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100 years = outer banks surfing history

Did Hawaiians bring surfing to the Outer Banks?

Who was the first surfer to ride the waves on the Outer Banks? Now one is sure, but the history goes back almost 100 years and maybe more as Jeff Hampton writes in the Virginian Pilot.

100 years of surfing in North Carolina. 1917 postcard suggests an early surfer at Wrightsville Beach in red circle. Image NC Maritime History Museum.

100 years of surfing in North Carolina. 1917 postcard suggests an early surfer at Wrightsville Beach in red circle. Image NC Maritime History Museum.

“Outer Banks surfing bloomed in the 1960s and flourishes today, but its start goes back almost 100 years , with a direct link to Hawaii.

Two curators with the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort have compiled a history in words and pictures of North Carolina surfing.

One of the authors, Ben Wunderly, (spoke) June 20 at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras Village.”

Thousands come to the Outer Banks each year to surf some of the best waves offered by the Atlantic Ocean.

The barrier islands reach close to the edge of the continental shelf, from which strong waves from distant storms charge ashore unimpeded.

The sport with a reputation for unemployed beach bums and rebel cult figures has long gone mainstream. North Carolina surfers spend an average of $111 per visit and add more than $3 million annually to local economies, according to a 2011 report by the Surfrider Foundation, which advocates for surfing and clean beaches. The average surfer in the state is 34 years old and earns $50,000 a year, the survey said.

Who were the first surfers on the Outer Banks? Read the rest of the story on the Virginian Pilot.

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