Who Created Surfing?

June 15, 2022 3 min read

Surfing is an ancient sport, but who actually created it? Until now, most of us have attributed the sport's creation to the ancient Hawaiians. In this article, we will explore the role of various surf icons, including Duke Kahanamoku and George Freeth. These pioneers helped spread the sport from the Waikiki area to the world. Despite this misconception, the sport today is still enjoyed by people from all over the world.

George Freeth

In 1883, George Freeth was born in Hawaii, a colonizing surfer who was of mixed ancestry. He grew up beside the famous Waikiki beach. At that time, surfing was a secret Polynesian tradition that had been suppressed by colonizers and missionaries. As a young boy, Freeth developed a special affinity for water. He was an excellent swimmer and diver, and was soon a master surfer.

As a lifeguard for Henry Huntington, Freeth was hired by the real estate developer to teach swimming. His influence on the area was recently celebrated in the "100 years of surfing" celebration at Huntington Beach. Freeth was responsible for introducing the sport to Southern California and revolutionizing the idea of ocean lifesaving. He was credited with inventing the rescue surfboard and demonstrated that lifeguards could swim to a drowning person.

Duke Kahanamoku

Hawaiian-born actor and sportsman, Duke Kahanamoku became an icon of the twentieth century when he became the official greeter for the city of Honolulu in 1959. Known as "The Duke," Kahanamoku is credited with spurring the development of the sport of surfing in the Islands. In his later years, Kahanamoku worked as a Hollywood character actor and rubbed shoulders with stars such as Jack Nicholson and Lauren Bacall.

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Kahanamoku won gold medals at the 1910 and 1920 Olympic Games. In addition to winning gold medals in swimming and water polo, Kahanamoku played numerous character roles on the silver screen, earning national and international fame. In the 1948 film Wake of the Red Witch, Kahanamoku shared the screen with John Wayne. A number of biographers contend that the baby was Kahanamoku's.


If you've been following the surf scene for years, you probably know that surfing was first invented by bodysurfers. We can call Tom Blake responsible for the surfing movement we know of today, since he was the pioneer regarding surfing history. While bodysurfing has had its fair share of teething troubles, it's now one of the world's fastest-growing sports. It has been a sport for both men and women, and is gaining popularity in many countries around the world. There are some tips you should keep in mind to master the art of bodysurfing.

The sport's origins can be traced to a Hawaiian native named Alick Wickham, who traveled to Australia in 1898. He became a regular swimmer at Bronte Beach in Sydney and began bodysurfing around the city. In fact, he was credited as the man who introduced the sport to the western world, bringing it to parts of the Pacific. The sport has continued to grow ever since, becoming a worldwide phenomenon, spawning countless amateur, professional, and Olympic competitors.

IPS World Tour

The IPS world tour changed surfing history forever. The tour was organized by surfers and organisers from Australia, Hawaii, U.S.A., Europe and South America and provided structure and support to professional surfing. It also helped promote surfing in other countries and spawned the first global surf brands, such as Billabong, Quiksilver and Rip Curl. The IPS world tour led to a dramatic increase in surfing participation.

In mid-decade, events began taking place all over the world, from Rio de Janeiro to Durban, Australia. Events linked together in 1976 during the embryonic stage of the Association of Surfing Professionals, or ASP. During this time, Peter Townend became the first world champion, followed by Shaun Tomson and Wayne Bartholomew. Later, Mark Richards won the world title four times. The IPS world tour has since expanded to twenty or more internationally-rated events.

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