EOS Features

1779: EXPLORER JAMES KING, KEALAKEKUA BAY, HAWAII: "THEY SEEM TO FEEL A GREAT PLEASURE IN THE MOTION WHICH THIS EXERCISE GIVES"

James King, second lieutenant on the Resolution during Cook's third and final voyage to the Pacific, became commander following Cook's violent death in Hawaii in 1779. This passage was written about three weeks before Cook died. It has been lightly edited. * * * [A] diversion most common is upon the Water, where there is a very great Sea, & surf breaking upon the Shore. The Men sometimes 20 or 3...

1779: EXPLORER GEORGE GILBERT, KEALAKEKUA BAY, HAWAII. BLIMEY, HOW D'YE PADDLE THESE THINGS?

George Gilbert was a midshipman on HMS Discovery during Captain James Cook's final voyage through the Pacificc. The exact date of this entry is unknown, but it was written in February 1779, and Cook was killed on the 14th of that month. As surf scholar Patrick Moser noted in his book Pacific Passages, Gilbert's final sentence, below, suggests that some of Cook's sailors tried their hand at paddlin...

1779: EXPLORER DAVID SAMWELL, KEALAKEKUA BAY, HAWAII: "THE MOTION IS SO RAPID THAT THEY SEEM TO FLY ON THE WATER"

David Samwell was surgeon's mate on both the Resolution and the Discovery during Captain James Cook's third and final voyage to the Pacific. This journal entry, which has been slightly edited, was written about three weeks before Cook was killed. * * * As two or three of us were walking along shore today we saw a number of boys & young Girls playing in the Surf, which broke very high on the Beac...

1778: EXPLORER WILLIAM ELLIS, WAIMEA, KAUAI: "THEY HAVE ANOTHER MODE OF CONVEYING THEMSELVES, WHICH WE CALL SHARKBOARDS"

Their canoes or boats are the neatest we ever saw, and composed of two different coloured woods, the bottom being dark, the upper part light, and furnished with an out-rigger. Besides these, they have another mode of conveying themselves in the water, upon very light flat pieces of boards, which we called sharkboards, from the similitude the anterior part bore to the head of that fish. Upon these ...

1778: EXPLORER CHARLES CLERKE: WAIMEA, KAUAI: "MEN AND WOMEN ARE SO PERFECTLY MASTERS OF THEMSELVES IN THE WATER THAT IT APPEARS THEIR ELEMENT"

Charles Clerke sailed on all three of James Cook's voyages through the Pacific, first as a master's mate, and finally as commander, following Cook's death in 1779. Surf historian Patrick Moser has identified this passage, below, as the first in which surfboard use in Hawaii is described. * * * These People handle their Boats with great dexterity, and both Men and Women are so perfectly masters o...

1866–1870: EXCERPT FROM "FRAGMENTS OF HAWAIIAN HISTORY," BY JOHN PAPA ‘Ī‘Ī

John Papa ‘Ī‘ī was a personal attendant to Hawaiian royalty, including King Kamehameha II, during the 19th century. He was among the first Hawaiians to study with the missionaries, starting as a young adult in 1820, and for the rest of his life went back and forth effortlessly between the two cultures, native and Western. Fragments of Hawaiian History, a collection of ‘Ī‘ī’s firsthand accounts of ...

1965 MALIBU INVITATIONAL: PHOTOG BRAD BARRETT STOKES THE FIRES, LITERALLY, OF HIS PAST

Surf photographer and writer Brad Barrett, from San Diego, was 18 when he shot the 1965 Malibu Invitational. Three years later he became a staff photographer for SURFER Magazine. * * * The story about how these images of the final heat of the 1965 Malibu Invitational came to be, and continue to exist, comprise a twisted and crazy tale; it goes something like this. . . . The day before the event...

DEPARTMENT OF LINGUISTICS: WE SHOULD HAVE STUCK WITH “SHARKBOARDS”!

This essay on mostly-archaic terms and phrases used to describe “surfing,” “surfer,” and “surfboard” is excerpted from the Introduction to Pacific Passages: an Anthology of Surf Writing, by Patrick Moser, published in 2008 by the University of Hawaii Press. * * * The term "surfriding," though mostly archaic, is nevertheless useful in characterizing the general act of riding waves with a board in...

1913: "MAMALA, THE SURF-RIDER," BY WILLIAM WESTERVELT

Ohio-born church pastor William Westervelt moved to Hawaii in 1899, where he became deeply involved with the Hawaiian Historical Society, and the works of native-born historians, including David Malo and Samuel Kamakau. Westervelt's own well-regarded books on Hawaiian folklore include Hawaiian Historial Legends (1923). "Mamala the Surf-Rider," about a surfing royal who can transform from beautiful...

"DO THE RIGHT THING," DEREK HO PROFILE BY STEVE BARILOTTI (1991)

Steve Barilotti's profile of Derek Ho ran in the January 1991 issue of SURFER. This version has been slightly shortened and edited. * * * If Derek Ho never rides another wave in his life, his place in the North Shore pantheon will be eternally riveted in place by his brilliant performance at the 1986 Pipeline Masters. On Christmas Eve day, in the semis against Tom Curren, Martin Potter and Chris...