You climb into your wet suit, grab your board, and paddle out into the depths of the sea. You are surrounded by nothing but the rhythm of the ocean and you wait patiently for the next breath to take place.
Surfing has a long history that has been around since humans could swim. It’s a sport with spiritual roots that continue to live on today. Dating back to ancient Polynesia, surfing is said to have started in the Hawaiian Islands prior to the voyage of Captain James Cooke.
The Hawaiian people embraced surfing as more than simply a sport but instead, made it into an art that became entrenched in their culture. The art of surfing is referred to as heʻe nalu, which translates into English as “wave sliding.”
Hawaiians took surfing very seriously and even saw the construction of surfboards as a spiritual event. They would choose wood from one of three types of trees found on the islands, Koa, ʻulu, and wiliwili. The shapes and sizes varied but could reach up to 18 feet in length and weigh over 100 pounds. Surfing required a great deal of patience and skill in order to maneuver the long boards.
One of the most iconic Hawaiian surfers is Duke Kahanamoku. He is considered to be the father of surfing and a legend among modern surfers today. He rode the never ending waves of Waikiki, one of Hawaii’s most famous beaches. Duke was also an accomplished swimmer and earned three Olympic gold medals for his superior skills.
Today, surfing is enjoyed all across the world from the Gold Coast of Australia to the California waters of San Diego. The popularity of the sport has grown and now features big name events such as Vans Triple Crown and Pipeline, both held on the North Shore of Hawaii.
For more great information and How-To tips on surfing check out http://www.wikihow.com/Surf. The site includes info on:
- Surf Etiquette
- Catching a Wave
Surf’s Up Dude!