But did you know of the Brits riding tidal bores in the Severn River? Or the surfers for peace in the Gaza strip? How about the feminist surfers in Cuba, or the man trying to save the surf with fishing nets in Japan?
Our guest today took a surfing safari to explore its origins — how America’s export has taught locals to hang loose and spread peace.
This Hour, On Point: Surfs up! How this western export is changing sleepy beach towns around the world.
Watch Mike's slideshow of Munich river-surfing at The Atlantic.
Arthur Rashkovan runs "Surfing 4 Peace," an informal cross-border charity in Gaza he founded, along with Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz and surfing champion Kelly Slater.
See photos of surfing in Gaza at S4P's Facebook page.
Pegi Vail, anthropologist and adjunct professor at Columbia University. She's working on a documentary called "Gringo Trails," about the long term effects of backpacker tourism on cultures, economies, and environments worldwide.
Listen back to our show with the Pakowitz family and the documentary "Surfwise."
Watch footage of surfers on the Severn River bore (They catch the big wave around 2:40):
This program aired on June 25, 2010.