Southern California Surfing Culture0 comments
The popularity of surfing in Southern California first began with a visit from Kahanamoku, but was truly established by a man named George Freeth. Freeth had grown up surfing with the Duke at Waikiki, but moved to Southern California in the early 1900s. As California's first official lifeguard, Freeth brought his surfing skills to a population that was entranced with the sport.
Surfing competitions were established along the California coast during the 1920s, and a booming surf culture was created when the automobile became readily accessible. Surfers could load their boards into the back of their cars and travel up and down the southern California coast, chasing the biggest and best waves. Nomadic surfers continued to create surfing colonies along the south beaches well into the 1950s and 60s. The movies, songs, and television shows that celebrated this surfing culture put surfers into the mainstream for a few years and renewed a national interest in the sport, which led many people to visit the coast and try surfing for themselves.
Today's Surfing Scene
Modern surf culture is a little less nomadic and a little more conservative. There are still plenty of surfers on the California coast, as well as along the Hawaii and Australian beaches. Modern boards are much lighter and smaller than their ancestors, and surfing has developed a more commercial presence in the sporting community. Surfers have blended into society more, but they still chase the waves with the same passion as always.
So that's it, the history of surfing in a nutshell. If you missed any of the previous articles on the history of surfing, please have a read:
Origins of the sport of Surfing
Surfing in Ancient Hawaii and the Ledgend Duke Kahanamoku
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