Surfing in the United States

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Surfing in the United States
Surfer at the Cayucos Pier, Cayucos, CA.jpg
A surfer at the Cayucos Pier, Cayucos, California
CountryUnited States
Governing bodyUSA Surfing
National team(s)United States Olympics team
National competitions
International competitions

Surfing in the United States is a popular pastime in coastal areas of the country.[1][2][3]

There are professional surfing leagues such as the World Surf League in the United States. These leagues make it possible for surfers all over the world to become recognized in America for their talent. One of the most famous surfers is Kelly Slater.[4][5] Kelly Slater has eleven different ASP surfing competitions, making him one of the best in the world.[6]


The earliest recorded instances of surfing took place in Hawaii in 17th Century. These instances are correlated to the Hawaiian tradition of "he'e nalu", which means "wave-sliding".[7] Duke Kahanamoku is considered an influential figure in popularizing surfing in the United States.

Nick Gabaldon is first known African American surfer.[8][9][10]

Surfing culture in the United States[edit]

Surfing is very much a part of North Carolina, Californian, Floridian, and Hawaiian culture.

Surfing on the American East Coast of the United States began in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina In 1909 Burke Haywood Bridgers and a colony of surfers introduced surfing & surfing competitions to American East Coast. The State of North Carolina honored Burke Haywood Bridgers and the colony of surfers by placing a North Carolina Highway Marker for PIONEER EAST COAST SURFING on Wrightsville Beach and designated Wrightsville Beach as the birthplace of surfing & competitive surfing on the American East Coast in 2015. North Carolina has the greater weight of published verifiable accurate evidence and impacts a broader geographical area when compared to other east coast states. Burke Haywood Bridgers and the colony of surfers activities are among the earliest appearances of surfboards in the Atlantic Ocean. The early twentieth century surfers proved that surfing migrated from Hawaii to North Carolina & California, about the same time, then Florida.

Surfing is growing amongst the African American community, despite being seen as a "white sport".[11][12][13][14]

Major competitions in the United States[edit]

Big wave surfing[edit]

Big wave surfing originated in the 1990s, when surfers began to make use of water vehicles such as jet skis and speed boats, in order to tow them into waves that they were too large and fast to catch.[16]


  1. ^ "The Surfing Yearbook - Bruce Boal, Surfersvillage - Google Books". Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  2. ^ "The History of Surfing - Matt Warshaw - Google Books". 2011-04-29. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  3. ^ "Hunting Beach History" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-01-16.
  4. ^ "Surfing: An Illustrated History of the Coolest Sport of All Time - Ben Marcus, Steve Pezman". 1946-07-01. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  5. ^ "Surfing USA! - Jeff Divine, Ben Marcus". 1946-07-01. p. 14. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  6. ^ "Pro Surfer: Kelly Slater". World Surf League. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  7. ^ "History of Surfing | Club Of The Waves". Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  8. ^ Pierson, Dashel. "Celebrating the First African-American Surfer". Surfline.Com. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  9. ^ Rachel Saltz (2011-09-22). "'White Wash,' a Documentary About Black Surfers — Review". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  10. ^ Tambay A. Obenson (2016-05-13). "Black Surfer Documentary "Whitewash" Narrated By Ben Harper, Black Thought Gets Release Date". IndieWire. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  11. ^ "Surf Racism - Error in the Code". Huck. 4 January 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  12. ^ "Black Surfers Collective aims to promote diversity in surf lineup -". 5 August 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  13. ^ Company, Johnson Publishing (6 December 2016). "Ebony". Johnson Publishing Company. Retrieved 6 December 2016 – via Google Books.
  14. ^ Stephen Nessen (2013-09-07). "African-American Surfers Challenge Stereotypes | Only A Game". Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  15. ^ "Top 10 Surfing Events in the USA". Retrieved 2015-10-19.
  16. ^ "Culture | Surf News". Retrieved 2015-10-19.