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Surfing in Santa Cruz

Surfing in Santa Cruz

March 08, 2022

Though the history of surfing stretches back some 5000 years with roots in ancient Peruvian cultures, the sport first emerged in its modern form with the Polynesian peoples who made their way to Hawaii around 400 A.D. Fast-forward to the summer of 1885, and you’ll find a trio of Hawaiian princes who, while vacationing right here in sunny Santa Cruz, fashioned boards for themselves from the timber of the redwood forests and surfed their way down the San Lorenzo River. Thus, this quintessential California beach sport made it to the mainland for the very first time. Today, surfers of all ability levels from across the country travel to Santa Cruz to ride the waves. Dedicated surfers will probably choose to bring their own boards. For the rest of us, the many surf shops along Cowell Beach offer ample opportunities to rent a board and even take a few lessons.