This is the first known photograph ever taken of a surfer.

Hawaii, 1890. This is the first known photograph ever taken of a surfer.

hawaii surfer


Surfing rituals and the sport itself continued in the Kapu system until missionaries from New England began arriving in 1820. The missionaries believed surfing and other Hawaiian sports to be hedonistic acts and a waste of time. They adamantly preached against the sports' existence in Hawaii. By 1890, surfing in Hawaii was nearly extinct, with the sport practiced in only a few places. The rapidly growing agricultural empire coming into place, coupled with the immigration of foreigners, also contributed to the decline of surfing, along with many other sacred aspects of the Polynesian culture. If not for the dedication of a few Hawaiian kings like David Kalakau, an advocate of all Hawaiian sports, surfing may not have survived to see the 20th century.

  • sowhat
  • October 11, 2012, 10:54 am
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    and this is why i at times hate the history of people. traditions that were actually great and spiritual were thrown to the side while those traditions that preached not wasting time, and profit, etc. were continued. people are too, idk, just overly anxious to have everyone follow their way of doing things instead of accepting different traditions of other cultures and learning from them. basically some people were asshole who thought they knew everything and tried to erase what they didn't like.

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  • 1

    Just think how much beauty has been destroyed by those who would protect us from ourselves.

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