By that time, you might have already learnt the fact that the place of origin of surfing was Hawaii. This does not come as surprise since this fact is widely highlighted in any information regarding surfing. Still, there are many curious facts about surfing in Hawaii to learn and as a surfing enthusiast, you will certainly be curious to find out these curious facts which we have collected in our article.
Surfing as a part of religion
This fact still remains unknown to many people including those who really loves surfing. Initially, surfing was not just a mere way of entertaining oneself in Hawaii. This activity has a specific religious meaning. The he’enalu word means wave sliding in Hawaian and the act of surfing had a great significance. First of all, surfing allowed people to get the connection with the ocean and was a very spiritual activity.
In addition to it, surfing was widely performed by ceremonial chiefs. In such a way, they were showing their dominance.
The first description of surfing
Surfing is the oldest sports of the world, however, it had been unknown to the western people for a rather long time. According to the history, the very first description of this activity was made only in 1778. Interestingly, the person who observed a surfing session and then provided others with its description was Captain James Cook. Captain was struck by the pleasure a Hawaiian surfer had while surfing and wanted to share this observation with others.
This fact with time lead to a special position of surfing in the community where this sports was regarded as sacred and earmarked only for the elite.
The crises of the surfing culture
You might think the first colonials were the people due to whom we have learnt about surfing in other places of the world than Hawaii. To some degree, this might be the case, however, the first colonials were also the ones who almost caused the extinction of this fantastic activity beloved by so many people today.
First, the settlers introduced money economy in Hawaii which had not existed there before. When it happened, Hawaiians had to start working and their major occupation became farming on sugar plantations owned by the colonials. This took almost all of the time of the lives of Hawaiians not letting them enjoy their favourite activity as much as they would like to.
The next problem which happened is a rapid decrease in population. Unfortunately, the newcomers brought a lot of devastating diseases to the Hawaiian community which the local people had never experienced before. One of the examples of such diseases was syphilis and it deteriorated the health of Hawaiians and took a lot of lives rather quickly. As you can imagine, this was not the best time for enjoying surfing.