The History Origins of Surfing Paddleboarding

The History Origins of Surfing Paddleboarding In Peru

Where did surfing originate? Was surfing and paddleboarding invented in Peru using a small fishing craft made from water plant reeds?

Peruvian Reed Boats and the Origins of Surfing

Many people ask, where did surfing originate? Surf History, with host Scott Mijares interviews surfing legend Felipe Pomar. He speaks of the ancient origins of surfing in his home land of Peru.
November 2009.

Modern scientific archaeology indicates, as many Peruvians have long claimed, that surfing may have been invented on their north Pacific coast by pre-Columbian cultures using reed boats to surf the waves. These boats are similar in shape to surfboards but are made from the hollow, buoyant reeds of a plant. Pottery from as early as 1000b.c. unearthed in Peru shows people wave riding. For those who think surfing was invented in Hawaii keep in mind no one lived on the Hawaiian Islands until 300-750AD or at least 1500 years and possibly 2000 years after surfing has been confirmed in Peru. To be certain, Peru has the oldest archaeological and cultural evidence in existance. Additionally, it is clear that the lineage in Peru originates in the Pre-Incan past 3000 years ago. It continues to the present in both the ancient and modern forms. As proven by archeologists this tradition can be traced back to 1000bc. Surfing is depicted on ceremonial vessels of the Viru Culture, an antiquity of 3000 years, where you can clearly see a man standing aboard a little reed craft, surfing. Our Patented Boards are Made in Peru, Where Surfing Was Invented Check Out our Patented Peruvian Surfboards and our Peruvian SUPs

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See a REAL Caballito constructed on the beach and Surfed

It is known that Polynesians surfed. This was witnessed to be very similar to its modern form by European sources, such as Captain Cook, during his explorations less than 300 years ago. Because it was so deeply rooted in their culture, it is safe to assume that it had been taking place before then, however, we cannot be sure as there is absolutely no physical evidence in Polynesia like that found in Peru.

This means that the earliest surfing in the world, with actual physical evidence, took place in Peru. There is no anthropological or archaeological evidence for a Polynesian origin of surfing before the mid 1700s AD. So, Where did surfing originate?

The man known as “The Pioneer of Modern Surfing” is Duke Kahanamoku, was a Gold medal winning Olympic swimmer and brought surfing into the public consciousness in the form it is currently known. Without his influence surfing wouldn’t have become the well known sport it is today.

The modern Peruvian’s Inca ancestors called the Kontiki´s, fishing along the Peruvian coastline, first rode the waves in the Pacific Ocean. Huanchaco is a village along the Peruvian coast in which, even today, the local fisherman use the reed canoes called “little reed horses” to ride the waves.  A link to this ancient Inca past is evident as “modern” Peruvian fishermen stand on the tails of their “little horses made of reeds” and ride the small boats to shore after a long day of fishing.

The reed is a cultivated crop.  Planting it is similar to planting rice: one must cut the roots and deposit them in the muddy bottom of a lake. The first harvest can be done after 12 months, and the reed can be harvested about three times a year. Peasants harvest it using a sickle on a 1.5 meter (5 feet) stick, cutting it at that depth below water. Once it is harvested, the water in it (comprising 90%) is dried out and it can even be fed to cattle.  There is historical evidence of a floating reed bridge, used by the Incas, in the chronicle of a battle during the Spanish conquest.

But there´s a lot more surfing than just history to be found in Peru near Huanchaco.  Chicama, with a rideable break almost a mile long on good days, is just around the corner from Huanchaco. In total there are 6 good spots in the 100 mile coastline between Trujillo and worldclass surf spot Pacasmayo in the north. The wave quality and consistency make Peru truly a surfer’s paradise and is the ideal surfer’s hang-out.  Surfers in Peru design, test and make every Liquid Shredder®  surfboard using skills and traditional quality developed for over two thousand years. Where did surfing originate?  We believe in Peru.

CLICK for Trailer of Surfing Origins Documentary Film

The Original Liquid Shredder® soft surfboards are designed, tested and

made by surfers for surfers in Peru, Where Surfing Was Invented!

Depicted Below:
Reed boats on the beach stored for drying. 

The Origins of Surfing caballito de totora
Caballito de Totora on the beach in Peru


Soft Surfboards® was founded to provide the highest quality and most cost effective surfboards in the world. 

We make them in America, SOUTH America.

We have promoted our Service Mark “Made In Peru, Where Surfing was Invented”SM in U.S. National and International advertising venues including print media or the Internet since 2002.  We proudly trace our Liquid Shredder® brand surfing products roots back to Ancient Peru and the beginning of humans riding waves.  Liquid Shredder® surfboards are designed and manufactured by Peruvian Surfers and fully tested in some of the best and largest surf in the world, on the Pacific coast of Peru. Liquid Shredder®, in the tradition of the Ancient Incas.

For Peru Surfing Photos On Liquid Shredder® surfboards click here.

Original LIQUID SHREDDER®  Surfboards, Made in America!


Soft Surfboards Peruvian Origins of Surfing and SUP Paddle boards
SUP Stand up Paddleboarding and surfing originated in ancient Peru 3000 years ago