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Newport Oregon pays homage to pioneer surfers

Hike to Smugglers Cove © Dolanh
Hike to Smugglers Cove © Dolanh

 

 

Culture Updates

The exhibit will be showcased at the Pacific Matitime & Heritage Center 

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 22 October, 2014 - It turns out, the skill of surfing goes way back – back to the pirate days. Maybe even on the on the Oregon coast. (Photo: Cowabunga Longboard Classic, Otter Rock, 1983. Photo by Scott Blackman.)

Thus enters an engaging and nostalgic exhibit on Oregon Coast surfing, surfer culture, and the pioneers who made it happen in Newport this month, as the Pacific Maritime & Heritage Center kick-starts this time-traveling bit of cowabunga on Thursday, October 23.

For centuries, surfing was central to ancient Polynesian culture. It was "discovered" by European explorers in the late 1700s. The first written account of surfing in Hawaii appears in the journals of Captain James Cook. Cook describes with envy the pleasure experienced by these early surfer dudes, December 1777.

Locally, surfing (probably body surfing on what looks like wood ironing boards) got a false start in the early 1910s at Newport’s Agate Beach. As far as anyone knows it went into hibernation with the outbreak of World War I, 1918. The era of modern surfing began locally in 1964 when Scott Blackman went to Sears in Salem, bought a board, and caught his first wave at Agate Beach. Immediately he was hooked.

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