A LETTER now on display in a North Devon museum shows that Bridlington is likely to have been the birthplace of British surfing.
In the letter, found by a Hawaiian author, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Piikoi describes how he and his brother, Prince David Kahalepouli Kawanaankoa Piikoi, surfed off Bridlington in September 1890, during time spent studying in Britain.
“We enjoy surf riding very much and surprise the people to see us,” the price told the Hawaiian consul.
It had previously been thought that surfing did not come to these shores until the 1920s.
The letter is on display at Europe’s only surfing museum, in Braunton, North Devon, along with photos of the princes and their cousin, Princess Victoria Ka’iulani.
The princess studied in Brighton in 1892 and may have been the first woman to surf in this country.
Bridlington and surfing hit the headlines recently after featuring in a high-profile television advertising campaign featuring Harry Potter star Rupert Grint, AKA Ron Weasley.
The Visit England advert, ‘Holidays at Home are GREAT’, is part of their biggest ever domestic tourism campaign and features the star surﬁng on Fraisthorpe beach.
He also visits Anglesey and Loch Awe in the advert.
He asks viewers: “Why go all the way to Bondi when you can come here to Bridlington?”