- 30 July 2011 | Surfing
Surfing is the mother and father of all wave sports. History tells us that the sport was observed and documented for the first time in the 18th century, between 1767 (Samuel Wallis) and 1769 (James Cook).
The oldest form of wave riding was common in the ancient Polynesia culture. It is possible that surfing dates from way back in time. The sport gave birth to other wave and water sports.
Many surfers and sports history experts considerthe purest form of surfing. Bodysurfers often use fins to ride the wave both sideways and downward. The enthusiasts have developed several techniques to boost propulsion.
Windsurfing came in the 20th century. Newman Darby invented the sailboard in 1948 and the Jim Drake/Hoyle Schweitzer team filed the very first windsurfing patent, in 1968.
Skateboarding was invented by Californian surfers, between 1940 and 1950, when the ocean was flat and with no waves. It is the only true inland sport that was born out of surfing. The "ollie" maneuver was later brought to the water through aerial tricks.
Kneeboarding also comes from Californian scene, around 1965. Initially surfers tried to create a board that would be used behind tow boats. Today, kneeboarding has hit the waves and another sport was born.
That is wakeboarding, born in 80's. Wakeboarders enjoy speed provided by motor boats, closed-course cables, winches, PWC's, trucks/cars and even ATV's. Many tricks are similar to those found in skateboarding, surfing and windsurfing.
Breaking waves are perfect for skimming. Despite the danger, skimboarders have in extreme low and high tide ocean conditions. They ride light resilient high-density foam board glazed with polyester or epoxy resin. Interestingly, skimboarding dates back to the 1920, in Laguna Beach.
Kitesurfing is one of the newest wave sports. The Legaignoux brothers developed the first kit in the 80's. Stand up paddleboarding, also known as SUP, is an evolution of a Hawaiian heritage. In the 60's, the Beach Boys of Waikiki got on their SUPs to take photo of the tourists learning to surf.
Two other sports deserve a clear reference. Surf kayaking and wave skiing are crossover sports and can deliver impressive performances out in the water and waves.