The 20th century marked the birth of surfing as an outdoor water sports activity, and the Hawaiian Islands were the epicenter of a cultural and economic revolution.

In the first decades of the 1900s, the art of "surfboarding" - or "surfriding" - brought thousands of new tourists to the iconic Pacific Ocean archipelago. Hawaii was en vogue.
The local beach boys would teach foreigners how to catch a wave, and tourism flourished. In the early 1940s, Frederic Ullman, Jr. produced a "sports reel" for Pictorial Films, capitalizing on Hawaii's strongest touristic offerings.
"Riding the Crest" invites the viewer to discover Honolulu's most popular water sports: body surfing, surfing, and outrigger canoe riding. Back in the day, the surfboards weighed between 50 (22.5 kilograms) and 100 pounds (45 kilograms).
"The gentle art of striding a streamlined ironing board while a breaker pushes you from the bay to the beach in nothing flat. The boards are carved from a solid slab of wood or build up of laminated strips," the narrator says.
"The first thing to do is to paddle out and find an incoming wave; a gentle swell that looks like is gathering up enough steam to be a big breaker."
Selling Hawaii to the "malahini" (newcomer) was quite easy. The always appealing surf riding canvas attracted a new generation that was eager to try walking on waves. And "Riding the Crest" only added thrill to Hawaii's ever growing aura.