Three thousand years ago in the warm, clear waters of Western Polynesia, with soft breezes that carried the sweet smell of delicate flowers and the refreshing tang of salty air, one of the most loved sports in the world was born.
The Polynesian fishermen discovered that the fastest way to get their day’s catch of fish into shore was by riding the waves. It didn’t take long for them to fall in love with the experience that all surfers have discovered for the past three thousand years: the feeling of being caught and carried by the unstoppable power of a wave.
It’s not known exactly when standing up on a board became a sport, but accounts of people surfing in the Sandwich Isles was recorded officially in the 15th century. Back then it was called he’enalu, or wave sliding.
The infamous Captain Cook was one of the first Europeans to really interact with the Polynesians and watch them surf their outrigger canoes in Tahiti when he landed there in the late 1700s. One of Captain Cook’s most famous observations could strike a chord within any surfer’s heart: “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.”
And why has the art of surfing captured the hearts of so many people over so many generations? Everyone probably has their own unique reasons and stories, but surfing has provided not only a fun way to exercise, it has created a way to connect deeply with our true selves and with our beautiful planet. The ancient Hawaiians considered it so sacred they even developed their own specific prayers and rituals to honor surfing, and for a long time only the royalty were allowed to do it.
If asked, many people will say that when they’re surfing they are completely immersed in the present moment, free of anxiety, stress or resentment. There is nothing that matters except the smell of the ocean, the board beneath our feet and the sun on our back…
“For me, surfing is as close a connection I can have with Mother Nature. To surf, you’re riding a pulse of energy from Mother Nature. And it’s strong. It’s real. And you’re dancing with that. You might be the only person in the history of the universe that connects with that particular pulse of energy.” – Xavier Rudd
If you want the perfect way to connect with yourself, nature and the present moment, the soft ocean waters and pristine waves at our Costa Rica surf camp are exactly what you’re looking for