Tonn Marcaíocht – Surfing
The crew of the HMS Endeavour under one Captain James Cook were the first peoples to witness the art of surfing. That was in 1769 when they landed in Polynesia. Surfing was suppressed and almost forgotten through the influence of western missionaries. However, westerners revived surfing when it was rediscovered almost simultaneously in both America and Australia. A revival in its native Hawaii followed. Today , surfing’s popularity continues to grow.
A first Irish surfer is said to have been one Joe Roddy who rode the waves off Dundalk on Ireland’s east coast in a self-made board around the year 1949. The names of Kevin Cavel and Ian Hill are remembered as progenitors of Ireland’s surf scene which became a firm phenomenon in the 1960’s. Today Ireland’s surf scene continues as Ireland bears out a reputation as one of the surf capitals of the world.
Origins of surfing can be traced to somewhere in the Pacific ocean some three thousand years ago. Among archaeologists, ancient Peru is believed to have been the cradle of surfing. Images of people riding on waves on what very much resemble surfboards adorn pottery found these.
The “boards” that appear on the pottery are considered to be half way between a boat and a surfboard and are called “Caballito de Totora”. These ancient surf boards are thought to have been made from buoyant reeds.
Those in the know would tell you that the Irish beaches of Kerry’s Inch Strand, Clare’s Lahinch, Keel or Bundoran in Donegal are among some of the best surf outside of Hawaii!