Surfing’s roots lie in premodern Hawaii and Polynesia, where the sport was practiced by both men and women from all social strata from royalty to commoners. Early European explorers and travelers praised the skills of Hawaiian surfers, but 19th-century missionaries assigned to the islands disapproved of the constant intermingling, without any restraint, of persons of both sexes and banned the pastime. Surfing was practiced only sporadically in Hawaii by the end of the 19th century.

Early board design impeded the development of surfing. The typical surfboard ridden by Kahanamoku’s generation was solid wood, was 8–10 feet (2–3 metres) long, 24 inches (61 cm) wide, and 3 inches (8 cm) thick, and weighed 100 pounds (45 kg). Rudimentary designs and a lack of fins made the boards extremely difficult to maneuver. Most surfers simply pointed their craft shoreward and made no attempt at steering.

Organized competitions helped to counter this negative image and to win surfing some social respectability. In 1953 the Waikiki Surf Club hosted the first international surfing championships for men and women at Makaha, Hawaii. This competition marked the official birth of the sport of surfing, with judges awarding points for length of ride, number of waves caught, skill, sportsmanship, and grace on the board.

Surfers formed the International Surfing Federation during the 1964 contest and the federation assumed responsibility for organizing world championships. 먹튀검증 The International Surfing Association [ISA] superseded the federation in 1976. In 1982 the General Association of International Sports Federations recognized the ISA as the world’s governing body of surfing. Thirteen years later, in 1995, the International Olympic Committee granted the ISA provisional recognition. The IOC confirmed this recognition in 1997 and admitted the ISA into the Olympic movement.

Competition, however, sits uneasily in surfing culture, as it is seen as antithetical to the surfers’ independent quest. Within the counterculture of the late 1960s and early ’70s, surfing competitions virtually collapsed, and in the mid-1970s the ISA canceled its world championships. Surfers said that competition symbolized excessive consumption and a material way of life. They preferred the creativity and self-expression of soul-surfing/riding waves purely for the purpose of communing with nature. Although it was a passing phase, the counterculture, ironically, contributed to the development of professional surfing, for the work-is-play philosophy of the counterculture encouraged a group of perspicacious surfers to establish a professional circuit. In 1976 they formed the Association of Surfing Professionals (a member of the ISA) to coordinate competitions.

Professional surfers earn money from the prizes awarded at competitions, from sponsorship by surfing-equipment manufacturers and retailers, or from performing as editorial surfers in photo or video sessions showing them surfing in beautiful or interesting locales.

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