Surfing was first observed by Europeans in Tahiti by the crew of the Dolphin when they made landfall in 1767. Once a central part of Polynesian culture on islands such as Hawaii and Tahiti, surfing was not considered sport or recreational activity, but something more like a religious experience. Restricted mostly to the upper classes (the village chief was traditionally expected to be the best surfer in the community), a surfing session in the 1700’s involved a visit to the beach with a priest to pray for good waves and make offerings to the gods of the ocean. In ancient Hawaii, surf boards were carved from wood up to 18 feet long and came in three shapes: olo, kikoʻo, and the alaia. The best waves on the island were reserved for the chiefs and warrior classes. How times have changed. Since the Gidget and the Beach Boys made surfing mainstream in the 1960’s, surfing has become a full-fledged culture unto itself and today millions of people can be seen paddling in every ocean on earth in search of an uncrowded wave. This photo gallery covers some of the highlights of my own surfing experience, mostly shot in Bali, Indonesia.