California: the home of modern surfing

Only those people who really have no interest in surfing are unaware of the fact this popular water sport was developed in Hawaii. Hawaii has a long history of surfing which reaches thousands years ago and this activity had a very specific meaning in the society which was not a simple form of entertainment but also used to be a part of the local religion.

While the importance of Hawaii in the history of surfing is widely known to almost everyone, many people are unaware that the modern look of this sport was given to it by the surfing culture of California. This was also the place which triggered immense spread of surfing around the world and gradually turned surfing into a massive industry.

This article will show you more facts about the role of California in the development of modern surfing.

The first competition in surfing

You are probably aware of the fact surfing has a very long history which has probably lasting for five thousand years already. Still, if you compare the history of competitions in surfing to its lifespan, you might find that in fact people starting competing in surfing with each other not so long ago. In fact, the very first competition took place less than a hundred years ago and, to be precise, it happened 1928.

Now, it is crucial to point out the fact the competition was held in Corona del Mar which is located in California. To be precise, the very first official competition in surfing was held in 1928.

Today the competitions for surfing are held not only for people, but also for animals, and one of them which aims to collect money for the animal welfare takes place in California as well. This is a special contest for dogs during which they are judged for the time they are able to stand on the board as well as the confidence with which they are riding waves.


Surfaris are one of the elements of the surfing culture which was invented in California as well. Surfaris are another word for Surf Safaris which are one of the ways people enjoy surfing by travelling along the cost by car as a group of surfers exploring the points to enjoy surfing.

Initially, Surfaris were related to surfing along the Californian coast, however today such a way of spending free time is popular in other parts of the world.

California as home of the technological progress in surfing

Certainly, there importance of Hawaii in the development of surfing is unbeatable since this was exactly the place where people had been surfing for generations before the sport was introduced to other destinations of the world.

Yet, the technological progress which was introduced into surfing in California brought this sports to an absolutely new level. For example, the invention of wetsuits has literally revolutionised surfing allowing people to swim during an entire year and enjoy the sports while staying in the water even when it was pretty cold. The development of this essential element of surfing gear also lead to further inventions and changes in surfing boards which also allowed surfers to perform more complex moves.

Commercialising the industry of surfing

As it has already been mentioned, the California was a crucial place for bringing surfing to a new level making this sports commercialised. A crucial role in the process of commercialisation belonged to Dale Velzy also known as Hawk. He opened the very first surfing shop in Manhattan Beach in California and promoted the sports very efficiently.

The Brotherhood of Eternal Love

If you have ever heard about the culture of psychedelics spread in the USA in the 1960s, you probably have heard about the Brotherhood of Eternal Love which was responsible for establishing a large operation for smuggling drugs the aim of which was setting an entire revolution of psychedelics in the USA. A curious fact about this group is that its participants actually were surfers.

The introduction of surfing to California

It might be not so obvious what exactly happened that surfing became so popular in California and when it happened. The very first introduction of surfing to California took place in 1885 when Hawaiian princes who visited the state showed surfing to the local people. This did not make people immediately interested in this sports and it took more than twenty years before George Freeth who was also a Hawaiian born started the frenzy of surfing in California.