No surf enthusiast can skip a visit to these amazing temples of surf history!
You already know a couple things about the history of surf, so you know there’s a lot to be told and to be preserved – in terms of knowledge, items and heritage.
What you might not know is that there are many surf museums around the World.
Let’s find out more about them and where to find them!
Santa Cruz Surfing Museum
opened its doors in 1986 as the first surfing museum in the world. Located in the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse, it might be small but it’s pretty surely the one with the most amazing setting and view.
Florida Surf Museum
Founded in 1999, surely deserves the award for the nicest history: it was originally “in a space so small you could barely turn a longboard around”. The local community grew fond of the idea, volunteering and donating lots of stuff for years: magazines, pictures, trophies, memorabilia. The museum had to find a bigger space and moved several times, every time being helped by a different community. In 2015, the actual museum was created to preserve and document the unique history and culture of the East Coast surfing. Visitors are invited to experience the heritage and traditions of the surfing community through events, exhibits and programs.”
Santa Barbara Surf Museum
Opened in 1992. Here you’ll find lots of famous surfboards (check the complete list on their website!), vintage surf clothes, surf albums, skateboard items, a hula and Hawaii related section, musical instruments, Captain James Cook memorabilia, rare shells and more.
California Surf Museum
Probably the most famous Surf Museum, founded by architect Stuart Resor in 1986. In their own words, “The California Surf Museum serves as an international repository and resource center on the lifestyle sport of surfing through capturing, preserving, and chronicling its art, culture and heritage for the education and enjoyment of future generations.”
Texas Surf Museum
Opened in 2005, the museum aims to show Texas is not just the land of cowboys and oil barons. Its exhibited items include boards, replicas, photos and surf shaping tools. It also has a projection theatre and provide educational opportunities to local schools.
Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum
Founded in 1988 by Natalie Kotsch, who was intrigued by Surf culture but never actually surf or even swam (proving you don’t even have to practice this sport to completely fall in love with it), the museum features lots of memorabilia (think of the bust of Duke Kahanamoku) and interesting key items, such as Tom Blake’s 1935 paddleboard!
New Jersey Surf Museum
In their words: “Exhibits in the museum cover the origins of surfing and how it came to New Jersey in 1912. The museum also explores the close connection of surfing to the environment and the science of waves. A large collection of important surfboards is on display along with memorabilia and surf art.” ….how could they forgot to mention they even have a surf simulator?!