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The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum is a museum which was established in May 1986 to document the history of surfing.
Located in the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse at Lighthouse Point on West Cliff Drive, the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum opened its doors in June 1986 as the first surfing museum in the world. The lighthouse was built in 1967 as a memorial to surfer Mark Abott, who died while surfing at the nearby Pleasure Point surf break.
Overlooking the Steamer Lane surfing hotspot, this little museum features photographs, surfboards, and videos tracing over 100 years of surfing history in Santa Cruz. After funding cuts in 2009, the Santa Cruz Surfing Club Preservation Society and private donations kept the museum open.
The exhibits at the museum explore this unique culture from its early origins in Ancient Hawaii and over 100 years of surfing in Santa Cruz. Introduced in 1885 by three Hawaiian princes who surfed the mouth of the San Lorenzo River on plank boards, surfing has permeated every facet of the Santa Cruz community. A plaque was dedicated to the princes: David Kawānanakoa, Edward Abnel Keliʻiahonui, and Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole (later a delegate to US Congress) in April 2010.
Santa Cruz County is filled with opportunities to stimulate the senses, but there are also lots of opportunities for learning to balance it all out. For those who prefer a little mind candy on their vacation, there is no shortage of museums in Santa Cruz. Whether you want to know more about local history, marine…
Locals and visitors have been drawn to the Santa Cruz waves since 1855 when three Hawaiian princes showed up to surf the mouth of the San Lorenzo river on their redwood boards. Weighing 150-175 lbs. and measuring 17 feet long, the boards were designed o’lo style, a shape reserved for Hawaiian royalty. Surfing has evolved…
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