Sunday, May 16, 2010

Origin of Surfing

Surfing was a central part of ancient Polynesian culture. Surfing was first observed by Europeans at Tahiti in 1767, by the crew members of the Dolphin. Later, Lieutenant James King wrote about the art[1] when completing the journals of Captain James Cook upon Cook's death in 1779. When Mark Twain visited Hawaii in 1866 he wrote,
"In one place we came upon a large company of naked natives, of both sexes and all ages, amusing themselves with the national pastime of surf-bathing."[2]
References to surf riding on planks and single canoe hulls are also verified for pre-contact Samoa, where surfing was called fa'ase'e or se'egalu (see Kramer, Samoa Islands) and Tonga.

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