What with it being St. Patrick’s Day and such (and a happy one to you), I thought we’d step away from the usual stuff for today, and give a small nod to the awesome that results from combining the influences of Ireland and Hawaii.
No, I’m not talking about green poi.Â (If such an abomination exists, I would rather not here about it.)
I’m talking about modern surfing.
We all know that surfing is an invention of the Polynesians, and the original Sport of (Hawaiian) Kings.Â And that it was discouraged by the missionaries.Â But what is less well known is that it was revived and popularized in the 20th century by a local Hapa-Irish/Hawaiian man named George Freeth, whose father immigrated to Hawaii from Ulster in the 1870s.Â Freeth re-introduced surfing in the early 20th century and then helped to make it popular on the mainland (especially California).
A documentary on the Irish contribution to surfing, called Waveriders, traces this story.Â Filmed in Ireland, California, and Hawaii (They have surfing in Ireland? Who knew?), the movie won a Best Documentary award in Ireland, and has just been released on DVD.
So there you are–combining Hawaii and Ireland saved surfing.Â And I wouldn’t be surprised if you couldn’t come up with a heck of a good boxer out of it too.