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The Rise of Surfing

Surfing is a fantastic sport and there are few things in life that can compare to the feeling of catching a wave. Paddling out against the force of the sea and then harnessing that power to speed back in is deeply addictive. The first written account of surfing came from the log of Captain Cook’s ship the Discovery. Back in 1779 an astonished Lieutenant called James King watched Hawaiians riding the waves on long hardwood surfboards. It was known as “The Sport of Kings” and chiefs rode bigger boards than common people on private breaks which no one else was allowed to surf. Even back then dropping in was considered bad etiquette and was a major taboo. The sport was picked up by visitors to the island and Hawaiians who settled elsewhere took it with them. As the United States annexed Hawaii in 1900 the traditional culture went into decline and surfing became less common. However with the foundation of a surf club in 1905 it was revitalized. It grew gradually throughout the 20th century becoming especially popular in California and Australia. Surfboard design continued to develop and by the 1960’s surfing was a popular past time in various countries across the world. Surf schools were established and boards became lighter and smaller. Since then surfing has continued to grow and developments in wetsuit technology have made surfing popular even in cold climates. The sport has developed to include various manoeuvres and death defying tricks and it has made an obvious impact on popular culture. Over the last few years surfing has grown still further in popularity across the world and spawned a lucrative series of multinational companies who provide boards, wetsuits and accessories. Surf schools have sprung up along the coast and the line-ups are becoming busier as hordes of surfers compete for waves. There are official competitions and top surfers are sponsored by the big companies to wear and use their gear. While some have welcomed this growth and even made fortunes from it there are also communities within surfing who find it annoying that so many amateurs have taken to the water. Whatever your take there is little doubt the surfing boom is here to stay and the obvious reason for that is that surfing is great fun. Surfing is also a dangerous sport and the risk of drowning remains very real. There are dangerous rip tides that can pull you out to sea and many collision hazards such as reefs, rocks and even other surfers. In some places the sea life also represents a threat with sharks sharing the water and jellyfish roaming around. Finding good surf is another problem and there is no doubt the rise of the internet has contributed to the surfing boom as it allows surfers to check weather reports and even view web cams of beaches to see where they should go for a session. While in the past they had to rely on complex calculations and guesswork it is now easy to find good conditions. This blog will bring you various bits and pieces of information about surfing from good locations to check out and the best boards to surfing holidays and accessories. Check back often for updates.