Surfing is one of the more popular global sports. It is estimated there are between 17 and 23 million surfers worldwide in more than 70 countries. These numbers continue to grow every year as the sport increases in popularity. Surfing however is a relatively new sport in terms of popularity compared to other leisure sports like tennis and golf. These sports have been around for hundreds of years. So when and where did surfing start becoming so popular.
Most surfing historians agree that a single event in 1959 was the catalyst that initiated the surge in the popularity of surfing. This event however was just a spark that ignited a wave of addiction. This event and subsequent surge in the popularity could not have been possible without several critical pre-existing conditions. These conditions and factors included the location, the technology, the culture, the media and the influence of the aerospace industry.
After 1959, several key events occurred that influenced the surfing lifestyle and culture. Some of these events where based on media, the surf industry and demographics. Most of these events increased the numbers of surfers while a few decreased the number of surfers.