What is the history, timeline of surfing? Information on surfing and surfing boards. When was surfing first invented?
Surfing; also called surf riding, is the sport and art of riding an ocean wave. In the most popular form of the sport, the surfer stands on a surfboard. Other forms of surfing make use of bellyboards, kneeboards, inflated rubber mats, canoes, and kayaks. In body surfing, no equipment is used. Whatever the vehicle or the technique, surfing requires great skill and balance.
History of Surfing:
Surf riding was a favorite pastime of the ancient Polynesians who inhabited the islands in the Pacific Ocean from New Zealand to Tahiti and who are believed to have brought the sport to Hawaii. The English explorer Capt. James Cook witnessed the sport when he discovered the Sandwich (Hawaiian) Islands in 1778. He wrote in the ship’s log that as the surf broke in Kealakekua Bay, native persons on boards “place themselves on the summit of the largest surge by which they are driven along with amazing rapidity toward the shore.”
With the arrival in 1820 of New England missionaries, who frowned on the nakedness of surfers and on the gambling that frequently accompanied surfing contests, the sport died out. Its renaissance began in 1908, when Alexander Hume Ford founded the outrigger Canoe Club in Honolulu to foster surfing and canoe riding. Tourist interest, plus the efforts of Duke Kahana-moku, a champion surfer, helped to spread the sport to the West. Surfing developed slowly, however, the major drawback being the long (14-18 feet or 4.25-5.5 meters) and heavy (about 15Q pounds or 56 kg) redwood boards that few surfers could handle. With the introduction in the 1940’s of light balsa boards and, in the mid-1950’s, of polyurethane foam boards, which are easily carried and are more maneuver-able in the water, interest in the sport grew rapidly throughout the world. Hawaii remains the center of surfing and offers the most challenging waves. A high spot in the career of any surfer is to travel to the North Shore of Oahu during the winter and early spring and contest the heavy swells that roll down on Hawaii from the North Pacific.
The sport of surfing is governed in the United States by the Western, Eastern, and Hawaiian surfing associations. These organizations conduct a series of United States competitions on the East and West coasts and in Hawaii, and winners participate in a biennial world contest. Surfers in competitive runs are judged mostly on form and skill. Officials award points for takeoff, turns, length of ride, and difficulty of wave selected. Judging is done from the beach. Other countries with nationwide programs include Peru, Australia, France, Ireland, Mexico, Britain, and South Africa. The first world competitions were held in Manly, Australia, in 1962.
The modern surfboard measures 5 to 9 feet (1.5-2.7 meters) long, depending on the surfer’s size and style, 18 to 22 inches (45.7-55.8 cm) wide, and 3 to 4 inches (7-10 cm) thick in the center, with the nose and tail sections frequently tapered. Each board has a point of balance, generally a short distance behind its center, in relation to the size and weight of the surfer.
Weighing between 5 and 12 pounds (11-26 kg), the board has one or two foiled fins laminated to the underside at the rear for directional stability. Surfboards are made of polyurethane foam and are covered with fiber-glass reinforced plastic with a coating of wax across the deck for traction.
When was surfing first invented?
Surfing, in which a person rides on the face of a breaking ocean wave, is believed to have originated in ancient Polynesia. While the exact date of its invention is unknown, it is thought to have been practiced for centuries by indigenous peoples of the Pacific islands, such as the Hawaiians, Tahitians, and Samoans.
In Hawaii, surfing was not only a sport, but also an important part of the culture and religion. The ancient Hawaiians had their own terminology, techniques, and rituals surrounding the sport of surfing. Surfing was also depicted in ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs, which date back to the 15th century or earlier.
Western explorers and missionaries first observed surfing in Hawaii in the late 18th century, and it was introduced to the Western world by Hawaiian royalty in the early 20th century. Today, surfing is a popular sport and recreational activity around the world, enjoyed by millions of people.