Surfing is a such fascinating sport, it has its own culture and vocabulary, and early roots in Polynesian culture. It was first mentioned by Joseph Banks in the 1700’s, during Captains Cooks third voyage to the Pacific. Riding the waves started with body surfing; using a piece of wood was something that evolved over time. It has also been recorded that in pre-colombian Peru, men used a huge reed plant to ride the waves.
But Hawaii is often thought of as the place where it all began. They considered it an art form, and was only practiced by the higher ups in society or the very skillful. They used wooden planks from specific trees and called it wave sliding.
Hawaiian youths attending boarding school in Santa Cruz first brought surfing to California in the 1800’s. A well known Hawaiian surfer, George Freeth from Honolulu, in 1907 demonstrated his skills in Venice Beach and later surfed as a publicity stunt to announce the beginning of the Huntington railroad in Huntington Beach. Duke Kahanomoku, another Hawaiian surfer, together with George Freeth are known for making the sport popular in California.
Hawaiians from Waikiki re-established surfing as a sport in the 20th century. In the early 60’s, surfing movies like Gidget and the music by the Beach Boys helped surfing grow by leaps and bounds into the professional sport it is today. The most popular places for catching a wave have been Australia, California and Hawaii, but good surf is found all throughout the world…including our very own Costa Rica.
As the well known beaches became overcrowded, in the 1990’s Costa Rica’s beautiful beaches became more well known and Costa Rica became a mecca for surfing enthusiasts worldwide. Costa Rica is known for its expansive white sand beaches and epic waves. Expert surfers feel challenged, as they charge the waves for an unbelievable ride. If you are new to surfing, we’ve got great local instructors who will help you learn the sport and get you standing up on the board in no time.