When thinking of surfing and its lifestyle, you may imagine a young athletic individual, braving the waves, with the likelihood of a wipe-out at any moment. Surfing is well known for its dangerous, fast pace, yet spiritually and easy going lifestyle though the sport is steeped in history that most individuals are unaware of. How far back did this mysterious art of riding a wooden board at the crest of these powerful waves begin? What changes have taken place since its beginning? What does the future hold for this ancient sport?
Back To The First Recorded Account
Nobody is totally sure when surfing started. Upon discovering painted drawings on the walls of caves, that show figures balanced upon the waves, it has lead archaeologists, along with most experts, to believe that it started in western areas of Polynesia. From this evidence they’ve been able to speculate that it was started as far back as 1600’s. A recorded account of surfing was in the journal of non-other than, Captain James Cook, scribed by Lieutenant James King. Cook met his end at the hands of the inhabitants on the island. Lieutenant King went on to witness a large number of the inhabitants standing on wooden boards on top of the waves. He had never seen anything like this before and wrote about the account. He explained the method they used to stay upon their thin wooden boards. Lieutenant King eventually returned to home with these entries in the journal of Captain Cook which remain the first written account of surfing.
Surfing is undoubtedly a sport of intense feeling and passion giving riders the chance to share the power the ocean has to give. Over time, surfing has changed with rapid industrial growth. Surfing continues to carry the way of life it created over 50 years ago. Boards are constantly changing in size from five to twelve feet and shape and design becoming both an art and a career. Anything from three to one fin can be placed on the back of the board for total control and turning. Materials like fibreglass and resin guarantee protection for the board. The surfing world has made it easier to search for that perfect wave, with more accessible transportation and, therefore, easier surf.
In the beginning, when it was first recorded, surfing has made a name for itself worldwide. It found its way into cultures and lifestyles around the world, capturing the imagination of millions. This sport of island kings is now a sport for anybody with the willingness and bravery to test their surf skill and talents. For some, it’s more than just a sport, it’s a lifestyle. They connect spirituality in the same way that the ancient tribes did so many years ago. No one knows when surfing began, we do, however, have enough to prove that it is one of the oldest sports in the world. Surfing will continue to change as millions find themselves drawn to this ancient sport.