History of Surfing

Ocean, sea, and waves have always fascinated humans. The desire to ride mighty tides prompted humans to catch waves, and it remarks the beginning of surfing. No one is exactly sure about the origin of this sport, but there are theories which believe that it is almost 1000 years old. Surfing probably began as Polynesian people migrated from Sumatra in Indonesia. As a result, the sport spread through Fiji to Tahiti, and eventually, Hawaii was introduced with it. There are references that surfers were seen in Tahiti as early as the 1700s.

Surfing has always mesmerized a large number of people.

The joy of being driven on fast and smooth on the sea while standing on the surfboard is fascinating and enthralling.

At present, Hawaii is one of the most popular surfing destinations. The surfing culture started in Hawaii in the 1700s, but it was quite different than today’s scenario. Previously, royalty ruled the Hawaiian’s water – surfing was reserved for royals only, and commoners were not allowed to surf.

But over time, barriers were dropped, and surfing became a common sport for all. It became a sport of ability rather than a sport of elites. The expansion of sport also resulted in changing the surfboards and their shapes. People started customizing them as per their needs and began to explore surfing in a better way. New wave-riding techniques were found, and sport took a shift- it became more enjoyable. Instead of wooden longboards which weighed quite heavy and made it difficult to get out into the water, lighter Styrofoam surfboards were introduced. These boards had fins and provided with the ability to surf in challenging conditions and in winter months as well.  Thus, surfing achieved its rightful place and gained the attraction of masses.

Over the decades, now surfing has gained global recognition and has been able to become an Olympic sport. Continuous evaluation is being introduced in the modification of surfboard designs and materials. Nowadays, boards are made with fiberglass and resin for lightening their weight and to provide an adventurous surf experience.

However, for travelers, Hawaii is the dream surfing destination due to its culture and history. If one is planning to watch surfing pros live in action, then Hawaii is the place to visit. There is no better place than this to communicate with the ocean and master the art of surfing.  There are multiple popular surfing destinations there – the most popular being the Banzai pipeline. Banzai Pipeline is a surf reek break, i.e., an area where ocean waves start to break as they reach the shallows of the reef. Pipelines are thrilling for their huge waves as they form thick, hollow, and large curls of water called as tube rides in the surfing term.

Another popular surfing destination is Waikiki. Waikiki beach is one of the most popular beaches here, found in the neighborhood of Honolulu. The ambiance here is very different and attracts surfers from all around the world. It is a manmade beach surrounded by luxurious resorts, boutique hotels, and trendy restaurants.

Hawaii has seen many great surfs which attract the travelers, and all credit goes to Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku. Moreover, he was the pioneer in popularizing surfing in Hawaii. To commemorate his contributions, his 9-foot cast bronze statue is placed at the Waikiki Beach memorial site.