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This Unbelievable Surfing Footage From Hawaii In The 1920s Will Leave You Speechless

Surfing was an integral part of Polynesian culture long before European contact with ancient Hawaiians, but was first described in 1769 by Joseph Banks during the third voyage of Captain James Cook. Known as he’enalu in Hawaiian, the art of surfing was practiced by those of all classes, though the ali’i (chief) was the most skilled wave rider, and the ruling class had access to the best boards and beaches. Commoners were allowed to practice the sport, just on different beaches.

In the early 20th century, Hawaiians living near the famous Waikiki Beach revived the art of surfing, and established it as a sport. This gorgeous black and white footage uploaded by YouTube user Jeff Quintney gives us a glimpse into the golden era of surfing in Waikiki.

Surfing certainly has come a long way since the 1700s – and even since the 1920s when this footage was filmed. For another look into a bygone era of Hawaiian history, check out this beautiful footage of Honolulu in 1924.

Megan Shute
Megan is a freelance journalist residing near Honolulu, Hawaii. She is obsessed with hiking, beach trips, locally-grown coffee, and finding the best acai bowl on Oahu.