This prime spot of land, right off the main Huntington Beach drag, is the location of the International Surfing Museum. This small museum has collected and showcased some of the finest collectibles from the storied history of one of California’s favorite sports, and what better place to showcase it then in the small beach town of Huntington Beach. Here is all the information.
- Suggested Donation (I believe it was 2 dollars)
- Hours: Closed Monday, 12 – 5 the rest of the days
- This post and information is from 2014
Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum was founded several decades ago by a woman who’s never surfed. In fact, Natalie Kotsch came from a spot in Canada where there wasn’t any surfing. She recognized this incredible beach vibe and a welcoming spirit that made her feel happy in Huntington Beach, and she got caught in a fever that snags many who live in beach areas around the globe. You don’t have to surf to love watching the sport, said Kotsch.
Thanks to her efforts, many of the great surfboards and local history have an opportunity to be preserved in a huge, cataloged collection that rotates in the museum. Tourists and locals can visit this surfing museum for a very small fee. Especially popular with surfers from around the globe, they visit the museum to share stories and find out where some of their favorite local surfers are surfing these days.
The Surfing Museum
For the latter half of my college years, my life pretty much revolved around my once a week trip down to a spot on the California coastline for a relaxing surfing adventure in the beautiful water; because of this, I was excited to see what the surfing museum had in store for me. From the moment I pulled up into the parking lot and saw the beautiful mural painted on the wall I knew it would be a fun little museum.
After paying my fee and entering the museum, I was greeted by a man who was extremely knowledgeable about the history of both surfing and surfing in this area. He showed me a couple of the main attractions then set me off to walk the museum myself. The first thing you see when you enter is the bronze bust of Duke Kahanomku, a businessman credited with spreading the sport of surfing.
From there, you proceed into the main room, which houses all of the surfing memorabilia.
They have everything from original wooden boards to pieces of the old pier and stones from the Huntington Beach surfing walk of fame.
In the back, they have a small little theater that plays different surfing movies and history for you to sit and enjoy.
Here is also where the aforementioned wooden board is.
As a fan of music history, I also really liked the spotlight on one of surfing’s biggest musical champions, Dick Dale.
In the last area of the museum, they had a lot of unique pieces, such as a surfboard painted with the last supper and a full-size replica of what looks like the Silver Surfer.
The World Largest Wax
Based on what I was told, they also have revolving exhibits that switch out during different times of the year. While I was there, the spotlight was on the history of surfing, which culminated in the world’s largest piece of surfing wax which weighed in at 110 pounds.
Lastly, they had a wall dedicated to the music that went hand in hand with the history of surfing and consisted of many different show flyers from over the years.
All in all, this is an excellent museum for the history of surfing. While it is small, it captures the style and the culture of this sport, along with the innovators who made it what it is today. If you are a fan of surfing, I highly suggest you check it out. Get directions below, and feel free to leave me a comment.