Native Hawaiian getting ready to show the howlies how it's done
The sport was also recorded in print by Augustin Kramer and other European residents and visitors who wrote about and photographed Samoans surfing on planks and single canoe hulls; Samoans referred to surf riding as fa'ase'e or se'egalu. Edward Treager also confirmed Samoan terminology for surfing and surfboards in Samoa.
When the missionaries from Scotland and Germany arrived in 1821, they forbade or discouraged many Polynesian traditions and cultural practices, including, on Hawaii, leisure sports such as surfing and holua sledding. By the 20th century, surfing, along with other traditional practices, had all but disappeared. Only a small number of Hawaiians continued to practice the sport and the art of crafting boards.
The Ancient Hawaiian people did not consider surfing a mere recreational activity, hobby, extreme sport, or career as it is viewed today. Rather, the Hawaiian people integrated surfing into their culture and made surfing more of an art than anything else. They referred to this art as heʻe nalu which translates into English as “wave sliding.” The art began before entering the mysterious ocean as the Hawaiians prayed to the gods for protection and strength to undertake the powerful mystifying ocean. If the ocean was tamed, frustrated surfers would call upon the kahuna (priest), who would aid them in a surfing prayer asking the gods to deliver great surf. Prior to entering the ocean, the priest would also aid the surfers in undertaking the spiritual ceremony of constructing a surfboard.
In 1907 George Freeth was brought to California from Hawaii, to demonstrate surfboard riding as a publicity stunt to promote the opening of the Los Angeles-Redondo-Huntington railroad owned by Henry Huntington, who gave his name to Huntington Beach. Freeth surfed at the Huntington Beach pier and traveled up and down the coast demonstrating surfing and life guard skills.
George Freeth is responsible for bringing surfing to the US
Surfing on the East Coast of the United States began in Virginia Beach, Virginia in 1912 when James Matthias Jordan, Jr. captivated the locals astride a 110-pound, 9-foot Hawaiian redwood board. "Big Jim's" board, given to him by his uncle, is believed to have originally been 12–15 feet tall, but was whittled from a round nose into an arrow-like shape. Virginia Beach has since become one of the centers of East Coast Surfing, and is host to the East Coast Surfing Championships.