When people think of surfing, they always think of a couple of things like beaches, partying, hippies that live in the vans and truthfully, just reckless and stupid people. While some of this might be true, to those who live this lifestyle, surfing has a much greater and deeper meaning.

To understand the culture of surfing, it’s good to look back on how it all started.

The History

Duke Kahanamoku revolutionized sport surfing. His influence greatly impacted the lives of many surfers and these surfers helped carry out his legacy in the sport, its culture and board technology.

Surfing started as an ancient Hawaiian tradition. They used it to pick their Chiefs. Whoever could surf the biggest wave was the best fit for the ruling. The rest of the native Hawaiians who lived on the Islands would serve as a part of their daily lives and culture.

Captain James Cook, an English sailor stumbled upon Hawaii in 1778. Shortly after the English arrived, they began taking over the islands of Hawaii which were ruled by a chief system. The Hawaiians killed cook after he tried to kidnap their high chief. Even after the murder of Cook, the chief system was no match for the Europeans and the Hawaiian government crumbled, taking surfing down with it. Only a few held on the memories and customs of surfing and the lifestyle that it withheld. For about 150 years, surfing declined and it wasn’t until a man named Duke was born that surfing could ever be a popular hobby again.

Surf Culture Today

Surfing in different countries has turned to a competitive sport rather than a subculture and has evolved over time. People started to implement some rules, styles, customs, lifestyles and slang. Regardless of where they are surfing, they all desire to connect with nature, express their passion and feel that stoke sensation again.

Surfing isn’t something that you can learn in one day. It’s a complex sport that requires your passion, time and effort to becoming better at it.