TED speaks to designer Yves Behar about the history of surfing and how it connects us to nature.
The first ever surfers were the Tahitians. They brought it over to Hawaii, where the culture around the pastime flourished. It was open to everyone, men, women and children all took it up. As swimming costumes were a long way off, many people surfed naked. As Calvanist missionaries arrived in Hawaii, they banned the practice, misunderstanding it as a sinful practice. At that exact moment, the iconic counter culture element of surfing was born.
In the early 20th century Olympic swimmer Duke Kahanamoku used his fame to promote surfing around the world. As time went on and boards became more accessible and cheaper to make, more people took up surfing. Even though it’s a global sport today, any avid surfer will tell you that it’s the simple connection with the water that keeps them coming back. Having to constantly tussle with the elements makes surfing a sport like no other. The ultimate aim is to tame the wild water.
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