The History of Surfing

1978 WordsJan 31, 20188 Pages
Today surfing is a multi-billion dollar industry. It has been taken up on every continent on Earth. There have been waves surfed that were created by the breaking of an arctic glacier. China has built an indoor wave pool a thousand miles from the closest ocean that perfectly simulates a real breaking wave. People are finding ways to surf by any means necessary. Anyone that has ever picked up a board and paddled into a break owes that experience not only to the ancient pioneers that created the sport but also to the pioneers that popularized it. The origins of catching and riding a wave began in Western Polynesia over three thousand years ago. The first ones to catch a wave were fishermen who discovered riding waves was an efficient method of getting to shore with their bounty. Eventually, catching waves transformed into a pastime instead of every day work. There is no exact record of when surfing took the upright sport that we know today. It is known that, during the 15th century, the people of the Sandwich Isles were entrenched in the pastime of "he'enalu" or wave-sliding, in old Hawaiian. Europeans first witnessed surfing in the late 1700’s when first contact was made with the Tahitians. Explorer Captain James Cook wrote in his journal about how a Tahitian man caught waves with an outrigger canoe just for fun: "On walking one day about Matavai Point, where our tents were erected, I saw a man paddling in a small canoe so quickly and looking about him with such
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