Dating back to 1890 this is perhaps the first photo ever taken of a surfer. The muscled Hawaiian beach man is photographed wearing a traditional loin cloth and shown standing in the shallows holding his rudimentary board. The original owner and the photographer are not known.
Surfing rituals and the sport itself continued in the Kapu system until missionaries from New England began arriving in 1820. The missionaries believed surfing and other Hawaiian sports to be hedonistic acts and a waste of time. They adamantly preached against the sports’ existence in Hawaii.