About Us

Local Motion Hawaii

For 44 years, Local Motion Hawaii has been committed to supplying the best in authentic, premium surf wear in the islands. And in the ever-changing and diverse market, Local Motion is always venturing for new trends and striving to go beyond industry norms. Our mission: To perpetuate the Hawaiian surf/island lifestyle, share the warmth of the aloha with our customers, and advance the surf apparel industry in Hawaii with superior customer service and commitment.

With an ʻohana of 7 stores spanning across Oahu, Maui, and California. Local Motion continues to grow and serve the community - reflecting our enthusiasm, understanding and value of the aloha spirit. 


Local Motion Hawaii started in 1977: a small 500 square foot surf shop in Kailua, Oahu in Hawaii. Its founder, Hawaiian native Robert "Rob" Burns, opened its doors with his dream of opening his own surf shop finally realized. He was only 23, and started the shop with only a $3,000 bank loan. Little did he know what the brand would become what it is today.

Rob was a well known surfboard shaper on the Windward coast of Oahu and spent his days paddling, surfing, and playing tennis. With the help of his sisters, he named his company "Local Motion" which conveyed the movement, power, and speed of surf, and also embodied the Hawaiian-grown image, which is further emphasized by the iconic palm tree logo.

Rob began launching his series of original boardshorts, t-shirts, and aloha shirts in the wake of the of the booming surf-market. In the beginning, he was solely responsible for all design, merchandising, sales and marketing, later going on to also helm sister brands Hawaiian Style and Kahala Sportswear. By 1981, he moved the store to Honolulu where business flourished and continued to expand into the neighbor islands. Production eventually moved to California and later overseas. Design and development, however, remained in Hawaii.

It wasn't long until Local Motion became a familiar name in surfing worldwide, reaching as far as Brazil and Japan. Some of the biggest names in surfing were team riders: Buttons, Bonga, Jamie O'Brien and Bruce Irons to name a few. The popular Hawaiian Style Band wrote a couple songs for Local Motion (most notably the single hit "Live A Little"). When the company's biggest and newest flagship store at the time opened up in Waikiki, the cast of MTV's The Real World: Hawaii were employed as store workers for the tv series.

Rob sold the brand in 1991 to Minami Corp., a Tokyo-based organization. The corporation aimed to expand and serve the global surf market, opening its own independent series of Local Motion stores in Japan. Today in Hawaii, you can find Local Motion centrally based out of Honolulu, operating 7 stores across Oahu, Maui, and California while still remaining humble to its small surf shop roots. Share some aloha and stop by a store to say "howzit!"

Surf Into Summer

Local Motion is proud to host the annual Surf Into Summer surf contest at Magic Island's Ala Moana Bowls, at the beginning of Hawaii's summer surf season. Three hundred and twenty five of the states top amateur competitors compete for trophies, prizes and bragging rights in what is considered Hawaii's largest and longest-running premier amateur surf event. The contest showcases male and female talent, from the young up-and-comers to the experienced water-men and women, competing on shortboards, longboards and bodyboards.

The Surf Into Summer contest first ran in 1985 at Queen's Beach in Waikiki, and has been a south shore surfing tradition ever since. By the late nineties the event had grown to include over 500 competitors, which required two competition areas be run simultaneously over the three day period. In 2000 Local Motion had the opportunity to move the contest to the crown jewel of the south side, Ala Moana Bowls. The move required Local Motion to scale down the number of contestants in exchange for better, more consistent surf. Regarded as Oahu's best south shore surf spot, the fast, long, bowling lefts at the Ala Moana Bowl provide an ideal arena for first-class amateur surfing. By 2015, the contest had become a World Surf League QS1000 qualifying event. Today, Surf Into Summer continues to stay true to its roots, as the premier amateur surf contest in Hawaii.

See results and recaps from Surf Into Summer 2019 here.