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15 Amazing Surfing Facts

With more people taking up this enjoyable sport every day, surfing is more common than ever. Whether paddling out for the first time at their local beach or on a surf vacation through Europe, they quickly realize why the adage “only a surfer knows the feeling” is so accurate.

Did you know Captain Cook was the first to describe surfing back in 1778? This sense of stoke has been around for a very long time. It’s astounding that he told a surfer he witnessed in Hawaii “had the most extreme pleasure when he was propelled so rapidly and flawlessly by the ocean.

Discover 15 more fascinating surfing-related facts by reading on:

  1. One of the oldest sports on the planet is surfing. Recently, prehistoric stone engravings depicting surfers that date back more than 5,000 years were found in Chan Chan, Peru, by archaeologists.
  2. Surfer Gary Saavedra set the world record for the longest ride in 2011 when riding a speed boat’s wake for 3 hours 55 minutes.
  3. The Second World War kind of advanced surfing. New chemicals were created due to the conflict; Styrofoam, resin, and fiberglass would ultimately be employed to produce the boards we are familiar with today.
  4. The very first significant surf competition took place in California in 1928.
  5. With over 25 million surfers globally, surfing is currently a £20 billion annual industry.
  6. One thousand seven hundred thirty-eight feet tall was the highest wave ever measured! You read it correctly; a mega-tsunami occurred in 1958 at Lituya Bay, Alaska. It would be worthwhile to read more about that incident.
  7. The longest ride was a tidal bore wave in the Amazon River, which burned my legs for 37 minutes. This ride is comparable to the one below, on the River Severn in the UK.
  8. Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz has broken her nose four times while surfing, which is a little accident-prone. Maybe she should attend a Surf Holidays surf camp to prevent damaging it a fifth time.
  9. Speaking of Hollywood celebrities who suffered surf-related injuries, the late Patrick Swayze fractured four ribs while filming Point Break, probably the best Hollywood surf movie.
  10. An incredible 282 surfboards were stacked on top of a car, which then traveled 30 meters, setting a record.
  11. To set the record for the longest surfing marathon, 50-year-old Kurtis Loftus surfed in Jacksonville Beach for 29 hours and 1 minute while his arms ached.
  12. The record for the most money made surfing in a calendar year belongs to the legendary surfer Kelly Slater, who earned $3 million in 2011.
  13. According to a recent study, surfing is becoming increasingly popular because it represents the opposite of contemporary society, the quest for pure enjoyment, and the goal of eternal youth! To us, it seems about right!
  14. At 15, Linda Benson became the first woman to surf the famed Waimea Bay in 1959. She also became the first female cover star for a surf magazine.
  15. Donald Dettloff, who has a remarkable 647 boards in his collection, has the most extraordinary collection of surfboards. He used them to create a fence that encloses his Hawaiian property.
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