April 05, 2012

Museum of British Surfing

Guardian "It is the sport of kings: not horse-racing, but surfing. Rare photos have emerged showing King Edward VIII, then the Prince of Wales, riding a wave in Hawaii in 1920 in what is believed to be the earliest ever picture of a British surfer – royal or otherwise." by Robert Booth

'The images were obtained from a descendant of legendary Hawaiian surfer and Olympic swimmer, Duke Kahanamoku, who gave the future king board-riding lessons off Waikiki beach. They will go on show in an exhibition at the new Museum of British Surfing in north Devon which opens on Thursday night. The new museum reveals the genteel aristocratic roots of a sport that came to be embraced by hippies and punks in the spirit of counter-culture and rebellion in the 1960s and 1970s and is now enjoyed by up to 500,000 regular surfers in the UK.

'The grainy black and white shots have never been seen before outside Hawaii and show the Prince of Wales gliding down the face of a wave, arms akimbo and using an unorthodox, but apparently effective, feet-together stance. The future king, who would later abdicate to marry Wallis Simpson, was on a private, three-day surfing trip to the Pacific Ocean island with Earl Mountbatten, also pictured in the water, although the future admiral of the fleet struggled to get to his feet.'

Museum of British Surfing here

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