The act of riding waves is three thousand years old. The history of surfing is full of stories, documents, surfboards, photographs, videos and ancient craft. Let's open the door to the best surfing museums in the world.
The world has nearly twenty surfing museums open to the general public. From the mainland USA and Hawaii to Australia and Europe, the heritage of surfers is secured and protected against the power of time.
Surfing museums are usually set up by local councils, regional governments, mayors and surf historians as nonprofit organizations. Their activity is funded by ticket fees and private donations.
The California Surf Museum was established in 1986 by architect Stuart Resor. The space can be visited in Oceanside, and it is preserving surfing heritage with a collection of antique artifacts, trophies, boards, magazines and exhibitions.
The Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum was founded in 1988 by Natalie Kotsch. Discover the bust of Duke Kahanamoku and the paddleboard designed in 1935 by the surfing innovator Tom Blake.
The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum opened its doors in 1986. Located in the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse, the space has a breathtaking view over Steamer Lane. It is one of the oldest surfing museums in the world. Get ready for incredible surf memorabilia.
The Santa Barbara Surf Museum was established in 1992. The Californian space displays unique surfboards by Swastica, Pacific Systems, Phil Edwards, George Greenough, Greg Noll and Velzy Jacobs. Discover unusual skateboards, musical instruments and vintage surf clothing.
The New Jersey Surf Museum was founded in 2010, and covers the origins of surfing in the region, back in 1912. The museum also explores the close connection of surfing to the environment and the science of waves. Discover a large collection of surfboards along with memorabilia, surf art and a Surf Simulator.
The Cocoa Beach Surf Museum was established in 1999. It engages the community in surfing culture through exhibits and educational events, as well as community outreach programs for all ages. The space preserves and documents the unique history and culture of East Coast surfing.
The Texas Surf Museum opened in 2005, at Corpus Christi. Although Texas is not usually known for its surfing roots, the space showcases hundreds of classic boards, replicas, surf shaping tools, and surf movies.
The Honolulu Surf Museum was founded in by James O'Mahoney and Jimmy Buffett. Get in touch with the gold ring worn by Captain James Cook during his exploration of Hawaii aboard the HMS Resolution, the original surfboard featured in "Apocalypse Now", iconic paintings and surf movie posters.
The Surfing Heritage & Culture Center is located in San Clemente. The museum aims to preserve, present and promote surfing's heritage for the appreciation and education of current and future generations. They claim to display the world's largest collection of historic surf images and surfboards.
The North Shore Surf and Cultural Museum was founded in the 1990s by Mark Fragale and John Moore. The space showcases a collection of antique surfboards, including the first motorized surfboard, first snowboard and old, hollow wooden boards.
The Museum of British Surfing was established in 2012 by Peter Robinson. Europe's one and only surf museum has what's believed to be the largest and most comprehensive public collection in the Old Continent - vintage surfboards, documentaries, rare photos, old surf books and art.
The Surf World Museum was founded in 1993 by Peter Troy, Vic Tantau and Alan Reid. Located in Torquay, Australia, it's the world's largest surf and beach culture museum and is home to the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame.
The Surf World Gold Coast was founded in the mid 1990s by Daryl Barnet. This surf museum located in Currumbin, Australia, houses fascinating exhibits and extensive displays of surfing memorabilia including surfboards, artwork, movie posters and historic photos.