The Atlas of Surfing History: A Visual Tour of Surfing Through Time

by Owen James Burke

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Above: “Ghana, West Africa.” “In 1835, writes Smith, “the captain of an exploration ship describes people surfing…” the shores of Ghana in West Africa. Art: Ron Croci.

While Polynesian folklore and legend surrounding surfing dates back many centuries, some of the earliest (Western) historical records of surfing come not from the South Pacific, but Syria, according to author Joel Smith and illustrator Ron Croci’s forthcoming book, entitled The Atlas of Surfing History: a journey through time, due out in early 2016.

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Above: “Syria.” Oil on panel. Art: Ron Croci.

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Above: “India.” “People are not aware that in the city of Madras India, hundreds of years ago, there was a kind of stand up surfing when….(Excerpt).” Art: Ron Croci.

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Above:”Ocean Taboos.” An outrigger canoe slips over a hollow peak toward the sunset in Bali. Art: Ron Croci.

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Above: The Atlas of Surfing History’s cover. Art: Ron Croci.

Originals of Croci’s oil-on-panel paintings are for sale on the book’s website, paired with drawings, excerpts, and a signed copy of the book (preordered). -OJB

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