Surfing History & Philosophy
Surfing - a royal sport in ancient Hawaii, highly paid professional business, lifestyle and adventure in the back of beyond - Surfing is a passion followed by millions of people around the world.
The incredible feeling of riding along a wall of water, feeling one with the forces of nature cannot be described. Surfing unites different cultures, religions and people of different ages.
Surfing is a Passion.
Whether the first Hawaiian, who was riding on a log for the first time over 4000 years ago, was just as happy as all of us after the first wave?
It is not exaggerated to say that surfing is one of the oldest sports of our blue planet. But can we speak of a sport here at all?
The Hawaiians manoeuvred their outrigger canoes after fishing through the surf, using the force of the wave. But this pragmatic beginning of surfing was the origin of a natural religion, which revered the sea as a god. Every action while surfing was subject to special rites and customs. Only certain and previously consecrated trees could be used for the construction of surfboards. Particularly good waves were reserved for the medical men and kings.
Surfing was seen as a way to feel united with the gods.
For us surfers of the present this sounds by far not as antiquated as it seems.
There are few other sports in which one is so fundamentally exposed to the forces of nature. Even today, many people give up their careers and lead a minimalist life - devoted entirely to the wave.
Maybe surfers were the first real hippies?
Surfing is still a kind of religion for many of us today. In any case, it is a life setting with its own philosophy.
Like the old Hawaiians, we believe in something. Something that is with us every day. Which tests us, which motivates us, which gives us consolation, which influences our actions, our decisions and gives our life a purpose.
When Captain Cook described surfers in his diary on his first trip to Hawaii in 1776, whose childish pleasure was drifting through the surf on wooden planks, surfing had already been thousands of years old.
The first white missionaries, who settled on the Hawaiian Islands in the following years, began to repress the indigenous people their culture. Although it could actually be interpreted as an expression of love for God's creation, the physicality and practices of surfing were not compatible with the Christian faith for missionaries.
Soon there were only a few Hawaiians who knew the customs of their forefathers. But at the beginning of the twentieth century surfing was re-discovered and reborn by one man. A man who listened to the impressive name "Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku". Today he is known as the forefather of modern surfing.
The Duke, as he is called today, was a lifeguard at the beach of Waikiki, Olympic winner in swimming, beachboy, surfer, and much more.
Above all, he was an ambassador of surfing. He took his surfboard with him to all international swimming competitions.
At nearby beaches he gave an astonishing crowd an idea in the art of surfing. Famous characters of his time like the Hollywood actor John Wayne or the King of Sweden travelled to Hawaii to learn from the Duke how to surf.
On many beaches of his travels, you can find statues of the Duke with a surfboard. Places that the Duke has changed forever and starting points of the worldwide enthusiasm for surfing.
Over all the millennia and above all commercial influences of the 20th and 21st centuries, surfing is one of the most elementary sports.
No worldwide company, no professional broadcast format, no sponsorship deals, no high-gloss cinema production, create the fascination of surfing to decipher.
No one can really buy a surfer or put a stamp on this sport.
Surfing is like the ocean: it has always been there and it will always be there.
If you ask a surfer what the fascination of surfing is, you will rarely get a factually structured answer.
However, all surfers respond to this question the same way: Their eyes start to shine and like little children they tell you of their first wave, trying to make comparisons: "Surfing is like ..."
Every surfer knows this facial expression. Surfing cannot be described. You have to experience surfing - you have to live surfing! Aloha.
You want to surf, too? Take a look at our surf courses.