Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Surfing is a surface water sport in which the participant is carried along the face of a breaking wave. Usually, an elongated surfboard is used to ride the wave, but shorter kneeboards and bodyboards can also be used. Originally developed in ancient Polynesia, surfing became a popular recreation in America during the mid-20th century and subsequently spread around the world. The rising popularity of surfing saw the introduction of professional competitions and the rise of a multibillion-dollar industry producing surfboards and surfing-related fashions and accessories. Distinctive lifestyles and subcultures also developed around surfing and surfers, with their own attitudes, codes of behavior, and folk heroes. Surfing originated in ancient Polynesian societies, where it was deeply embedded in religion, myth, and culture. By the early 20th century, however, only a small number of people continued to surf, mainly at Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. Yet interest in the sport began to grow ...