A brief history of surfing


The joy of surfing has been experienced by many different people around the globe. Since early times men and also women have been surfing in the big blue. If you thought that in the history of this man dominated planet women where left behind on the surfing life, then think again! Those first wave sliders, or He’e Nalu gained prestige and respect in there society by showing there skills. The sport of kings and queens that once was lost due to religion, is now one of the most popular sports to practice. But how do we know it and where does it come from ?

Surfing history

The exact origins of surfing are not certain, but some say it was first observed by Europeans on a ship in French Polynesia back around 1760. Research suggests that surfing dates back to the ancient Polynesian cultures that existed long ago. According to data collected and many myths, the chief of a tribe was the man who could surf the best. In other words, that goofy looking blond haired dude on the beach that is ripping in the sea would have been in old times THA BOMB in his society. We know very little about the early years of surfing since as missionaries took on their task of converting the “savage” natives, they also forbade such frivolities as wave riding, and the art became lost by the start of the 20th century. So Christianity almost killed surfing, lucky for us history is full of rebels. We do know that the first Alaia and Olo surfboards were made of solid wood, which made them extremely heavy. They were flat with a square tail. Surfboards were constructed using the native wood of the area. The heavyweight made boards unwieldy for anyone but the strongest and most athletic riders.


The Duke, the big Kahuna.

In 1905, a teenager named Duke Kahanamoku, the father of modern surfing and his friends began to gather under a hau (lowland) tree at Waikiki beach. Duke and his friends, who spent their days surfing, later created their own surfing club, Hui Nalu, or “The Club of the Waves.” By this time, the missionaries’ influence over the island had begun to decline, freeing up an avenue for the reintroduction of surfing in Hawaii. Duke and his friends later became known as the famous “Beach Boys of Waikiki” and are credited with the rebirth of surfing in Hawaii. Another individual who played an important part in the revitalization of surfing in Hawaii, George Freeth was also the first to bring the sport to California.

The big kahuna

Their legacy continues to live on around California's top surf spots, varying from killer waves in the north to historic breaks in the shadows of a nuclear power plant in the south, all popular long before anyone ever heard of a Malibu. It is said Santa Cruz was the first break ever caught by a surfer in California, back in 1885 when a group of Hawaiian students rode boards made of local redwood. But it wasn't for another 50 years Santa Cruz became synonymous with the U.S. surf movement as boards evolved from wood to fiberglass and surf shops started to pop up along the local boardwalk. One such shop was that of Jack O'Neill, of the now iconic O'Neill brand, one of the first creators of the modern wetsuit -- built to extend the surfing season in the chillier waters off Northern California.

It’s like being in the mafia. Once you’re in - you’re in. There is no getting out
— Kelly Slater

Modern surfboards, the offspring of war inventions.

Polyurethane foam and fiberglass were developed to lighten the weight of military aircraft, allowing them to probe deep into enemy territory. Who would have thought that war would have such a big impact on the revolutionary development of the modern surfboard as we know it. Engineering student Bob Simmons was among a fervent crew of surfer-tinkerers who thought to use foam for their boards. Foam boards were lighter, cheaper, and more maneuverable—and better able to handle the exigencies of 20-foot waves. Wood Surfboards would soon be displaced entirely.

From wooden boards to women surfing with there boobies naked scaring missionary’s and from American pop music to war . Surfing has been part of our history, a sport worthy for a King and a Queen.

So take your board and let’s go surfing !

Team Chernaki Surf Experience

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