Getting Nauti with the Artistry and Sport of Surfing
Astute visitors to our Getting Nauti website have undoubtedly noticed that we’ve expanded our line of jewelry with a wider range of nautically themed custom sterling pieces. This expanded line of .925 sterling silver jewelry includes two pieces that represent the first time Getting Nauti has showcased the somewhat nautically minded art of surfing.
Cowabunga and surf’s up, baby!
If “surfing equals life” in your vernacular, then you might want to think about picking up our custom sterling silver “manta ray surfboard” or “surfboard with waves,” both of which inherently showcase the beauty and artistry of surfing. Even if you’re just a barney with only an “Endless Summer” education in surfing, you could still wear this pendant as a Shubie and get amped by the mere sight of ocean waves.
Naturally, though, should you be of the latter category, you probably need to up your knowledge base, which we’re pleased to help you with right here. So, let’s hit the impact zone and learn all about this wonderful wave artistry.
Surfing did not originate in Hawaii, specifically, but was believed to be a key part of the greater Polynesian culture, which stretched from New Zealand to the South, Hawaii to the north, New Guinea to the west and Easter Island to the east. Early European explorers are known to have witnessed surfing in Tahiti and Hawaii, and Lieutenant James King of the HMS Endeavour was the first person to describe surfing in writing, when he completed the journals of his deceased captain, James Cook, in 1779. Little other written mention of surfing was made until Mark Twain described surfing as Hawaii’s national pastime after visiting the islands in 1866.
Surfing reportedly made its way to the American mainland in 1885, with the arrival of three Hawaiian princes went to California for boarding school. The boys reportedly surfed in Santa Cruz on custom-made redwood boards during their downtime. The sport didn’t really catch on with the local population then, but in 1907 a Redondo Beach developer started paying Hawaiian boys to ride surfboards off the beach to entice visitors to the area. George Freeth, who struggled to manage the 16-foot long hardwood boards being used at the time, cut one in half to make it more manageable, and created what become known as the original “Long Board.” For that innovation, Freeth, who became a Redondo Beach surfing regular, is known as the “Father of Modern Surfing.”
East coast surfing started in 1909, when Burke Bridgers and a crew of surfing friends started surfing the waters of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. No one seems to know where Burke picked up the art, but the state has named him as the “Pioneer of East Coast Surfing,” and North Carolina has emerged as the top east coast destination for surfing.
Burke Bridgers Historical Marker
For the first half of the 20th century, the development of surfing as a culture primarily took place in Hawaii, California and Australia, and did not receive mainstream attention until 1959, when the movie “Gidget” was released. Based on the life of a locally famous Malibu surfer, Kathy Kohner, the movie turned surfing into a national fad during the early 1960s, with surfing culture additionally promoted by dozens of other movies and “surf music,” such as that by the Beach Boys.
Professional surfing kicked off in 1964, and today the World Surf League hosts annual international tours in which contestants compete in different venues for points, with accumulated points leading to the naming of national champions of both sexes. American Kelly Slater has won the most men’s titles, with a record 11 crowns; while Australian Layne Beachley has taken the most women’s titles, with seven.
As for some surfing records, according to the record keepers of Guinness:
- Biggest wave surfed (official)—78 feet (by Garrett McNamara in 2012)
- Biggest wave surfed (unofficial)—108 feet (by Benjamin Sanchis in 2015)
- Most consecutive days surfing—14,641
- Longest distance travelled on open wave—41.3 miles (on powerboat wave)
- Most surfers riding one surfboard—66 (on a 42-foot board)
- Most surfboards stacked on a car—282
OK, so now that you know a bit more about the uber-cool sport—or is it art?—of surfing, and you want to sport that cool Getting Nauti surfing pendant like you mean it, quit being a Hodad, find some epic and hang ten (or hang 11 if you really want to be ballsy).