All the way.
When it comes to surfing's origins, they can be traced with reasonable accuracy to the people who set out some 3,500 years ago from somewhere new New Guinea to investigate the vast ocean to the east.
These people -- a mix of humans from the Philippines, Indonesia and perhaps other parts of eastern Asia -- spent the next 3,000 years settling the Pacific Ocean, becoming Micronesians, Melanesians and Polynesians, sailing from Samoa and Tonga to Tahiti, Hawaii and finally New Zealand, mostly in double hulled canoes without engines, compasses, clocks, or guns.
It was one of humankind's most extraordinary achievements but you won't read much about it at school because it didn't involve western Europeans or Americans.
In any case, as they went, these people invented surfing for fun, first among the kids of Samoa and probably New Guinea, then among the Tahitians (where adults took up the sport), then eventually among the Hawaiians, where surfing really blossomed during the second millennium, crossing the thin line between sport and cultural essential. When they first saw people surfing in the late 18th century in Tahiti and Hawaii, Europeans were completely stunned and very impressed; Captain James Cook's lieutenant King thought it appeared to be "a most supreme pleasure", and he was dead right (though he didn't actually try it).
But surfing was beaten out of the Hawaiians through the 19th century by missionaries and pissed-off traders who wanted the locals to work, not play, and it took much of the first half of the 20th century to revive it. Surfing spread outward from Hawaii through this period, eventually to almost every nation with rideable waves on its coastline, and its durability is best attested to by the fact that once it's been taken up, no nation has been able to stop.
AnswerAs I understand it started during WW2 when soldiers in the South Pacific saw a wing from a fighter plane wash up on the beach. A soldier tried taking the wing back out and rode it in.
AnswerActually it is a old tradition started by the Hawiian people in the late 1800's.
AnswerSurfing was developed by Hawaiian islanders before the 15th century, I believe. It spread to the California coast during the 1920s and became very popular with Americans in the 1960s.
actually ladies surf boarding originated in the desert when a Arab rode a wing of a jumbo jet down a sand dune and then got steaming and thought lets try it in the sea.
Greg Noll surfed what is thought to be the largerst wave at Makaha in December, 1969.