Legra Beaton

Legra Beaton

Modified & Updated: 07 Oct 2023

Source: Britannica.com

Surfing is not just a sport; it’s a way of life. From riding the waves to soaking up the sun, there’s something inherently magical about this water-based activity. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or just dipping your toes into the world of wave riding, there’s always something new to discover and learn about surfing.

In this article, we’ll delve into 17 fascinating facts about surfing that will surely pique your interest. From the origins of surfing to its incredible health benefits, incredible record-breaking achievements, and iconic surf spots around the world, get ready to ride the wave of knowledge as we explore the world of surfing like never before. So grab your board, wax up your surfboard, and let’s dive into these exhilarating facts about the incredible sport of surfing.

Table of Contents

Ancient Polynesians were the first surfers.

The art of riding waves originated in ancient Polynesia, where surfing was deeply rooted in their culture and mythology.

Hawaii is considered the birthplace of modern surfing.

It was in Hawaii where surfing flourished and gained widespread attention, ultimately influencing the evolution of the sport.

The longest recorded ride lasted over 3 hours.

In 2009, Garrett McNamara rode a wave in Nazaré, Portugal, for a staggering 78 feet and 8 inches, setting a new world record.

Surfing became an Olympic sport in 2021.

After years of anticipation, surfing made its debut in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, attracting top athletes from around the globe.

The biggest wave ever surfed measured 101 feet.

In 2011, Hawaiian surfer, Laird Hamilton, conquered a wave measuring an astounding 101 feet at Jaws, Maui.

Surfing can improve mental health.

The therapeutic benefits of surfing have been observed, with studies showing that it reduces stress, anxiety, and promotes overall well-being.

The first surfboards were made from wood.

Early surfboards were crafted from solid wood, typically from trees such as koa or balsa.

There are different types of surf breaks.

Surf breaks can vary from beach breaks, reef breaks, point breaks, and even river mouth breaks, each offering a unique surfing experience.

Surfing has its own language.

Surfers have a distinct vocabulary, complete with terms like “barrel,” “wipeout,” “stoked,” and “duck dive” that are specific to the sport.

Surfing has inspired various art forms.

From photography to music and painting, surfing has served as a muse for many artists and creatives, capturing the essence of the sport in their work.

Kelly Slater is the most successful professional surfer.

American surfer Kelly Slater holds the record for the most world titles won, with a remarkable 11 championship victories to his name.

Surfboards are made with different materials.

Gone are the days of solid wood boards. Modern surfboards are made from materials such as fiberglass, epoxy, and carbon fiber, offering varying levels of performance.

The largest man-made surf park is in Texas.

Surfing enthusiasts can enjoy the waves at the BSR Surf Resort in Waco, Texas, which boasts the largest man-made surf park in the world.

Surfing has its own etiquette.

Respecting the lineup, giving right of way, and adhering to the unwritten rules of surfing etiquette is essential for maintaining a positive and safe surfing environment.

Surfing has health benefits.

Not only does surfing provide an adrenaline rush and a full-body workout, but it also improves cardiovascular fitness, balance, and core strength.

Surfing was originally a male-dominated sport.

In the early days, surfing was heavily dominated by male surfers, but the sport has since evolved, and female surfers are now making significant contributions and gaining recognition.

Surfing brings people together.

Surfing creates a sense of community and camaraderie, uniting individuals from all walks of life with a shared passion for riding the waves.

So, whether you’re an avid surfer or someone who simply appreciates the beauty of this exhilarating sport, these 17 facts about surfing highlight its rich history, impressive achievements, and captivating allure.


In conclusion, surfing is not just a sport, but a way of life for many. It combines the thrill of riding the waves with a deep appreciation for nature and the ocean. From its humble beginnings in ancient Polynesia to becoming a global phenomenon, surfing has captured the hearts of people around the world.Surfing is a physically demanding sport that requires strength, balance, and discipline. It also teaches valuable life lessons such as patience, perseverance, and respect for the environment. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, riding the waves can bring a sense of freedom and exhilaration like no other.So grab your board, wax it up, and paddle out into the lineup. The ocean is calling, and the waves are waiting. Get ready to experience the joy and excitement of surfing firsthand and join the ranks of those who have fallen in love with this incredible sport.


1. How old is the sport of surfing?

The sport of surfing dates back thousands of years and originated in Polynesia. It was first documented by European explorers in the 18th century.

2. What equipment do I need to go surfing?

To go surfing, you will need a surfboard, leash, wax, and appropriate attire. It’s also recommended to have a wetsuit depending on the water temperature.

3. How long does it take to learn how to surf?

The time it takes to learn how to surf varies for each individual. It depends on factors such as physical fitness, natural ability, and frequency of practice. Generally, it takes several weeks to a few months to become proficient in catching and riding waves.

4. Is surfing a dangerous sport?

Like any ocean sport, surfing carries inherent risks. It’s important to be aware of your abilities, the conditions, and practice good safety measures such as wearing a leash, understanding rip currents, and avoiding hazardous conditions.

5. Can anyone surf?

Surfing is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. However, it does require a certain level of physical fitness and swimming ability. It’s always recommended for beginners to take lessons from a qualified instructor.

6. Where are the best surfing spots in the world?

There are many great surfing destinations around the world. Some popular spots include Pipeline in Hawaii, Jeffreys Bay in South Africa, Teahupo’o in Tahiti, and Trestles in California. The best spot for you will depend on your skill level and the type of waves you prefer.