Montgomery Kaluhiokalani

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Montgomery Kaluhiokalani
Personal information
Born Montgomery Ernest Thomas Kaluhiokalani
(1958-03-30)March 30, 1958
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Died November 2, 2013(2013-11-02) (aged 55)[1]
Nickname Buttons
Residence Hawaii
Website Official website

Montgomery Ernest Thomas Kaluhiokalani (March 30, 1958 – November 2, 2013) was a surfer from Hawaii, known as Buttons. He has been described by Surfer Today as a "surf legend."[2]


Buttons was active from the 1970s onwards.[3] In 1973 he came second in the Boy's Division of the United States Surfing Championship.[4] At the age of 21 he competed in the Pipeline Masters and Sunset World Cup.[3] In 1979 he won the Malibu Pro; he also came third in the 1975 Pro Class Trials, third in the 1981 Pro Class Trials, third in the 1981 Pipeline Masters, and first in the 1981 Peru International.[1]

Drug problems[edit]

In 2009, Buttons described himself as a "recovering drug addict" who had been sober for three years.[3] His drug problems began in 1985 with cocaine; he returned to surfing in 1996 but was arrested in 1998, although charges were later dropped.[1] In 2007 he featured on the TV show Dog the Bounty Hunter after being arrested for drug offences.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Buttons was named after actor Montgomery Clift.[3]

He had 8 children and 9 grandchildren.[3]

Kaluhiokalani died on November 2, 2013 due to complications from lung cancer. He was 55 years old.[6]

A memorial service was held at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki on November 29, 2013. This was followed by a 'paddle out' of more than 100 surfers and their boards, from the adjacent beach to the waters where Buttons had practiced his craft.[7]


  1. ^ a b c Matt Warshaw (2005). The Encyclopedia of Surfing. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 311. ISBN 978-0-15-603251-3. 
  2. ^ ""Buttons" Kaluhiokalani: the iconic progressive surfer of the 70s". Surfer Today. June 1, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Glenn Sakamoto (November 12, 2009). "Buttons Kaluhiokalani". Liquid Salt Magazine. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  4. ^ Jason Borte. "Buttons Kaluhiokalani (March 30, 1959-)". Surfline. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Dog the Bounty Hunter Captures Hawaii Surf Legend Buttons". Surfing Today. May 14, 2007. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  6. ^ Coen, Jon. "Surf legend Buttons Kaluhiokalani dies at 54 - X Games". Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  7. ^ [Hawaii News Now|]