In honor of international surfing day we thought we’d share some of the history of surfing in Hawaii…
Although no one knows for sure exactly where and when surfing began, there is no doubt that over the centuries the ancient sport of “heʻe nalu” (wave sliding) was perfected, if not invented, by the kings and queens of Hawaiʻi, long before the 15th century AD.
“Surf-riding was one of the most exciting and noble sports known to the Hawaiians, practiced equally by king, chief and commoner. It is still to some extent engaged in, though not as formerly, when it was not uncommon for a whole community, including both sexes, and all ages, to sport and frolic in the ocean the livelong day.” (Malo)
One of the early (if not first) written descriptions of surfing in Hawaiʻi (Kealakekua Bay:)
“The surf, which breaks on the coast round the bay, extends to the distance of about one hundred and fifty yards from the shore …. Whenever, from stormy weather, or any extraordinary swell at sea, the impetuosity of the surf is increased to its utmost height, they choose that time for this amusement … twenty or thirty of the natives, taking each a long narrow […]