Surfing History

237 Years of Surfing

Photo: TASCHEN

Taschen celebrates the history of surfing with their latest hardcover. Here’s a special preview of what’s inside.

Several conflicting theories attempt to define the origin of where and how surfing began. Some theories point to the coastal salt marshes west of Trujillo, Peru where traders fashioned reed boats to catch waves and unwind from the daily work routine. Others hold steadfast to ancient Polynesia, and more specifically Tahiti, where almost everything inherently thought of as Hawaiian originated. When the Tahitians conquered the Hawaiian Islands, they brought with them their fruits, beliefs and their activities - most notably, surfing. Here, surfing became a “communal obsession”, helping mark Hawaii as the command center of the sport’s evolution.

With over 900 photographs, TASCHEN’s latest hardcover, Surfing by Jim Heimann, explores these theories and more, mapping the developments in the sport and highlighting some of the key moments from the past 237 years. From the changes in swimwear to the advancements of board technologies and the sport’s influence on lifestyle, fashion, music and art, TASCHEN takes a deep dive into the history of surfing through remarkable imagery and storytelling.

We had a glimpse inside the new book: here is some of the outstanding photography you can expect. 

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The steep beach at Makaha produces a spectacular and often dangerous backwash that snaps boards and occasionally bodies. 

© LeRoy Grannis 

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On “Big Monday,” January 28, 2013, big-wave tow-surfer Garrett McNamara broke his own Guinness World Record to successfully ride a wave many measured at 100 feet in Nazaré, Portugal.

© Tó Mané 

“In 1983, SURFER magazine pronounced big-wave surfing dead and asked, ‘Have surfers turned into candyasses?’”
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The origin of surfing has been contested for decades.

© TASCHEN

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Getting after it in Waimea Bay, Hawaii circa 1966  

© LeRoy Grannis 

“Perhaps no other human activity puts a person into a more intimate relationship with nature than surfing.”
surfing taschen

From the late 1960s through the ’70s, Dick Brewer, center, was known as the guru of progressive shortboard design. Top Pipeline riders Gerry Lopez, left, and Reno Abellira, right, pose as New Age disciples for a Brewer surfboard advertisement. 

© TASCHEN

surfing taschen

Australian surf lifeguards at Bondi Beach

© George Caddy 

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02 2016 Redbulletin.com

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