Thursday, March 21, 2013

Makena - Big Beach Graffiti

This is an old World War II bunker at Big Beach, at Makena State Park. 

It's on the left side of the beach if you're facing the ocean. 
There's plenty of graffiti on all sides. I think of graffiti as public art.
On the top, I think the Makena Underground is a music group. 
On the right side is painted Makana
probably referring to the popular singer in Hawaii, 
who also created music for the Occupy Wall Street Movement,  

I'm not sure who Andy Chapman is, or if it's Randy Chapman on the left. 
The name does sound familiar though. 
There's a big music scene on Maui, but I'm not the most knowledgeable. 
I have no idea who Justice, Case or Melin are.

This side of the bunker says "Maui Skimmers."
That's either the name of the company or just referring to skimboarding on Maui, 

which is pretty popular.

Big Beach has an annual "Save Makena" skimboard competition every summer. 

Here's some pics from 2011.
There was a contest in 2012, but I haven't found any good pics of it.
The competition helps to promote awareness of the issues facing Makena,
since it's been threatened with development over the years.

Makena is one of the best undeveloped beaches on the island.
No public showers, no flushing toilets
but there is a Jaws food truck in the first parking lot.
The surf break at Big Beach is also incredibly dangerous and
I've seen people come out on stretchers. 
The bunker set in context against the beach.
No palm trees on this beach, but lots of thorny kiawe,
which is Hawaii's version of mesquite.

More graffiti on the back side. Not sure what any of this stuff means. 

A classic view of Big Beach from the hill between Big Beach and Little Beach,
 both part of Makena State Park.
The bunker is somewhere on the left, midway down.
If I wanted to photoshop this photo, I'd remove some of the people, 

but this is how crowded it gets on a typical sunny day on Maui.
This view is looking South towards the Big Island of Hawaii.
I think it might be barely visible here, but it could also just be clouds. 


  1. Just felt the need to correct some of the statements that were made above:

    "Makena Underground" is not a music group. It is in reference to Makena being in a fairly remote location and to the long enduring but rarely talked about surfing and skimboarding community that exists outside of the mainstream "surf media" exposure.

    "Makana" does not reference the Hawaiian singer. It is in reference to a locally famous dog named Makana who frequented Big Beach in the 1980's and is also the Hawaiian name of a locally famous Kihei surfer and skimboarder who was also known as "Dougie". Both of whom have passed away and are remembered fondly by the "Old Timers".

    The name on the left is David Chapman and the other name is Justice Case McLin, both of whom were well known in the local Kihei surfing, skateboarding and skimboarding scene of the 1980's and 90's - and who have passed away.

    "Maui Skimmers" is in reference to the local skimboard company which was instrumental in the early days of high performance skimboarding on Maui in the 1980's and which still makes the unique hand-shaped skimboards preferred by many of the skimboarders on Maui.

    The graffiti on the back sides was added more recently and as far as I know it has no relevance to the early days of Makena & Big Beach surf culture.

    Mahalo (Thanks) for posting these pics!

  2. Wow, thank you so much for sharing this information. It's deeply appreciated. I love hearing these stories about the graffiti. I wonder if you know when the graffiti was made?

  3. The 2 front sides were done in the early 90's, not sure about the back sides but definitely done more recently. Aloha!


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