving Hawaiian, but I'm proud of my ancestors and their role in surf history," says Ito who graduated from Kamehameha Schools, a private, secondary school only for Native Hawaiians. "Sometimes I wish I was a gnarly Hawaiian because I would probably get more waves at V-Land, but I'm too dorky to learn MMA and too short to be intimidating."

He does public relations work from The Rock, and maintains his journalism status by contributing to Surfing, Free Surf, Heavywater, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, Beach Brother Magazine, Longboard and is now editing Contrast Magazine.

Although he admits to spending way too much time on his laptop, Ito still finds time to get barreled. If you're on O'ahu you'Lll see the 27-year-old regular foot at Velzy Land or Ehukai Beach Park during the winter and at Diamond Head or Ala Moana Bowls in the summer. Most likely riding a funky, Aipa surfboard and claiming, "I'm not a hippie surfer, just a Hawaiian, and we ride whatever board the ocean calls for."

As things heat up with Da Hui Backdoor Shootout and the possibility of the Eddie, Ito will be blogging from The Rock, keeping us updated on the haps and our Hawaii'an "apo'stroph'es" in the right spots.