"Along the Miracle Mile," a regular Honolulu Star-Bulletin feature by writer Margie Stone, covered the lighter side of Waikiki. This edition of Stone's column ran on July 12, 1958.

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When Waikiki's waves are up, as they were last week, everyone on the beach knows the only place to find the Kukea family—out where the big swells start to rise. These Kultras—a fire department captain, a housewife, and their three youngsters—are real water diehards; swimmers, paddlers and surfers. Shelves full of trophies in their home up behind Punchbowl prove that the Pacific, like a disease, runs in the family.

Mrs. Kukea—Ethel—is rated one of the top women surfers in Hawaii. She’s a lithe woman with a ready smile, and warm gray eyes, whose 151 pounds are all muscle. Ethel’s a graduate of Southern California’s waves. "We lived at Laguna Beach every summer, and I started bodysurfing at Corona del Mar almost from the time 1 could swim," she says. "Then Duke (Kahanamoku) introduced board surfing on the coast. First my older brother Lorrin tried it. Then pretty soon I was riding a redwood plank too." Lorrin Harrison, now a commercial abalone fisherman, is one of the coast's best-known surfers.

"At first I thought the board was just in the way," Kukea continues, "but after a while, it gets into your blood."

By getting in your blood Ethel means that she can happily spend five or six hours out on a board, particularly when the waves are running about 12 feet high. "It makes you forget everything," she says enthusiastically. "I miss luncheons and meetings and everything but people have come to know that and understand."

Ethel was transplanted to Hawaii via a familiar route. Fresh out of the University of Redlands, she came over for a vacation and stayed to teach physical education at the YWCA and married a Hawaiian surfer named Joe.

While sons Kala and Kahele, now 15 and 12, and daughter Mele. 11, were small, Ethel stayed shoreside and began pushing them on boards while they were still in pre-school. Now that they're all water-borne, she's back on a board. ”In 1956 they held a women’s event at the Makaha surfing meet for the first time,” she recalls. "A few of us really had to fight it through [to get women included]; now it's one of the top attractions.”

In the '56 meet, Ethel took first in surfing, and first in the one-mile paddle. Last year she came second in surfing and first in paddling, and went along with the Hawaii team to Peru. She'll be back at Makaha this year, on the big ones, defending her titles. "It’s wonderful that more young gals are taking up surfing. The more competition, the more fun."

And just because it’s all a part of surfing and water and Waikiki, Ethel has been paddling on the Waikiki Surf Club’s senior women's six crew for four seasons and has steered the team across the finish line first every time this year.

Incidentally, to ‘’keep fit.” this busy mother teaches Keep Fit classes at the YWCA, too.