A Brief History of Surfing

From ancient Polynesians to the super-pros of today

Multiple world champ and 80s standout Tom Carroll, jamming it in the pocket at Pipeline.

The 1980s started for surfing. Simon Anderson, a solid pro surfer and shaper from Australia popularised the thruster, a three fin surfboard which is still the ultimate setup today. The pro tour continued to grow, and new stars like Tommy Carroll, Mark Occilupo and one of the greatest surfers of all time, Tom Curren, arrived on the scene.

“Despite taking a rather unhealthy interest in neon colours surfing progressed rapidly.”

The surf industry grew, and despite taking a rather unhealthy interest in neon colours surfing progressed rapidly. Surfers like Christian Fletcher, an off the wall character from California, started busting airs. No-one on the contest scene really got it though and his brand of surfing was frowned on by the establishment.

Surf movies were getting more and more important in surfing culture especially following the arrival of the VHS tape. It meant that you didn’t have to wait for a movie to come to the local cinema, you could stick it on at home and get amped to go surf.


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