The History of Surfing

Even though we can´t know for exactly how long mankind have been standing on a surfboard, we know that the Polynesians were the first to invent it and that they brought it over to Hawaii were eventually surfing as we know it today has been developed. In ancient Hawaii it was a big part of the culture and they saw it more as an art form than the hobby or sport it is today. They called it wavesliding and prior to going in to the water they prayed to the gods to be able to concur the big ocean. In the Polynesian culture much of the social ranking was also connected to surfing, the chief were the best surfer and had the best board in the community and people with higher rank were the only ones with access to the best beaches. But other people could also gain prestige by proving themselves as good surfers. Then the Europeans came and banned surfing along with many other parts of their culture and soon the skill of riding the waves and carving the boards was almost dead, until it was brought to the US by some Hawaiian princesses in 1855 and then later to Australia by an other Hawaiian in 1915 and the interest for Surfing slowly started to rise again. But it was not until 1960 when the surfers movie Gidget released that it got really popular all over the world, and in the 20th century it started to became a sport in Hawaii partly for the reason of boosting tourism.