Museum of British Surfing: style never goes out of fashion

The Museum of British Surfing will open the doors for the first time in Braunton, England, on the 6th April 2012. The inaugural exhibition is "The Art of Surf" and will showcase 200 years of art in surfing from the sketches of early explorers through to works by contemporary British surfing artists.


Conrad Shawcross, Ben Cook, Mark Haywood, Al Lindsay and Maria Rivans are some of the modern artists featured in the surf exhibition.

"Explorers and early travellers drew surfers, surfers decorated their boards – especially in the 60s and 70s, advertisers plundered surfing imagery right the way back to the early 1900s – and today there’s a flourishing British surfing art scene," said Pete Robinson, founder of the Museum of British Surfing.

The first dedicated surfing museum in Europe was started in 2003 and relocated to North Devon in 2009. The project has spent the last three years securing the building and funding, completing the design work, and so far creating two new jobs.

The new Museum of British Surfing promises a section on British surfing history, North Devon surfing and the local environment, and a timeline of British surfboards.


"We couldn’t have done it without amazing support from surfers not just around the UK, but around the world – donating items and money," adds Pete. "I’d especially like to thank my wife Bianca and the charity’s Trustees – they’ve been truly amazing."

The Museum of British Surfing is believed to have the largest and most historically significant collection in Europe, with members of the public donating many key items to be kept for future generations to enjoy.

The museum’s researchers are part of a worldwide network of surf historians, and their latest discovery to be revealed soon is that surfing took place in Britain in the 1800s.

Recent surf history discoveries by the Museum of British Surfing confirm that crew members sailing with Captain James Cook tried surfboards, in Hawaii in 1790, that Agatha Christie was a keen surfer in 1922 and that the earliest known film of stand-up surfing in Britain dates from 1929.