Did Surfing Start In Africa? - Stab Mag

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Did Surfing Start In Africa?

New film “Wade In The Water” looks to explore the true roots of our pastime.

elsewhere // Feb 1, 2023
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 2 minutes

As with any piece of history from centuries ago, the origins of surfing have always been a bit blurry. The general consensus for years has been that our “Sport Of Kings” began in Hawai’i, and spread from there.

Along with many other important goals — including dismantling racial barriers — new independent film Wade In The Water looks to inform the public about where surfing really started; Africa.

Featuring insight from Sweet Adventure star and Vans Pipe Masters commentator Selema Masekela, the film weaves historical accounts with modern-day testimonials to explore the history of black surfing.

We got a sneak peak and…it’s great. It’s also premiering through the next month (which happens to be Black History month) and you can watch it at these dates/locations.

Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 5:40pm

Sunday, February 12, 2023 at 2:40pm

Pan African Film Festival

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Surfrider LA + Patagonia Santa Monica

Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at 6:30pm

San Diego State University / Black Resource Center

Thursday, February 23, 2023 @ 6:00pm

California African American Museum

by Guest Curator Alison R. Jefferson, M.H.C. | Ph.D.

August 2023 – March 2024

Sofia Art Film Festival (Bulgaria)

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Mannheim Art and Film Festival (Germany)

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Wade in the Water: The Documentary examines the often overlooked history of Africa’s 1,000-year-old surf tradition spanning from Senegal to Angola. Piloted by historical experts and community leaders in the BIPOC surfing movement, this cinematic film traverses historical footage and recreations, photography, original illustrations, live-action footage, and interviews.


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