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Surfing T-Shirts

Jun 13, 2008
Riding waves on boards. Ancient Hawaiian tradition called it "The Sport of Kings". And it was in Hawaii that surfing was first seen to be practiced with unsurpassed skill. Captain James Cook was stunned by the way the surfers managed to stay erect on their surfboards and ride the waves at such velocities. The entry of Christianity led to the decline of the sport because the missionaries of those times frowned upon the scant way the surfers were dressed. But the sport did not die out completely and the art of riding the wave was acknowledged as a blend of athleticism and the understanding of the beauty and power of nature by the Reverend Henry T. Cheever, who documented it in 1851. Mark Twain tried it and failed in 1866.

Alexander Hume Ford introduced the sport to Jack London when London and his wife Chairman visited Hawaii in 1907. Together with George Freeth, an intrepid surfer, they brought the art of riding the waves to it own. Subsequently Duke Kahanamoku, a Polynesian, brought it to California in 1912. From then on the popularity of the sport grew exponentially.

While surfing was gaining popularity, the t-shirt, the predecessor of the surfing t-shirt was also gaining its own ground, thanks to the helping hand of the icons of Hollywood who wore the humble undergarment out in the open on its own. The T-Shirt had been popularized only as an undergarment by the soldiers of the World War I, who had seen them being worn by their European counterparts.

Meanwhile, as stated previously, the T-Shirt had come into its own rights and everyone, man, woman and child, people from all walks of life and all ages - from the youngest to the oldest - were wearing t-shirts. It had graduated to a National Phenomenon. Printing on T-Shirts had boosted the popularity of the T-Shirt to such heights and it had become a medium of expression of just about anything and everything.

The first Surfing T-Shirt was invented, according to Matt Warshaw's Encyclopedia of Surfing, by Gordon & Smith in 1961 to promote his brand of surfboards in 1961. Gordon and Smith asked people to bring white t-shirts and had the logo of his company printed on them free of charge. Undoubtedly, as surfing was gaining popularity, everyone was happy to sport the logo. Thus came the first surfing t-shirt.

The tome for the surfing t-shirt arrived when it was again used as a promotional media by another maker of surfboards; Dave Sweet, the inventor of the foam surfboard. Surfing and the surfing t-shirt grew together like twin brothers. Strictly speaking, the surfing t-shirt's popularity grew faster because anybody could wear them, whereas the number of surfers was comparatively less. But grow they did.

As usual, Hollywood brought these t-shirts onto the silver screen when in 1973 Mackenzie Phillips appeared in the film "American Graffiti" wearing a Dewey Weber Surfboard Surfing T-Shirt and Robert Duval, as Colonel Kilgore, in "Apocalypse Now". Purist consider only those t-shirts put out by actual surfboard makers as the true "Surfing" T-Shirt. So whether you know how to surf or not, get yourself one surfing t-shirt and be considered a practitioner of the manly sport. The fairer sex can ignore this and get themselves one also.

Now that you have learnt something about this t-shirt and the manly sports association to it, it is high time that you got yourself one if you don't already have one. You have one. Then get one for a friend as a gift, perhaps as a souvenir of your vacation to the coast. Get a picture of your self in it holding a prominent surfboard. Keep it safely and bring it out when your grandchildren visit you. Do it when their grandmother is not around. Otherwise, it is bound to bring a smile on her face, because only she knows that you do not know how to surf.
About the Author
Kathy Austin is a writer for an online gallery.Red Bubble enables you to buy surfing t-shirts, crazy t-shirts and more.
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