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Hang Ten, Dude! A Look At California Surfing History

California Surfing History

When you think of California hobbies, the first one that probably comes to mind is surfing! Have you ever wondered what the history of California surfing is? Like how people thought to get up on boards and "ride" waves to shore was a good idea? We looked into it and wanted to give a quick snapshot of this amazing sport and long-standing California hobby. California Surf History Flickr - Rian Castillo

Back In The Day

Looking back - and we mean way back - to 1885, we find the beginnings of a sport Californians love. We can't take the credit for the creation of surfing though, that goes to three Hawaiian princes who were visiting Santa Cruz and took the first Californian surf adventure on boards made of California redwood. After that, many Hawaiians visited the California coast in search of the perfect wave. In the 1930s, people who enjoyed surfing started to form surf clubs. It was during this time that Tom Blake, one of the first surfers in Malibu, created the Hollow Surfboard allowing additional agility in its lighter design. California Surfing History Flickr - Ryan Vaarsi

Hang Ten, Dude

After a break caused by WWII, surfing came back in full force with the introduction of foam and fiberglass boards. In 1959, the movie Gidget was released. It focused on young Californian's and "cool" surf dudes in their own cultural element - the beach. Though not seen as a particularly accurate representation by the surfing community itself, it did give rise to the popularity of surfing. That same year Huntington Beach held the first West Coast Surfing Championship. California Surfing History Flickr - Rachel Patterson

Competition or Hobie

It wasn't until 1980 that the competition side of surfing really took off when California entered into the World Pro Tour. To this day, all along the California coast, surfing competitions take place in addition to hobbyists who come out to enjoy the waves. Surfing at the Big, Bad, & Ugly Surf Contest, in Morro Bay, CA 1 Flickr - Mike Baird

Surfs Up

To some, surfing is more than a sport though, it's a lifestyle that takes dedication. A typical morning on the beach could look similar to the photo below. California Surf history Flickr - Richard Johnstone Surfers aren't turned off by foggy mornings or cooler temperatures. Their love for the sport goes beyond simple comforts. Instead, you will find many dedicated surfers out at the break of dawn riding the waves in wetsuits designed to cut some of the chill, but not all. California Surfing History Flickr - Wonderlane No matter what, surfing takes dedication - even when things don't go the way you planned. Surfer flipping on a top turn Flickr - Mike Baird But still, even cute little dogs like this like to surf ;) Flickr - Nathan Rupert The surfing community is a diverse one, but definitely a laid back one as well, which fits perfectly with the relaxed mindset of California. When you're out there on the waves, there's nothing else to worry about but the next wave...and maybe what's for lunch.

Do you surf? Why do you love it? Let us know in the comments below.

  Sources:, Cover Photo: Flickr - Jonas Witt

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