History of Surfing: a cartoon perspective by Scott Laderman and Silvia Prietov

The history of surfing is a complicated timeline of facts and assumptions. TED released a five-minute cartoon video featuring a simplified description of the sport of kings.

Scott Laderman, author of "Empire in Waves," and director Silvia Prietov teamed up to create a short animated cartoon that reveals some of the things we know about surfing.

The sport of riding waves originated in the Polynesian islands of the Pacific Ocean, but it also has roots in West Africa and Peru, with the so-called "caballitos de totora."

Yet, it was in Hawaii that the act of "wave sliding" gained notoriety before expanding around the world.

Surfing: A Sport for Everyone

Surfing has always been an activity for men and women of all ages and social classes.

The cartoon by Scott Laderman touches on the main ingredients of surfing - its cultural and spiritual roots, the first alaia, paipo, and olo boards, the US annexation of Hawaii, the revival of surfing, the pioneers of the sport, and the creation of the multi-billion dollar industry.

This is probably the best short video depicting the evolution of surfing over time. It's a must-watch movie for beginners and people who have never experienced the sport.

For more information, explore the most important dates in the history of surfing.

Top Stories

The most successful competitive surfer of all time, Kelly Slater, rode what may have been the last heat of his 24-year professional career.

We can't choose our height, and 80 percent of it is genetic. But if you're into surfing, taller and shorter surfers feel noticeable differences in getting acquainted with boards, paddling for, and riding a wave.

Ryan Crosby is the new chief executive officer (CEO) of the World Surf League (WSL).

Big wave surfing is an industry with an industry.