Surfing Florida: A Photographic History
Curated by Paul Aho and W. Rod Faulds
Florida Museum of Natural History (Gainesville, FL): August 31, 2013 - January 20, 2014
Surf Expo (Orlando, FL): January 10 - 12, 2013
Pensacola Museum of Art (Pensacola, FL): May 24 - September 1, 2012
Schmidt Center Gallery (Boca Raton, FL): March 17 - May 12, 2012


Surfing Florida: A Photographic History  comes at a time when surfers throughout the world are beginning to seriously document this vital sport and lifestyle through books,museums and surfing history organizations. While Florida is part of this movement, it is also challenged by its reputation for lackluster surf. Yet, because of the inconsistent surf, surfers from Florida share an insatiable hunger for waves and an aggressive approach to the sport that has resulted in an incredible number of world titles for Florida’s competitive surfers and a deep cultural history. Surfing Florida seeks to foster the movement to archive and document Florida surf history through collaboration, association and contributions from all corners of Florida’s statewide surfing community.This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Konica Minolta is providing technical and production support for a Surfing Florida book.


Surfing Florida is an exhibition and book project that will present the history of Florida surfing and surf culture including its international dimensions. Florida surfers know that despite consistently marginal surf, the Sunshine State has produced an amazing talent pool that successfully competes globally and that the state has also contributed to the innovation and growth of the equally world-wide surf industry. It's time Florida got its props, including a book on the shelf next to the many California/Hawaii centered publications.


While it is important for the  Surfing Florida project to credibly represent the state’s core surfing community, the project also seeked to communicate to less informed audiences about core values and accomplishments of the state’s many surfing communities. The project also coincided with and contributed to preservation and academic efforts that are emerging in America and overseas as modern surfing history approaches it’s 100th year. For instance, students at FAU and UCF were receiving academic credit to assist in project research.


Surfing Florida: A Photographic History  was organized by the University Galleries at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton. Paul Aho, a lifelong Florida surfer and shaper who actively competed as a teenager was the project’s editor and curator. Aho is an artist and a world-traveled surfer. To achieve the initial research and gathering of materials, Aho divided Florida into seven geographic regions. 


As a traveling exhibition,  Surfing Florida: A Photographic History  will combine a thematically organized historical panel style exhibition combining digital reproductions of vintage photographs and interpretive texts along with many original photographic portfolios of the state’s best known surf photographers and most significant historic photo collections. Selected vintage photographs and media stations will round out the traveling portion of the exhibition. While the traveling exhibition will not include surfboards and other surfing related artifacts, each exhibition venue will be encouraged to work with surfboard collectors in their region to showcase surfboards and other materials appropriate to the size and resources of their exhibition facility. 






    Surfing Florida Catalogue  .                 



Surfing Florida: A Photographic History

Curators: Paul Aho & W. Rod Faulds

Size: 8.5 x 11" Brochure

Pages: 6 pages

Surfing Florida Book

Surfing Florida: A Photographic History by Paul Aho

© 2014 by Paul Aho

Paul Aho & W. Rod Faulds

Size: 7.25" x 10.25"

Pages: 264 pages



Image credits: Lee Sutherland 

The University Galleries, FAU acknowledge that all of the images on this page have been provided with express written permission by photographers and collections who hold exclusive copyrights.