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Couple waving goodbye to Kimo's Surf Hut

By Erika Engle

LAST UPDATED: 2:14 a.m. HST, Apr 12, 2011

This story has been corrected.

The decade-old Kailua fixture that is Kimo's Surf Hut is for sale by its owners, Kimo and Ruth Aluli, for an asking price of $1 million.

Kimo's Surf Hut has been "a very profitable business," Ruth said, "and it continues to be successful. It's just time that we wanted to do something else."

That something else is to move to Kauai.

The 2,400-square-foot shop sells surfboards and stand-up paddleboards, both new and used, as well as accessories and repair services.

The inventory includes 800 boards and the repair expertise of Bill Haglund, "an amazing surfer and surfboard repair specialist" who is also a cousin, she said. "He's one of those really talented, meticulous people."

The Alulis are handling the deal themselves, but not for lack of trying to line up a broker — it's just that none of the brokers to whom Ruth put out feelers returned her calls. She and her husband thought, "We can do this; besides, we have to be super-involved because we also want it to go to the right person."

They have had several inquiries, including some serious ones. "We're also interviewing people to make sure it is the correct fit."

The shop moved to 776 Kailua Road, a prominent corner spot at the entrance to Kailua town, three years ago, from its former home on Hekili Street across from Daiei. Well, it was Daiei at the time, but then became Don Qui­jote and now is an empty building awaiting development of a Target store.

The present location has customer parking in the back, from Kai­nehe Street, and the length of time remaining on the lease is negotiable, she said.

Kimo's originally was in what old-time Kailuans called the Weatherwax Building, because Weatherwax Electric Inc. was there, but it was torn down to make way for a new building housing the new Boots & Kimo's and Zpizza restaurants, to name two.

The Alulis decided on the move after "lots of soul-searching," she said.

"We've always wanted to go (to Kauai), and just with the different circumstances, you start to get older and you think, ‘Should we do it now or wait awhile?'"

They thought, "What if another 10 or 15 years go by," leaving them too old to make the move or enjoy the fruits of their labors.

Immediately after making the milestone decision, their son-in-law, who is in the Coast Guard, was transferred to Kauai. Their daughter is expecting their second grandchild, "and so now we'll have our grandchildren with us, too," Aluli said. When you leave things in God's hands, they can turn out even better than expected, she said.

Since putting up the "business for sale" sign, people have asked, "How come you're going out of business?" But she points out the "huge difference" between business-for-sale and going-out-of-business.

"We're not selling because we have to. We're selling because we want to," Aluli said.


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Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Advertiser. Reach her by email at erika@staradver­


» Kimo and Ruth Aluli are closing their Kailua surf shop, Kimo’s Surf Hut, so they can move to Kauai. A Page B7 caption yesterday said they planned to move to the Big Island.

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