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Lieutenant James King was the first person to write about the art of surfing on Hawaii when he was completing the journals of Captain James Cook upon Cook's death in 1779.
When Mark Twain visited Hawaii in 1866 he wrote, ), and Tonga, far pre-dating the practice of surfing by Hawaiians and eastern Polynesians by over a thousand years.
George Freeth decided to revive the art of surfing, but had little success with the huge 16-foot hardwood boards that were popular at that time.There, David Kawānanakoa, Edward Keliʻiahonui and Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole surfed the mouth of the San Lorenzo River on custom-shaped redwood boards, according to surf historians Kim Stoner and Geoff Dunn.George Freeth (8 November 1883 – 7 April 1919) is often credited as being the "Father of Modern Surfing".The size of a swell is determined by the strength of the wind and the length of its fetch and duration.Because of this, surf tends to be larger and more prevalent on coastlines exposed to large expanses of ocean traversed by intense low pressure systems.
However, surfers can also utilize artificial waves such as those from boat wakes and the waves created in artificial wave pools.