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International Surfing Day – June 17, 2023

International Surfing Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in June and takes place on June 17 this year. It is an environmentally-conscious holiday that celebrates surfing and the sustainability of ocean resources. It also promotes surfing and encourages more people to dive into this fun sport. Surfing can be traced back about 5,000 years and is not just a sport but a hobby and a lifestyle; it’s a pastime found on all populated continents.

History of International Surfing Day

International Surfing Day was initiated in 2005 by “Surfing Magazine” and the Surfrider Foundation. The holiday was created to promote the sport of surfing, as well as educate people about the negative impact of their activities on the ocean and the environment. On International Surfing Day, various activities are held, such as surfing contests, barbecues, and other fun surf-centered activities. Several groups also organize beach clean-ups and other restorative activities as a way of contributing positively to the environment.

Body-surfing has likely existed since humans began swimming in the ocean. However, surfing with the assistance of apparatus has been traced to the ancient cultures of Peru, where people surfed on reed watercraft for recreational and fishing purposes. Modern surfing with the use of surfboards, however, originates from pre-colonial Hawaii, which was introduced to the innovation by the Polynesians. Written evidence of surfing in Polynesia can be found in the journal of Joseph Banks during his stay in Tahiti in 1769. In Hawaii, surfing became more than a hobby or sport, moving into the realm of religion, culture, and art. It was referred to as ‘he’e nalu,’ meaning “wave sliding.” Before surfing, the people would pray to the gods for protection and strength. The making of surfboards also required the assistance of a priest.

According to historians Kim Stoner and Geoff Dunn, surfing made its debut in the United States in July 1885 when four teenage Hawaiian princes arrived in California. David Kawananakoa, Edward Keli’iahonu, Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana’ole, and Elle Mancini all surfed at the San Lorenzo River on redwood boards. In 1961, the United States Surfing Association was established, arguably becoming the first professional surfing contest organization in the world. Today, surfing is not just a sport but a lifestyle, which can now be found on all populated continents.

International Surfing Day timeline

3,000 Years Ago
Reed Watercraft are Used

Ancient Peruvians ride the waves with reed watercraft called ‘caballito de totora.’

1885
Surfing in the U.S.

Surfing is introduced to the United States.

1950s
The Wetsuit is Invented

The first wetsuit is invented by surfing icon Jack O’Neill.

1961
The U.S.S.A.

The United States Surfing Association (U.S.S.A.) is founded.

2005
The Day is Born

International Surfing Day is established

International Surfing Day FAQs

Who is the world’s best surfer?

Robert Kelly Slater is considered by many to be the best surfer in the world, as he has won more than 11 surfing world championships.

Is surfing an Olympic event?

Yes. Surfing made its Olympic premiere at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

What is the best time of the day to surf?

It is a general belief that the best time to surf is early in the morning.

International Surfing Day Activities

  1. Go surfing

    There’s no better way to celebrate International Surfing Day than to just do it! Go surfing and experience the thrill of the sport.

  2. Organize a beach clean-up

    Protect the environment by organizing a beach clean-up to get rid of pollutants that might contaminate the ocean. Let’s keep our environment clean and healthy.

  3. Buy a surf-themed item

    On this day, buy a cheesy surf-themed item as a reminder of International Surfing Day. Whether it’s a shirt with an inspiring caption or a miniature surfboard, get yourself — or someone else — a lovely item.

5 Important Facts About The Ocean

  1. There is only one ocean

    The world has only one ocean, which is divided into five interconnected ocean basins, namely the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Indian, the Arctic, and the Southern Ocean.

  2. The ocean is extremely large

    The ocean covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface.

  3. Most animals are in the ocean

    About 94% of all the living creatures on Earth can be found in the ocean.

  4. More artifacts than museums

    Due to the number of shipwrecks that occur, the ocean has more historical artifacts than all museums in the world.

  5. There are many islands

    In the entire world, there are believed to be over 670,000 islands.

Why We Love International Surfing Day

  1. It celebrates surfing

    International Surfing Day is a fun opportunity to let loose. Why not join in celebrating one of the most-loved sports in the world?

  2. It creates environmental awareness

    The awareness activities on International Surfing Day remind us how important it is to protect our environment from pollution and other detrimental activities. It provides an avenue to discuss how pollution impacts our daily lives. We have only one planet and we must protect it.

  3. It preserves the ocean

    Beach clean-up activities are small but important ways of protecting and preserving our ocean. Getting rid of the debris, dirt, and litter on the beach helps keep our ocean clean.

International Surfing Day dates

YearDateDay
2022June 18Saturday
2023June 17Saturday
2024June 15Saturday
2025June 21Saturday
2026June 20Saturday

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