Did you know that in Hawaii's early days, when it was ruled by royalty, even kings and queens surfed?
Surfing is considered part of modern American pop culture, but the sport actually developed centuries ago in Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean. It was later brought to Hawaii in the eighth century. Petroglyphs (rock paintings) have been found in Hawaii that show early Hawaiians riding the waves. British explorer Captain James Cook made the first mention of surfing in print in his account of his journey through the Pacific Ocean. Even the early kings and queens of Hawaii participated in the sport. American writers Mark Twain and Jack London are known to have tried surfing. Duke Kahanamoku, who was born in Hawaii, was a gold medalist in swimming at the 1912 Olympic Games. He is commonly credited with the rise in popularity of surfing in the 20th century.