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Surfing 101: The Origins and History

June 09, 2014 0 Comments

Surfing is awesome.

A powerful ocean plus a small board and a smaller man equals one of the most beautiful and peaceful sports.

It’s also one of the hardest and most dangerous sports out there. But where did surfing get it’s start? Let’s find out shall we…

Long ago on an island

Surfing is one of the oldest sports. The first explorers to the Polynesian islands noted that surfing was an important part of the lives of the people.

The best riders were the chiefs of the people. And they would get the best stuff.

The poor may not get to ride the best beaches or get the best stuff but they could gain prestige and rise above their station by being a great rider.

So, in the old days surfing really could change your life.

The Hawaiians

The Hawaiians took surfing to a another level. For them, it wasn’t only a sport or a way to show
social status, it was a religious experience.

Before going out to the ocean, they would pray to the Gods for good surf. And as they surfed they would commune with the Gods of the ocean.

Even the art of making their boards was a spiritual experience full of rituals and offerings to the Gods.

We may have lost it but we can find it again

With the coming of Missionaries to the islands, surfing fell out of favor and was soon forgotten by all
but a few of the upper class who had time to still practice the old ways.

Then in the summer of 1885, three Hawaiian princes took a break from school in Santa Cruz, California and went for a surf.

This was the start of a slow surfing revival. Over the years more and more people saw the smooth moving water sport as a way to get in touch with the past and with nature while having a blast doing it.

How does it look now?

Over the years surfing has grown into a sport that is practiced by young and old alike.
There are boards of every shape and size and you can practice at any level whether its just a nice, easy ride or you’re doing tricks on the big waves.
Surfing has something to offer everyone. If you are a surfer, or just wish you were, leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
And hang ten!

Ally Henley
Ally Henley

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