A Brief History of Surfing

From ancient Polynesians to the super-pros of today

Surfing and the whole beach lifestyle around it went massive in the 1960s, not so sure about the tight shorts though…

Surfing went through the roof in the 60s. Hollywood jumped on the Giget bandwagon and filmed more surf movies. The Beach Boys made a career out of singing about it (despite the fact that only one of them could actually surf!) and the rising popularity of the free and easy California lifestyle mean surfing spread with the hippy movement from the west coast to the world.

“The Beach Boys made a career out of singing about it, despite the fact that only one of them could actually surf!”

On a performance level Greg Noll and his buddies were pushing big wave surfing beyond what was thought possible in Hawaii, riding giant swells and conquering the Banzai Pipeline for the first time. The first surf magazines started to appear, shapers started using more advanced materials to make lighter, and most significantly, shorter boards. Then in 1969 Jack O’Neill launched the wetsuit.

The 1960s were revolutionary for surfing (as they were in so many other walks of life) and they paved the way for the modern era of surfing as we know it, which really started in the 1970s.


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