Eduard Dennis "Duke" Michael Alifier (1938-2008) was born in Chicago, Illinois. At the age of 12, Michael received his nickname after his father met Hawaiian swimmer Duke Kahanamoko. Duke moved with his family to Burbank, California, where he began participating in competitive swimming. Duke's passion for surfing began with surf mats. By age 15, he made his first surfboard out of old balsa wood he found at a marina, using an article on how to make surfboards he got from Scuba Diver Magazine in 1953. Duke surfed with this board at Malibu and stripped it down and reshaped it 4 times before he sold it to a friend.


He arrived at Puerto

Rico in 1965 after living

in Hawaii. His first surf shop was in Llorens Torres in San Juan, where Duke was known as "el Gringo de cantera". He later moved to Rincón, where he rode and named many beaches in both Rincón and Aguadlla, such as Wilderness, 'Tres Palmas', Gas Chambers, Hole in the Wall, and more.  The board Duke shaped in Malibu was the beginning of Uku Surfboards, Duke's surfboard shop in Puerto Rico, named after his dog. Duke is also known as the first board shaper in Puerto Rico.


Duke's experiences took him on a journey towards finding a pure life, in harmony and in tune with nature and the ocean.

...and read about our mission and passion!

Duke's Surfing School is involved and dedicated to the Rincón community and offering children and teens the opportunity of studying aquatic sports. Duke's focuses on helping young people from low income families and young people with autism. These lessons can be given thanks to donations, events, and through the money earned and collected through the services we offer.  Their smiles are our mission and motivation.



Rincón, Puerto Rico

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