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100 Years of Surfing in Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach has had quite a few memorable moments in the last 100+ years. Learn more about the history of surfing in Surf City USA from 1914 to today.

January
Meet George Freeth
George Freeth

George Freeth was the first surfer at the now famed Huntington Beach Pier. One hundred years ago, Freeth impressed thousands of onlookers with his “surf riding” demonstrations during the dedication of the new, concrete Huntington Beach pier. Invited...

January
Duke 1921
Duke Kahanamoku

The legendary Duke Kahanamoku, known as the father of modern surfing, made his first visit to HB in the 1920’s. Following his Olympic gold medal win at the 1912 Olympics, Duke traveled the world giving swimming and surfing exhibitions. In 1925, he...

January
First HB Lifeguards Bud and Gene
HB's First Lifeguards

Delbert “Bud” Higgins and Gene Belshe were two of Huntington Beach’s first lifeguards and became enamored with surfing when they met Duke Kahanamoku in Corona Del Mar. In 1927, they fashioned their own boards out of a redwood plank using a plane and...

January
1955 HB Pier Club
Boys of '55

Prior to surf shops, surf music, and surf movies, a group of surfers that shared a common passion for surfing formed the HB Pier Club. These thirty surfers became known as the Boys of ’55. Their names were inscribed in a wood longboard that is...

January
Gordie Duane 100 YOS
First Huntington Beach Surf Shop

Gordie Duane, who was a member of the HB Pier Club, opened the first Huntington Beach surfboard shaping shop underneath the pier. His four-room shop became a local hangout for fellow surfers. Over the next 25 years, Gordie shaped thousands of boards...

January
Jack's Surfboards Historical
Jack's Surfboards

Jack Hokanson opened Jack’s Surfboards, on the corner of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway, across from the Huntington Beach Pier, in 1957. He was inspired to open a conveniently located store that offered a wide range of products for the surfer,...