George Freeth, left, surfs at Honolulu's Waikiki Beach around 1907. Freeth is often referred to as the "father of modern surfing." He insisted on riding upright rather than prone, angling across the wave rather than going straight in with the foam.
People with surfboards stand in front of a beach house in Joe Creek, Washington, around 1910. Surfing made its way to the Pacific Northwest via descendants of the Dole family of Hawaii, who built a sawmill and shingle factory near the Washington coast. They called it the Aloha Shake Company.
A surfer rides a wave at Waikiki Beach around 1914. Some of the sport's earliest forms trace back to ancient Polynesia in 2000 B.C.
This surfer was photographed by Tom Blake around 1932. Blake designed and built the first camera water housings to take close-up surfing photographs. He would wade out and stand on the shallow reef at Waikiki or take a canoe out to deeper water. A surfer himself, Blake had a natural eye for framing the wave and the rider in a way that caught the peak of action.
Jim Bailey rides a wave on California's Hermosa Beach circa 1936. Bailey was an outstanding Los Angeles County lifeguard and one of South Bay's best surfers. He was renowned for tandem surfing and taking his dog, Rusty, out for a ride.
Lifeguards walk on Sydney's Bondi Beach around 1938. As an island nation with more than 22,000 miles of coastline, Australia needed an army of surf-savvy lifeguards to look after its citizens. The Surf Life Saving movement began in 1907 as an all-volunteer service.
The first National Surfing Championship took place in Long Beach, California, in 1938. There were 144 entrees.
Surfers in Makaha, Hawaii, circa 1939. Heimann's photo book focuses on surfing culture since 1778, taking viewers into the depths of the sport's rich and complex history.
Actress Joan Crawford poses with a surfboard in Waikiki around 1946. Surfboards provided a convenient prop for glamorous Hollywood movie stars visiting Hawaii.