When Did Surfing Start?

Surfing is one of the world’s most beloved ocean water sports, but what is its true history? Many believe surfing was established in Hawaii but in reality its history dates back much further afield than that. Surfers came from many nations around the globe with access to sea vessels for travel.

Ancient Polynesians pioneered a form of surfing on wooden-made boards that was often 18-25 feet in length and used by royalty to establish their reputations.


Surfing began centuries ago in Peruvian culture; according to archaeological and anthropological evidence, surfing first evolved there during the 17th century. There is no direct archaeological or anthropological support for this claim; instead, its first documented history dates back as far as ancient Peruvians using caballitos de totora boats to ride waves on waves.

Thought to have first been discovered when working on fishing boats and being able to get off and ride waves. They may have learned this skill due to being able to count seas and determine when and where best to paddle off from.

West Africans eventually learned how to construct wooden canoes capable of withstanding waves and surfing them; each canoe had different shapes designed specifically for different kinds of waves.

Surfers with exceptional abilities gained prestige and status within society, being awarded with exclusive surfing spots that couldn’t be used by commoners.

Today, surfing remains an influential global culture force. This sport has inspired novels, films and television programs which help spread its reach worldwide.

Surfing initially began as a summer-only pastime among developed-world populations, yet has quickly expanded throughout history. This surge has been driven by fiberglass boards, quality wetsuits, and affordable international travel – making surfing accessible in virtually every coastal nation, even remote or distant locales.


Surfing is a physically demanding sport that demands skill, fitness and knowledge of basic surfing etiquette. Although developing these abilities will take time and practice, regular practice will allow you to move from beginner to expert surfer quickly.

Learn to surf by developing an efficient stance. It will allow you to maintain balance on the board while quickly getting up on your feet after paddling into a wave.

Marking the center of your board with wax can help you find its proper center when fitting fins and riding it, as well as establish an eye line, where your eyes should meet up with it.

An eye line will make paddling more manageable. Utilizing your arms to pull your feet into place while paddling is an effective way of maintaining balance while paddling.

Mastering the pop-up is another essential skill for beginners, which involves lying on your board with the bottom of your sternum, or chest area, resting against the center mark and pressing with both hands to push yourself off of it.

If you are having difficulty with standing back up, try crouching down with both hands on the ground to gain more stability. When your equilibrium has returned, stand back up and continue paddling towards the waves.

Beginners learning how to surf can often become disenchanted due to lacking the experience or skills to perform certain moves or interpret weather and wave patterns correctly, leading them down a path of disappointment, failure and low self-esteem.


Surfing has a rich and long-standing history that spans from Africa to Polynesia and beyond, touching lives in numerous ways and changing lives forever. Today, surfing has grown into a multi-billion-dollar global industry; for some surfers it serves as serious sport while others just use it as a means of relaxation or recreation.

Surfing was once an integral part of tribal culture on Tahiti and Samoa, providing warriors a means of challenging each other and demonstrating their power; as well as serving as spiritual practice.

As European missionaries arrived and began influencing Hawaiian culture, this practice eventually fell out of favor and many Hawaiians lost their lives as a result of this influence.

Early in the 1900s, some Hawaiians began rediscovering paddleboarding. George Freeth created a rescue paddle board while Duke Kahanamoku won five Olympic medals in swimming alone!

Surfing provided many an opportunity to escape city life and experience nature first-hand, bond with family and friends, and learn to thrive outdoors.

As time passed, surfing became more widely practiced as more people discovered its history. Three teenage Hawaiian princes first demonstrated it in Santa Cruz, California during the 19th century and the sport soon spread throughout. Later, American writer Jack London wrote extensively about it while George Freeth began performing exhibitions that helped spread it further.


Surfing is one of the world’s most beloved sports, yet it’s important to remember that it requires much more than simply paddling out into the ocean and riding waves; it requires respecting both nature and other people when engaging in this form of recreation.

Surfers abide by a set of rules known as surf etiquette in order to guarantee everyone can enjoy surfing safely and comfortably. These measures aim to prevent people from getting injured during surfing sessions.

Compliance with these rules will not only prevent injury but will also gain the respect of fellow surfers. While not a hard and fast rule, following them helps decrease conflict and injury on the water.

Surfers approaching an approaching wave typically give priority or right of way to those closest to its peak; this rule does not always hold, however; there can be exceptions.

Beginner riders with priority should wait to catch waves until they have gained enough experience and feel secure standing up on their board, giving them time to practice kicking out or straightening out and creating aerials.

As well as showing kindness to other paddlers who may have been paddling towards the same wave for some time, be mindful that those paddling should allow each other access to it – for instance if Fred and Barny both wish to use it at once.

Becoming a wave hoarder can be tempting, but that isn’t necessarily the best approach to surfing. Hoarding waves only serves to annoy other surfers trying to catch waves and share them around.


Surfing is an exhilarating way to enjoy time in the ocean, with few things more beautiful than riding waves. However, surfers must remember that ocean environments can be dynamic and potentially hazardous; by taking precautionary steps when surfing they can ensure safe and enjoyable sessions.

An understanding of the sea is paramount when surfing reef breaks. Doing so will allow you to spot hazards like rocks, rips and strong currents more quickly as well as understand which waves are breaking in a particular spot, how they work and any possible changes that might affect them.

Preparing yourself safely while surfing requires taking lessons with an experienced instructor or guide who will teach you to surf correctly and ensure you don’t cause injury to either yourself or others – plus they make learning faster!

As a beginner surfer, it is best to select waves that suit your level of experience and stay away from large swells, crowded beaches or complex breaks such as dry reefs.

Always give others on the water the right of way and communicate. Although it can be frustrating when someone drops in behind you after you have already caught a wave, adhering to this right of way rule will protect yourself and fellow surfers from getting hurt.

Beginners should abide by this general rule! If you are next in line for a wave and someone drops in unexpectedly, they have the right of way and have the responsibility for riding it if possible. Failure to respect this can ruin the day for others waiting their turn so be mindful when surfing!

As a novice surfer, it is advisable to stay near the shoreline where there are lifeguards and warning flags; they will inform you if the tide is too rough for surfing.

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