19th century Charlestonian made waves in the surfing world

Image by Flickr user Xavier Donat

In the 19th century, an 18-year-old Charlestonian took off into the world to see what good he could do--chance are, he never realized that because of him, surfing would become the popular sport it is today.

Alexander Hume Ford left Charleston in 1886, going on to live in New York, Chicago, Japan, Russia, and China. But our story really begins in 1907, when Ford arrived in Hawaii. It was there that Ford took up surfing, bringing back popularity to a sport that was in the process of dying off.

It was Ford that introduced author Jack London and his wfie Charmain to surfing and sparked London to write "A Royal Sport: Surfing in Waikiki" to encourage others to see the greatness of surfing. The article was published in Ladies Home Companion and caught the attention of many, putting surfing back on the map.

Want to know more about how surfing is popular thanks to a Charlestonian? Charleston Magazine has a great article with all the deets; read it here.

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