With more and more people taking up this fun sport every day, surfing is more popular than ever. Whether they are on a surfing holiday somewhere in Asia or Central America or paddling out for the first time at their local beach, the moment they catch their first wave, they realize why the saying ‘only a surfer knows the feeling’ is so true.
It has been around for a long time. Did you know that Captain Cook described surfing for the first time in 1778? One surfer he saw in Hawaii he described as someone who felt “the most supreme pleasure while being driven so fast and smoothly by the seas” -pretty cool huh?
Here are 10 interesting facts about surfing:
- Surfing is among the oldest sports on Earth. Recently, archaeologists discovered prehistoric stone carvings in Chan Chan, Peru that date back over 5,000 years and show surfers.
- The first major surf contest was held in California in 1928.
- Gary Saavedra rode the wake of a speed boat for 3 hours 55 minutes, setting the world record for the longest ride.
- The longest ride ever was a tidal bore wave in the Amazon River, which was 37 minutes long.
- World War II pushed surfing to the next level… sort of. After the war, new chemicals were made; Styrofoam, resin, and fiberglass were used to produce the boards we are familiar with today.
- Patrick Swayze broke four ribs whilst filming arguably the best Hollywood surf film, Point Break.
- The biggest wave ever recorded was 1738 feet! Yes, you read that right, it was a mega-tsunami that hit Lituya Bay, Alaska in 1958.
- The record for the amount of surfboards stacked on top of a car is an astonishing 282 which then drove 30 metres in California.
- Kelly Slater, who made $3million in 2011, holds the record for the most money earned by a surfer in one year.
- Surfing is now a $30 billion a year industry with over 27 million surfers worldwide. Every year we witness a growing number of online surf shops.
We hope you enjoyed those 10 surfing facts, and that they inspire you to give surfing a try if you haven’t before. It really is an incredible sport, for which some say it is like no other. Keep the stoke alive!