Surfing & Skateboarding leaps into the Tokyo 2020 Olympics!

The International Olympic Committee has announced that skateboarding and surfing will be added to the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Surfing Location

  • The contest site for surfing at the 2020 Games will be Shidashita Beach, or “Shida,” located about 40 miles outside of Tokyo in Chiba.
  • There will be 20 male and 20 female, all shortboard riders, competing in categories separated by sex.

Why are surfers from Hawaii designated as Hawaii (HAW) and not USA?
As a U.S. Territory since 1898 Hawaii was considered a separate entity as far as International Surfing Championships were concerned. For purposes of distinguishing those surfers who were from the US mainland (both east coast & west coast), they were designated USA and those from the islands were designated Hawaii. Even though Hawaii became our 50th state in 1959, it was decided to keep the surfing locales different, this tradition has carried over into the pro ranks and is accepted practice worldwide.

Who invented surfing?
It is generally accepted that Polynesians from Tahiti and Hawaii were the first people to surf waves riding wooden surfboards. Although Tahitians are said to have occasionally stood on their boards, the art of surfing upright on long boards was certainly perfected if not invented in Hawaii. Captain James Cook observed Tahitians canoe and body surfing in 1777, the year before he arrived in Hawaii – and although it could have gotten its start anywhere in the Pacific, the Hawaiians earned the greatest renown as surfers.

What were the first surfboards made-out of?
Wooden Surfboards were originally made of hard and heavy woods such as Redwood, Cedar or Wili Wili. These Surfboards weighed up to 130 pounds and so were difficult to travel with or transport. In 1932 the heavier woods were combined with light Balsa wood.

What are today’s surfboard made from?
In the 1950’s, Hawaii’s George Downing created “gun” longboards: Shaved from polyurethane and finished in fiberglass, the narrow, lightweight boards are ideal for bigwave riding. Modern surfboards are made of polyurethane or polystyrene foamcovered with layers of fiberglass cloth, and polyester or epoxy resin. The result is a light and strong surfboard that is buoyant and maneuverable.

Best places to ride
Playa Grande, Costa Rica
Bundoran, Ireland
Jeffreys Bay, South Africa
Huntington Beach, CA
Bondi Beach, Sydney
San Clemente, CA
Taghazout , Morocco
Teahupo’o, Tahiti

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