CHECK OUT THIS LITTLE TIMELINE OF THE SPORT AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS WE ALL ENJOY:
Around 1000 BC
The birth of surfing: Inca fishermen rode waves on reed boards, also called cabillitos.
Polynesian stories state people enjoyed surfing as a form of recreation. “Wave sliding” was part of religious ceremonies that became deeply engrained into the culture. It was so popular that royalty had a designated area of waves that were not to be touched by the commoners.
Captain James Cook made the first recorded visit to Hawaii. He was killed when he tried to kidnap a high chief. Bur later, his successor, Lieutenant James King found his travel journals where Cook wrote, “The above diversion is only intended as an amusement, not a trial of skill, and in a gentle swell that sets on must, I conceive, be very pleasant—at least they seem to feel a great pleasure in the motion which this exercise gives.” It was during this time that the French and American Revolution took place and the Declaration of Independence was written. Historians believe that Thomas Jefferson’s addition of the inalienable right to “the pursuit of happiness” was born from the accounts of surfing coming back from Polynesia.
1779 – Today
World War II greatly dampened the world of sports. Surfing rebounded after the war in a big way and shifted into a mainstream Californian activity. Thousands of men had come home from the South Pacific with new knowledge of the sport. It wasn’t until the late 50’s and 60’s that surfing took on the energy we see today. In the past 50 years, surfing has taken on an unprecedented momentum. The culture has changed. The style has changed. But, the love of the sport remains the same. We continue to surf for the “pursuit of happiness”.