Wave Park opens post-COVID, welcomes historian, activist
Waves are pumping again at Wave Park after its temporary closure due to pandemic restrictions. To celebrate the reopening of Wave Park, the wave pool launched a new program, “Aloha Surfing Edition 1.” The group invited Philip Ahn Cuddy, a legendary surfer and expert in the surfing industry, and most noteworthy, the descendant of the Korean independence activist in the early 1900s, Dosan Ahn Chang-ho. Mr. Cuddy was the first person who surfed in South Korea in 1991 and since then has been an ambassador for US-Korean surfing.
Mr. Cuddy has devoted much of his precious time to visiting Wave Park, encouraging young people to get involved with surfing abnd sharing his 52 years of ocean experience while also talking about his program for the treatment of children with cancer and autism.
There were several meetings with the municipality of Siheung including a seminar on the future of surf culture in Korea. Taking part were the Siheung Surf Organization and local surf groups from 13 different cities and prefects. Also, he joined a ceremony to launch a city surf team from the Siheung City Sports Council.
Wave Park is working on a surfing therapy program for fire fighters with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and with Mr. Cuddy’s experience, the wave pool plans to extend further and include young children with cancer and autism as well. The second edition of Aloha Surfing is already planned for the end of May 2021, featuring famous surfers from Hawaii. The series will highlight aerial surfing exhibitions by Hawaiian surfers and most importantly visitors will get to surf with them.
As a Korean-American and descendant of Dosan Ahn Chang-ho, Philip contributed to Korean American history with the book publication of Dosan’s “Leadership Love Yourself, Love Others” (2011) and serving as Executive Coordinator of the Korean American Museum in Los Angeles.
He served as surfing competition promoter, organizer, and contest judge and executive director of the Eddie Aikau Foundation. He is currently working on the Susan Ahn Cuddy Collection Archives for his mother, as well as at Waterlife Research from LLC/University of Hawaii Biomed Technology with developing a treatment for pain from the venom of box jellyfish stings.
Wave Park will continue to offer ample opportunities to make contacts and workshops with many more international and local surfers.