Who could have guessed that the pursuit of happiness phrase in the Declaration of Independence may have been inspired by early accounts of surfing?


Around 1000 BC

The birth of surfing: Inca fishermen rode waves on reed boards, also called cabillitos.

1000 AD

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”.

Karina Rozunko, lives in her van and is always on the search for the Freedom she find in surfing. Watch the story above.

Have you heard any other great surf history tales? How has surfing given you freedom or helped you find the pursuit of happiness. Share your stories with us.

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Sector 9 Arrow DHD Complete


Pro-Tec Classic Skate Retro Helmet-Blue-XL


Modern Surfboards Black Hawk


Dakine Mute Traction Pad


Island Water Sports Womens Script Top


Electric ED01-T Tide PU Watch


Billabong Boys Spinner Lo Tides Trucker Hat


Island Water Sports American Flag Men S/S Tee
Hurley Phantom US Olympic Team Beachrider Boardshorts
Vans Janelle Hipster Sunnies


Stance Miss Independent Women’s Sock
Hurley Phantom Free US Olympic Team Sandal _70.00
Dohler American Eagle Towel 30×60


Dohler American Flag Towel  Blue/Red-30×60


Sequin American Flag 24oz Tervis Tumbler


Hurley Phantom Free US Olympic Team Slide Sandal
Hurley Phantom US Olympic Team Boardshort


Stance Fourth Underwear


Stance The Fourth Mens Sock-RED-L_XL


Bones Lasek USA Wheel – White 56mm