Why Has Surfing Become So Popular?

Why Has Surfing Become So Popular?

The popularity of surfing is on the rise as an unstoppable swell. It is mainly because surfing can get you in tune with nature more closely. In addition, mastering this skill can provide numerous benefits for the body, soul, and mind. Surfing at present has become the fastest-growing sport with about 40 million people across the world claiming to surf.

A historical overview of how surfing became popular in the United States

The earliest surfing evidence dates back to the 12th century from Polynesia. The ancient cave paintings have illustrated surfing’s ancient version clearly. Besides various cultural aspects, Polynesia also brought surfing to Hawaii. The sport became popular in Hawaii then.

  • Even though describing the first surfing event precisely is yet impossible, we know it happened centuries ago. The culture of Polynesia was water-tied because people here were comfortable in the water. Whether swimming, surfing, or canoeing, the ocean was vital to how Polynesians lived.
  • While the most popular written accounts on surfing were James Cook’s diary who was a European captain. He witnessed some men riding the waves using wooden planks in 1778.
  • Certainly, these Tahitian surfers belonged to a culture where people know how to hold themselves on the water.

To sum up the invention of surfing, we can say that the sport is ancient and belongs to the 12th century. Surfing started to spread beyond Polynesia in the early 20th century. From there, the sport became popular in the US. Surfers in Hawaii and California developed their unique techniques and style in surfing. That’s where the sport started to gain its following. Hundreds of people still visit Hawaii for surfing even at present.

surfing water bottle

Cultural Significance of Surfing

Contrary to popular doubt, surfing doesn’t become popular overnight. It takes centuries to grow correspondingly. However, at present people consider surfing more than just a sport. The fact is true for multiple reasons. People consider surfing more than just a sport because of the numerous health and well-being benefits it provides.

In addition, surfing also serves as an escape from the hardships, life can bring to you. It is probably the only sport that provides continuous contact with nature, which ultimately increases the feeling of strength and fulfillment in people.  

Surfing has influenced fashion, music, and art

Surfing has become a lifestyle that has enchanted people for centuries. With the growing popularity of surfing in the United States, surf culture exploded globally. Surfers in Europe, Japan, and Australia started embracing surfing along with its accompanying culture and lifestyle. The period is usually referred to as surfing’s golden age.

  • Surfing culture also started influencing fashion, music, and art.
  • Various surf bands including the Beach Boys became popular.
  • In addition, fashion inspired by surfing has also become a trend.
  • Above all, surfing became a familiar subject even in films, where popular films such as Big Wednesday and Endless Summer showcased this sport’s beauty.

Surfing has become a lifestyle for many people

Surfing at present has become a lifestyle of thousands of people across the world. Surfers’ lives are always well-planned, as they follow forecasts to prepare for the coming big swell.

Besides that, surfing has also eliminated fear from people’s lives. They don’t feel any challenge or fear too big to deal with. The surfing lifestyle helps them to look forward to living in the moment. It also provides them a way to healthier living.

In short, multiple reasons have made people make surfing a lifestyle.

Health Benefits of Surfing

Surfing is also popular for the various health benefits that it offers. Let’s explore more about the health benefits of surfing here to understand things better.

So, here we go:

Surfing is a great form of exercise

Surfing is a great exercise that can let you burn calories faster. It is an aerobic exercise in which paddling and catching rigors can burn some serious calories. In addition, surfing as exercise is also helpful in developing muscles and strength. Surfing will let you build muscles naturally without even weights and gym. You can consider it as a perfect exercise for building core and strengthening muscles.

Other health benefits of surfing you should know

Other health benefits of surfing include:

  • Surfers are familiar with their easygoing and laid-back personalities. It is mainly because surfing helps them to reduce stress greatly. The activity releases endorphins which can make you feel more fulfilled, happy, and content.
  • Surfing is also good to improve your sleep cycle and quality. The activity can release serotonin in the body which helps in maintaining an adequate sleep cycle.
  • In addition, surfing can also regulate your mood, and keep you happy, relaxed, and calm.
  • Surfing can also build endurance and flexibility. It can help you put your body in positions to catch the wave that others cannot even imagine.
  • A perpetual movement that’s a part of surfing keeps your core engaged throughout the surfing period. It will ultimately help you to improve your posture.
  • Surfing in cold water can also improve your immune system.

Technological Advancements

Surfing has experienced a complete evolution. At present, it has become one of the top transformed sports. Over time, technological advancements in surfing have led to a revolution in the design, manufacturing, and material of surfboards.

The manufacturers have been experimenting with new designs and materials in surfboards. They adapt technology to make surfboards more maneuverable and faster. The short board is also the result of technological advancements in the surfboard which is ideal for powerful waves due to its faster riding and radical maneuverability.  

The advanced surfboard designs have made surfing more accessible and practicable for virtually everyone. You can now easily find a suitable surfboard design for every skill level.

Surfing technology has improved safety and wave forecasting

  • Wave forecasting is an absolute advent of technological advancement in surfing. The technology helps people to know about wave reports and then make a decision of surfing accordingly. Now you can see wave forecasting and arrive on time to ride a swell peak. There is no need to wait for hours at the shore waiting for a swell peak anymore.
  • In addition, surfing technology has also improved surfers’ safety significantly. The technology has led to the development of various surfing gear ranging from fins to rash guards, and hydro cells to stay safe while surfing. For instance, you can use a stainless steel water bottle to stay hydrated while surfing. Similarly, you can use a rash guard to protect your body from irritation. In conclusion, technology has impacted all aspects of surfing dramatically.


Overall, surfing is gaining popularity for multiple reasons including the health benefits of surfing, great exercise, and the accessibility of the sport. Over time, surfing technology has also improved safety in surfing. Due to this many people are opting for this sport. If you want to enjoy the amazing benefits of surfing, you should also give it a try. 

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