I grew up with surfing being something every one did (well except me) and in the spring, students disappeared to surf. My brothers even surfed. I never learned simply because I couldn't figure out how to balance on one and I was scared of falling in and not being able to find the board.
Every time I go to Waikiki, I stop and visit certain statue down by the beach. The statues celebrate surfing or riding the waves. Hawaii has a long history of people who ride the waves for hours, every day.
Although many spend time surfing in Waikiki and tourists pay to learn to ride the gentle waves, the serious head to the north shore. The north shore has the waves you can really ride.
If you have every watched surfers riding just in front of the wave that is rolling and crashing down, the north shore is where you find those waves.
Now for facts about surfing, facts you may or may not know.
1. Surfing predates Captain Cook. When he arrived in the Hawaiian islands in 1778, the natives already had discovered or created surfing.
2. There are two types of surfing; short boarding and long boarding. The short boards are much harder to use.
3. The University of Plymouth (UK) offered the first degree in surfing! I didn't know you could even get a degree in this sport.
4. The first surfing contest was held in California way back in 1928.
5. The longest surfing ride was 37 minutes long and took place in the Amazon. I think my record was a split second.
6. It is said that the show Gidget from the 1960's did much to publicize surfing to help increase its popularity.
7. Kelly Slater holds the record for most money earned in a year - 3 million dollars!
8. There is a person in Hawaii who owns over 600 surfboards.
9. Although surfing was introduced to people in California in 1885 but it did not take off until 1907 when the local railroad used a Hawaiian surfer to advertise a local route from Los Angeles to Redondo Beach.
10. The organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are looking at adding surfing as an Olympic sport.
Will I ever learn to surf? I doubt it, mostly because I usually end up living either in the far north or in the desert. I will always appreciate the skill needed to control the board when riding different waves.