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28 October 2014
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Jersey Surf Club - 1959

Surf's Up!

From it's humble belly board beginnings to the lucrative industry it is today, Surf's Up! is an exhibition taking place at The Maritime Museum in Falmouth celebrating surfing in the UK.


For many, the thought of hopping around a carpark on a winter's day squeezing each leg into a damp wetsuit isn't a particularly enviable one but for some this is a way of life. 

Come rain or shine little neoprene dots line the coasts of Cornwall in the search of the perfect wave. Surfing has become one of Cornwall's favourite leisure activities and the county has reaped the benefits. 

Soul Surfer Rod Sumpter
Soul Surfer Rod Sumpter

The sport hit the English shores in 1918 when people began to surf on bellyboards. In 1929, Newquay formally announced itself as the surfing centre for the sport and has continued as one of the most popular surfing destinations in the UK.

To mark the increasing popularity of the sport, the first ever large scale exhibition celebrating surfing in the UK is now taking place at The Maritime Museum in Falmouth.

This touring exhibition has already been exhibited at The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter before arriving in Falmouth where it will stay until January 8 2006 before moving to Bristol, Barnstaple and Bournemouth.

The exhibition celebrates all aspects of surfing and looks at the personalities who pioneered the sport on this side of the Atlantic.

The exhibition also looks at technological developments in surfboards, and how the industry helps the local economy.

 Saltburn-by-Sea 1965 by LR Roughton
Saltburn-by-Sea 1965 by LR Roughton

Environmental issues are also highlighted, as well as the British weather, which isn't the most conducive to water sports! The story of Surfin' UK is told with surf boards, wetsuits, photographs, video footage and old magazines and some of the highlights on show include a 1920s coffin lid bellyboard; the first surfboard in Europe - a 13ft wooden, hollow board built by Tom Blake; first edition covers of all British produced surf magazines; Russell Winter’s 2002 Ripcurl Boardmasters competition surfboard and much, much more.

The exhibition continues until January 8 2006 at The National Maritime Museum, Falmouth.

For more information check out www.nmmc.co.uk or call 01326 313388.

last updated: 17/06/05
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