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Jack London in Hawaii discovered the Surf

Once upon a time there was surfing, “the sport of kings”. Jack London, everything else is history …

Jack London was one of the first writers to discover and tell the world of surfing. When he landed in Oahu, Hawaii, in 1907 he was enchanted by what he himself called: “the sport of kings”


Jack London, Hawaii – ph by courtesy of the J. London Society


Jack London, 1876, originally from San Francisco, California, was one of the most important writers, journalists and playwrights of 19th / 20th century American literature. Among his novels, the most famous “White Fang” and “The call of the forest”. His passion for exploration and adventure is innate. The love for nature – typical of many surfers – and the search for exotic places, as happened in the past for many other artists – from Gauguin to Inarritu -, soon led the author towards an eclectic and, at times, “bohemian” life “. Among the various jobs he was able to carry out – to finance his studies and his travels overseas – the newsboy, the clandestine oyster fisherman, the seal hunter and the war correspondent.

A man of the world. Passionate and in continuous research. His life, dedicated to travel, often led him to deal with adventures and misadventures of all kinds.



Despite his raw and untimely death – he committed suicide forty years after his success as a writer “revealed the vanity of the world” – the genius of London leaves humanity a rich and articulated heritage (it was – perhaps it is still – the most translated author in the world). His prose is one of the most powerful in American fiction. Today “downgraded” as an author for children, his is very high narrative, teacher of life and pedagogical training for the men of the future.

London landed in the Hawaiian islands in 1907, stopped here on a trans-pacific trip. By this time he was already an important and established author, especially of adventure and exploration novels. During his stay in Oahu – an island in the Central Pacific Ocean part of the Hawaiian archipelago – he was immediately enchanted and enraptured by what he himself called “the sport of kings”.



It was during this journey, between discovery and culture, work and research, that J. London first discovered surfing in Hawaii. His sensitivity was struck by the charm of the sea waves and surfers. Riding the waves was already common practice in the Hawaiian islands. So it was that during his stay Jack London wrote about this practice leaving testimonies and documents that spread rapidly all over the world.

At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the most iconic of American writers began to publish reports, testimonies and stories telling of surfing: everything else is history.


by www.travelworld.it source: quotidiano.net