Friday, February 22, 2013

The Beauty of Surfing According to Captain Cook

This is a beautiful description of surfing that LaBoa posted on Reddit recently. It's refreshing to think that not long ago the concept of surfing, in all its artistry, creativity and beauty, hadn't even entered the Western consciousness. What else have we yet to stumble upon?

Early historical records of surfing appear in the late 1700s, when Europeans and Polynesians made first contact in Tahiti. Navigator Captain James Cook described how a Tahitian caught waves with his outrigger canoe just for the fun of it: "On walking one day about Matavai Point, where our tents were erected, I saw a man paddling in a small canoe so quickly and looking about him with such eagerness of each side. He then sat motionless and was carried along at the same swift rate as the wave, till it landed him upon the beach. Then he started out, emptied his canoe, and went in search of another swell. I could not help concluding that this man felt the most supreme pleasure while he was driven on so fast and so smoothly by the sea."


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